Environmental Protection in China

Environmental Protection in China

Land-Use Management

Edited by Jeff Bennett, Xuehong Wang and Lei Zhang

Faced with intensified environmental degradation and decreased agricultural land productivity, the Chinese government has sought policy interventions to reverse both of these negative trends. Among the policy instruments is the Conversion of Cropland to Forest and Grassland Program (CCFGP) that aims to change the pattern of agricultural land use in 25 provinces and autonomous regions across China. This book provides the most comprehensive assessment of the CCFGP undertaken to date. It allows the consideration of fundamental questions pertaining to the sustainability of the land use changes brought about by the CCFGP, its cost effectiveness and the prospects for policy evolution. Contributions from a wide range of economists and scientists in the book provide policymakers in the Chinese government with relevant information with which to pursue more effectively agro-environmental goals.

Chapter 4: Are Farmers Better Off?

Chen Xie, Jincheng Zhao, Dan Liang, Lei Zhang, Guangcui Dai and Jeff Bennett

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, development studies, asian development, economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, asian environment, environmental economics


Chen Xie, Jincheng Zhao, Dan Liang, Jeff Bennett, Lei Zhang, Guangcui Dai and Xuehong Wang INTRODUCTION The CCFGP is unprecedented in its geographical distribution, the extent of government investment, the level of participation of rural households as well as its impact on rural development. It was initiated on a trial basis in Shaanxi, Gansu and Sichuan Provinces in 1999. In 2002, it was officially launched in 1897 counties in 25 provinces. From 1999 to 2005, the Program involved 20.2 million ha of afforestation, of which 8.3 million ha was formerly cropland and 11.9 million ha had been barren land. Total investment reached CNY121.9 billion, which was made up from both central and provincial investment (SFA 2001–05). The Program has involved 20 million rural households of 100 000 villages in 20 000 townships around China. Despite the Program’s wide application, there is, as yet, little understanding of its long-term impacts on the livelihood of the farmers involved. Such an understanding is important in determining the long-term sustainability of the land-use changes that the Program has induced. Given that the payment of subsidies in the form of grain and money to farmers under the Program is to cease within the next decade, a livelihood analysis is an important contribution to the development of future policy regarding land-use sustainability in the Northwest Provinces of China. The objectives of the research reported in this chapter are to investigate the land-use changes arising from the CCFGP’s application in Chinese households, to examine the...

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