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Forest condition change, tenure reform, and government-funded eco-environmental programs in Northeast China

Huang, Wei
Forest policy and economics 2019 v.98 pp. 67-74
byproducts, decision making, farms, forest management, forest policy, forests, land management, models, socioeconomics, China
Northeast China has one of the largest forested areas in China, which provides an important production base for timber and forestry by-products and is significant for maintenance of regional ecological security. This study examined the effects of forest tenure reform and government eco-environmental protection programs on forest condition change using two measures—forest area and stocking volume. Generalized spatial panel autoregressive models were developed using data on 72 forest farms in Northeast China in 2005 and 2009. The results showed that forest condition change in the region was driven by socio-economic characteristics, geographical conditions, and forest land management policy. In particular, the forest tenure reform and government eco-environmental protection program were found to affect forest condition change. There were also strong spatial effects between neighboring forest farms, suggesting that the forest management policy of one forest farm was correlated with that of neighboring farms. When formulating and implementing forest policy, decision-makers should therefore take account of spatial effects.