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How Societal Values Determine the Local Use of Forest Resources—Findings from the Rural Community Kegong (Northwest Yunnan, China)

Michael Nassl () and Jörg Löffler ()
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Michael Nassl: Department of Geography, Bonn University, 53115 Bonn, Germany
Jörg Löffler: Department of Geography, Bonn University, 53115 Bonn, Germany

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 12, 1-16

Abstract: The transition from net deforestation to net reforestation in China has received much scientific attention, in the hope that, by understanding the underlying drivers and processes, it might be reproduced in other regions of the world. The scientific literature has suggested that this process was driven by the creation of off-farm opportunities and huge state afforestation programs by economic growth. Recent publications, however, have noted a lack of inclusion of local dynamics in this analysis. We used the social-ecological interactions (SEI) framework, designed for the assessment of ecosystem services in socio-ecological systems, to trace the causes and patterns of the local use of forest biomass in a village in Northwest Yunnan. Our results suggest that societal values, in particular, are key to understanding the local resource use underlying the forest transition in Yunnan. However, societal values have been neglected, both in the analysis of forest transition as well as in social-ecological systems research, in general.

Keywords: Social-ecological systems; ecosystem services; land use and cover change; forest transition; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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