TRI’s project in China is working to improve the ecological health of state-owned forest farms (SFFs), to ensure that they provide long-term, sustainable ecosystem services, including clean water, soil productivity and stability, and carbon sequestration. There are 4,855 SFFs in China, which together employ 750,000 people and cover 77 million ha or 8% of the total land area of China. Around 45 million ha of this total is forest land.
Historically, these SFFs have been managed using a narrow set of objectives and practices (e.g. timber production through monocultural tree plantations). These and other factors have, in some areas, led to soil and land degradation and fragmented forests, with declines in the quality and quantity of ecosystem services.
Together with the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, TRI’s project in China is working at three different sites and seven SFFs to pilot new approaches to management, including restoration. If successful, lessons from these experiences will be scaled up and incorporated in the management plans of the broader network of SFFs.