Research article

The reform of collective forest rights in China and its implementation in the Fushun City Region

S. Jiang, B.J. Lewis , L. Dai, W. Jia, Y. An

S. Jiang
Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 72 Wenhua Rd., Shenyang, PRC 110016; Forestry Department of Liaoning Province, No.2 North Taiyuan Street, Shenyang, PRC 110001
B.J. Lewis
Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 72 Wenhua Rd., Shenyang, PRC 110016. Email: lewisbern@gmail.com
L. Dai
Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 72 Wenhua Rd., Shenyang, PRC 110016
W. Jia
College of Forestry, Northeast Forestry University, No. 26 Hexing Rd., Harbin, PRC 150040
Y. An
College of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Shenyang Agricultural University, No. 120 Dongling Rd., Shenyang, PRC 110161

Online First: August 11, 2014
Jiang, S., Lewis, B., Dai, L., Jia, W., An, Y. 2014. The reform of collective forest rights in China and its implementation in the Fushun City Region. Annals of Forest Research DOI:10.15287/afr.2014.210


The paper provides an historical overview of the gradual but erratic evolution of collective forest rights in the People’s Republic of China. Forest tenure rights have been subject to numerous changes since the establishment of People’s Republic in 1949. In the most recent decades, use rights for forests have been transferred from collective to individual household-based with the intent to provide benefits to forest farmers. The implementation of the intended reforms has varied considerably from one province to another, with the majority of reform efforts originating in the southern provinces. This article looks at the major effort undertaken in Northeast China. The Fushun collective forest rights reform was analyzed using data obtained through field investigation by the Fushun Forestry Bureau. Initial effects of reform in terms of modes of rights assignment and farmer motivations to conduct forest management activities, as well as farmers’ income and financing conditions, are discussed. Remaining significant challenges are also briefly considered.


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  • S. Jiang
  • B.J. Lewis
  • L. Dai
  • W. Jia
  • Y. An
  • S. Jiang
  • B.J. Lewis
  • L. Dai
  • W. Jia
  • Y. An