Society, economy and forests: the unfolding forest transition in China and the lessons for the future
The paper provides a comprehensive assessment of the changes witnessed in the forest sector in China during the last three decades and the key drivers that have contributed to the country’s forest transition. Clearly, such a transition is an outcome of the convergence of several factors, including the emergence of China as an industrial economy, clear and consistent policies, tenure reforms, investment in key forestry programmes, and strengthening science and technology capabilities. The paper also provides an indication of the emerging challenges, including the larger uncertainties stemming from inward-looking policies and the outbreak of global pandemics and crises. This study on forest transition in China will provide valuable insights into what is required to build and sustainably manage forest capital in order to meet the needs and aspirations of all stakeholders, whether global, national or local.