Seeding Reforestation: What Drives Forest Expansion in China?
Tropical forest destruction has been the subject of a great deal of research. Relatively little work has been done on the factors that lead to the expansion of forest land and help counter some of the negative impacts of tropical forest loss. The study, which looked at the Chinese province of Hainan, found that a wide range of socio-economic factors such as timber prices, population growth and land-management regimes have been leading to rainforest exploitation but also encouraging investment in forest plantations. Because the study found that managed forests and natural forests respond differently to such key developmental pressures, its authors concluded that it is vital for any evaluation of forestland development to analyze the two forest types separately. In particular, the study found that deforestation resulting from agriculture and industrial expansion - driven in part by population growth - was not as a big a problem as the forest loss resulting from the inadequate or non-active management of land. In light of these findings, the study finds recommended that public intervention to protect rainforests be encouraged.
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