CIFOR to Assess Reforestation Efforts in China

CIFOR28 June 2013: The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has partnered with the China National Forestry Economics and Development Research Center (FEDRC) to launch a forest research programme in China, which will improve the monitoring and evaluation of the ‘Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program' (CCFP) or ‘Grain for Green.'

According to CIFOR, the project's implementation began in 2002 with the objective of restoring sloped lands that have been converted from forests to agricultural uses. To provide incentives, the project has become the world's largest payment for ecosystem services (PES) scheme, reaching 124 million people in rural China and reforesting 20 million hectares.

CIFOR highlights its involvement in monitoring the impact of the project, stressing that the project has gathered a large amount of data on forests in a variety of areas, settings and circumstances. However, because of the complexity and variety of data, CIFOR notes that it has not been possible to accurately assess the impact of the project on rural livelihoods and the environment, including through carbon sequestration.

According to CIFOR, the outcomes of the assessment will allow for lessons learned and good practices to be shared with other countries while evaluating the feasibility of carbon-based payment systems, as well as identifying potential issues with regards to the long-term sustainability of the project results once the payments end.

CIFOR is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) [CIFOR Press Release]