Measuring the socioeconomic impacts of China's Natural Forest Protection Program
China has been implementing one of the world s largest ecological rehabilitation projects, the Natural Forest Protection Program (NFPP), to improve its fragile and precarious environmental conditions. This paper measures the socioeconomic impacts of the NFPP using input output (I O) models. We find that the NFPP will expand the annual output of the forest sectors by 5.8 billion Yuan and the whole economy by 8.9 billion Yuan by 2010. Employment will increase by 0.84 million in the forest sectors and by 0.93 million in the whole economy. Associated with the enormous expansion of forest protection and management are huge contributions to mitigating water runoff, soil erosion, flooding, and biodiversity loss. The investments and adjustments are thus worthwhile, if the program is properly implemented. The challenges are to transform loggers into tree planters and forest managers and to ensure that the financial and institutional commitments by the local and national governments will be materialized.
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