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The Socioeconomic Effects of China’s Forest Restoration and Conservation Programs

November 9, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

On Friday, November 9th, Conghe Song, PhD, will present The Socioeconomic Effects of China’s Forest Restoration and Conservation Programs as part of the Carolina Population Center 2018-2019 Interdisciplinary Research Seminar series. Song is Professor and Associate Chair of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also the Director of the Graduate Certificate Program of Geographic Information Sciences. His research focuses on understanding the social-ecological consequences of human-environment interactions in the context of climate change.
Professor Song is hosted by Carolina Population Center Fellow Clark Gray. Gray is an Associate Professor of Geography at the UNC-Chapel Hill. His research focuses on population and human-environment interactions in the developing world.


China’s economy had witnessed double digit growth following the adoption of open and reform policy in the late 1970s. However, China’s natural environment did not improve with the economy. In fact, China’s eco-environmental conditions went in the opposite direction with the economy for decades, leading to devastating natural disasters in the late 1990s. As a result, the Chinese government implemented a series of forest restoration and conservation programs to improve the natural environment. The Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program (CCFP) and the Ecological Welfare Forest Program (EWFP) are two of them. CCFP program is the largest reforestation program to date in the world, involving 32 million households and 120 million people in 25 of the 31 provinces in China. China’s forest cover increased 3% as a result. EWFP is a program that preserves natural forests that provide essential ecosystem services. Both CCFP and EWFP are essentially payment for ecosystem services programs. Despite nearly two decades of implementation, the programs’ socioeconomic as well as their ecological effects are not well understood. In this talk, I will present the recent findings from a US-China collaborative project studying the impacts of CCFP on the dynamics of the coupled natural and human systems in Anhui, China. Riding the tide of overall economic growth in China, both CCFP and EWFP have been successful in converting and preserving the land-use, and have exerted profound impacts on rural residents’ livelihoods. I will focus on the program effects on cropland abandonment, fuel wood use and rural out migration in this talk.

Curriculum Vita (PDF)

Instructors: To arrange for class attendance, contact Kate Allison ( by the Monday before the seminar

Streaming may be available and must be arranged at least one week in advance.

This seminar is part of the Carolina Population Center’s Interdisciplinary Research Seminar Series.


November 9, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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