Enhancement of Ecosystem Services of Communally Managed Commercial Forests in China

ECO, within the period 01/2013-05/2015, implemented the project "Valorization of Ecosystem Services of Commercial Forests in Sub-tropical Regions of China" under commission by Germany’s Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). What started out originally as a one-time exercise by now has entered its second implementation phase, in recognition of the project’s demonstrated success and corresponding requests by the Chinese partners. A first short-term mission by ECO’s team of experts took place in September/October 2016, followed by a coordination meeting in Beijing (in early December 2016). 

During its current implementation phase, the Sino-German project bears the title "Enhancement of Ecosystem Services of Communally Managed Commercial Forests in China." Its design directly incorporates lessons learnt during the first implementation phase, notably the needs to promote (i) practical application of multi-purpose, close-to-nature forest management as an ecologically and economically viable alternative to either all-out plantation management or blanket protection; (ii) practice-oriented innovation by means of applied research; and (iii) wider replication of best practices (exploration of upscaling pathways, e.g. capacity development, science-policy interface).

Compared to the first implementation phase, the partner and steering structure have remained unchanged. As before, Chinese partners include the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing, Guangzhou) and East China Normal University (Shanghai). However, ties with local co-operators (Forest Management Units and county-level forest authorities) have become both tighter and more diverse, and the involvement of China’s national State Forestry Administration (SFA) has been institutionalized. Together, the Chinese and German project partners are committed to the pursuit of the common, overarching goal "Chinese decision-makers as well as forestry professionals and practitioners avail of needs-based and locally adapted instruments for practical application of multi-purpose, close to nature forest management".

During the recent inception mission, forest stratification, forest function mapping and stand-wise silvicultural planning set the stage at the project’s three pilot-locations in Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang Province for a wider range of practical demonstrations and HCD-events in 2017 and the first half of 2018. The project is set to conclude in mid-2018 with an international conference in Beijing.      

Time span
2015 – 2018       

Commissioning body           
Bundesamt für Naturschutz / Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)

Contact: Dr. Stefan Mann