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Adapting Chinese Forest Operations to Socio-Economic Developments: What is the Potential of Plantations for Strengthening Domestic Wood Supply?

Stephan Hoffmann (), Dirk Jaeger () and Wu Shuirong ()
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Stephan Hoffmann: Department of Forest Work Science and Engineering, University of Goettingen, Buesgenweg 4, 37077 Goettingen, Germany
Dirk Jaeger: Department of Forest Work Science and Engineering, University of Goettingen, Buesgenweg 4, 37077 Goettingen, Germany
Wu Shuirong: Research Institute of Forestry Policy and Information, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Wanshoushan, Haidian District, Beijing 100091, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 4, 1-19

Abstract: Over recent decades, China’s forestry sector went through a transition phase characterized by a management and institutional reform process, with a constant rethinking of the ecological and societal role of forests within a unique political system. Nevertheless, despite impressive achievements in forest restoration and conservation efforts, the enhancement of ecosystem services and forest area expansion through plantation development, China was not able to improve its domestic timber supply capacities according to its demands. Consequently, the continually growing wood processing industry is facing a severe demand-and-supply gap, causing high dependencies on timber imports. Outdated forest operations practices, dominated by manual labour, are not able to meet supply demands or to implement new silvicultural strategies for enhancing forest quality and productivity and are a widely unnoted disruption of a sustainable development. Therefore, this review presents the status quo of China’s forest operations sector, how it is shaped by forest policy reforms and recent socio-economic developments. In addition, suggestions are developed how the sector can progress through policy adaptations in order to develop sustainable timber supply capacities based on a domestic plantation sector.

Keywords: China; forest operations; socio-economic development; wood supply; policy reforms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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