Environmental Protection in China
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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.
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Chapter 3: The Conversion of Cropland to Forest and Grassland Program

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


Jeff Bennett, Lei Zhang, Guangcui Dai, Chen Xie, Jincheng Zhao, Dan Liang, Yongwei Liang and Xuehong Wang INTRODUCTION Deforestation and the degradation of grasslands, with subsequent accelerated rates of soil erosion and desertification, is considered by the scientific community, as well as those in policy circles, to be the main immediate biophysical cause of the increased frequency of flooding and serious sandstorms experienced in the 1990s in China (PTFDSSD 2003). This is especially the case in the Western Provinces of China, where over 70 per cent of land has a slope of more than 25 degrees and where the two main river systems in China, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River, originate. The increasing severity of environmental degradation was further evidenced by the flooding in the Yangtze River Basin in 1998. In order to bring soil erosion and frequent flooding under control, the Chinese government initiated the Conversion of Cropland to Forest and Grassland Program (CCFGP). Also known as the Grain for Green Program and the Sloping Land Conversion Program, the CCFGP involves the world’s largest expenditure on a single environmental services programme after the Conservation Reserve Program in the United States (CCICED 2002; Xu, Bennett et al. 2004). This land-use policy featured the conversion of steep-sloped and degraded cropland to forest and grassland by millions of small landholders in 25 provinces and autonomous regions across China with the provision of cash and grain subsidies to participating farmers as compensation for their lost agricultural production. The government...

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