Forest Policy Facility (FPF)

Project description

Title: Forest Policy Facility (FPF)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)
Country: The People’s Republic of China
Lead executing agency: Chinese National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA)
Overall term: 2018 to 2022

Context

For more than 30 years, China has run the world’s most ambitious reforestation programme, investing heavily in ecological forest rehabilitation and sustainable forest management. From 1990 to 2015, China’s forest area increased by 55 million hectares, while in 2017 alone, the Chinese government subsidised domestic forestry with 28 billion Euros. To date, China’s forests cover an area of 220 million hectares, compared to 182 million hectares in the EU in Britain. A further 100 million hectares are planned to be afforested in the next three decades. Through these efforts, China is eventually expected to become a net wood exporter.

Despite these successes, China’s forests remain heavily degraded, resulting in average annual harvests per hectare that are about one twentieth those of German forests. Therefore, China continues to depend heavily on wood imports to supply its processing industry, which provides both domestic and international markets with wood products. While domestic wood production is stable at 80 million cubic metres per year, demand approached 570 million cubic metres in 2017, equal to about 15 per cent of global wood production. Demand in China is expected to continue rising in the coming years, putting stress on wood exporters around the world. This can result in unsustainable logging, especially among tropical countries with inadequate forest governance and law enforcement.

To address these issues, the Chinese government is developing a policy framework aimed at domestic forest rehabilitation and limiting wood imports to legal and sustainable timber. The Forest Policy Facility is providing support to the Chinese government in preparing and implementing its forest policy revisions with the aim of ecological forest rehabilitation and increasing standing stock per hectare, while also supporting greater sustainable carbon sequestration and improved biodiversity conservation.

Objective

Revised Chinese forest policies result in more sustainably managed forests.

Approach

The project supports the ongoing forest policy dialogue between the Chinese and German governments and their respective authorities. It supports ongoing Chinese forest policy revision processes led by the Chinese forestry authorities towards improved forest management and legal timber trade, at the provincial as well as the national level. The project proposes specific policy recommendations, based on longstanding German forestry experience adapted to the Chinese context and responding to China’s needs. The project aims at building a network of Chinese government forestry pilot sites and internationally supported forestry projects enabling the formulation of consolidated policy recommendations. This is expected to lead to increased policy uptake into Chinese regulations and forest management guidelines. 

Results

To date, achieved results include:

  • The re-established and strengthened forest policy dialogue between the Chinese and the German government.
  • The initiation of one forest management demonstration project at the Zhong Cun State Forest Farm in Shanxi province. This project will produce guidelines for state-of-the-art forest management planning for uptake into Shanxi province policies.
  • The preparation of a pilot site and pilot project policy network to better support the Chinese forestry administration in policy revision processes towards improved forest management.
  • The support of international industry and government stakeholders towards increasing legal and sustainable timber trade between Africa and China.