SUMMARYIn this article we discuss the two largest reforestation and forest conservation programmes in China, the Natural Forest Protection Programme (NFPP), and the Slope Land Conversion Programme (SLCP, also called Grain for Green), introduced in 1998. The NFPP reformed the state forest enterprises to reduce deforestation, increase the amount of forestland to be protected, and increase the sustainability of logging, while improving their financial viability. The SLCP reformed collective (i.e. private) forests in the villages, by compensating farmers for retiring marginal (mostly slope) land. Together, these two programmes are the largest reforestation programmes in the world, in term of people affected (over 125 million people), land reforested or protected (over 150 million ha), and budget (over 800 billion yuan between 1998 and 2020). We review these two programmes within the broad political and socio-economic conditions of the country during these years.
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We are reminded on a daily basis that the natural environment in which we live is vitally important for our well-being, whether it is in the form of climate change, global warming, declining fertility or dwindling natural resources.