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Report from China
in Forest Management
results of the latest nation-wide forest resource inventory from the State
Forestry Administration show that China still faces major challenges
because of the inadequate harvestable volumes, the imbalanced distribution
of resources, the very high demand for wood products and the severe damage
that has occurred.
report points out that the natural forest is not stable and healthy and
that the ecological balance has been disturbed. Forested land in China
covers only 159 million hectare, or just 60% of the land available for
forestry (263 million hectare). In addition the report says that the
average stocking per hectare is only 78 cubic metres. The average stocking
volume of plantation per hectare is only 35 cubic metres.
distribution of forest resources is uneven with forest cover in 11
provinces in the eastern coastal regions reported at 27% whereas the
forest cover in 11 provinces in the western regions is only 9% and for 5
provinces is only 3%. Also, the report says the forest age structure is
distorted. The proportion of young
and medium age forest plantations is high at about 70%. In addition the
species represented are few with 58%
of the plantations being of Mason pine, Fir and Poplar.
rapidly changing social situation in the country is also putting
considerable pressure on forest management, there is large gap between
supply and demand of wood products. The supply of wood products from
national forest resources can only meet around 40% of the demand for wood
products. Also the demand for the multiple environmental benefits of
forests is increasing and this will likely lead to a further lowering of
the areas available for logging.
the report points to continued forest destruction. According to inventory
results the harvest levels in 34 counties (bureaus) are too high and
inappropriate change of land use were recorded in 202 counties (bureaus.
The conversion of forested land to non-forest use is said to exceed some
to Li Dongsheng, Deputy Dean of Science and Technology, State Forestry
Administration, after 2 years of preparation, China has developed
"The Standard and Indicator of Forest
Sustainable Management ", "The Standard for China Forest
Certification" . Dr Li also stated that a Chain-of-Custody
Certification Standard is also under development.
Li was speaking at the recently concluded international forest
certification workshop held in Hangzhou. This workshop was billed as the
largest, top level forest certification workshop in China to-date.
workshop was attended by representatives the
Pan-European Forest Certification (PEFC) the American Sustainable
Forestry Initiatives, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Also attending
were representatives from the Malaysian Timber Certification Council and
Indonesia's Eco-Label Institute.
to information from Guangdong's forest administration, the province will
strengthen forest protection and management and focus on harvest quota
enforcement and timber flows in order to ensure sustainable forest
Guangdong's provincial economy is developing rapidly and this has created
a huge demand for timber and wood products. Development projects in the
forestry industry have been extensive and now the focus will be on
reducing consumption, energy saving in the sector and on efficient use of
timber transportation license system is designed to help stop illegally
logged timber from flowing into market and the strengthened supervision of
the industry stamp out illegal processing and trade units.
has been reported that Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region's government
decided that the logging of natural forest of Tianshan Mountain and Aletai
Mountain would be banned. This area of some 30 million mu (15 mu is equal
to 1 hectare) of natural forest has been protected since the
implementation of Natural Forest Protection Program (NFPP). At the
beginning of NFPP, Xinjiang reduced logging to 80 000 cubic metres from
300 000 cubic metres. Now a total ban will be introduced in 2005 in order to
protect the original forest where valuable Schrenk Spruce grows.
recent yars Xinjiang has develops plantations and has around 26 million mu
(2.4 times more than that in 1997) of plantations and more commercial
timber will come from the plantations in the future.
rapid increase in the area of plantations is driving the development the
timber processing industry. Xinjiang has over 3,800 timber
processing enterprises with an annual production of around 1.2 million
some Shanghai, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang's timber processing
enterprises producing high value-added products relocated to Xinjiang and
production is sold to Asia, Europe and some domestic provinces.
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