China leads the world in forest growth

1990 CEChina

Over recent decades most countries around the world have been cutting down their trees at alarming rates. Since the 1990s, however, China has bucked this trend, achieving the most extensive reforestation of any country in the world. In 2015, forest cover reached 22.2% of China’s vast territory, up from 16.74% of the country in 1990 . . . China has planted more than 4 million hectares of forest every year . . . What is extraordinary about the transformation of China’s depleted landscapes is that it was achieved through the mass participation of tens of millions of Chinese people. A cornerstone of the Chinese Government’s restoration efforts was the ‘Grain for Green’ programme, which directly compensated farmers for restoring and protecting forests and natural vegetation where they had formerly planted crops or herded livestock . . . With 32 million families receiving annual subsidies, and 28 million hectares of land restored, Grain for Green is considered by some to be the largest Payment for Environmental Services (PES) scheme in the world – and is taken as evidence of the potential success of the financial compensation approach to conservation.

"How China brought its forests back to life in a decade," Rapid Transition Alliance, December 2, 2018

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