Seminar13 Mar 2013 - Sesion 1 - Forest transition in Mekong_ by Xu Jianchu


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China initiated the largest forest conservation programs in the world. Chinese forest policies also contributed to increasing forest/tree cover in Yunnan province, Southwest China. We mapped forest cover in Yunnan, Mekong region using satellite imagery. We reconstructed the forest transition curve through narratives since the Great Leap Forward that started in 1958, as well as data from socioeconomic census since 1990s. Our results suggest that the increase in tree cover at the end of the last century was initiated by government policies that encompass regulative approaches as well as incentive payments for tree planting on sloping land, as well as market-driven plantation economy. Local trajectories of forest cover change hence resulted from a combination of exogenous policy-induced incentive payments and endogenous adaptation of land use strategies to changing market conditions. While policies facilitated the increase of tree cover in Yunnan, the degradation of natural forests often continued unabated. Local differences in factor endowments and the uneven geographic distribution of policy support contributed to considerable variation in the pathways to the forest transition, the shape of the forest transition curve, and the environmental and economic outcomes among villages. A better understanding of these processes is paramount to design incentive schemes that stimulate sustainable land use transitions.

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Seminar13 Mar 2013 - Sesion 1 - Forest transition in Mekong_ by Xu Jianchu

  1. 1. Forest Transition in Mekong River Basin: State-led or Smallholder-driven? Jianchu XU, Principle Ecologist World Agroforestry Centre
  2. 2. Forest in Mekong Region (1990-2010)8 million ha Net forest loss12.7 million ha Natural forest lost4.7 million ha Plantation (tree crops) Source: FAO 2010
  3. 3. Existing land cover products for the Mekong River Basin Global map products No regional specific classes Less appropriate for local/basin scale land cover analyses GlobCover 2009 MODIS land cover 2011 Slide 3
  4. 4. Definition of physiographic homogenous subregionsPrecipitation Land Cover ElevationWorldClim MODIS Land Cover SRTM DEM Segmentation + + 6 Physiographic Slide 4 Homogenous Subregions
  5. 5. Biophysical Profile
  6. 6. I. Tibetan Plateau
  7. 7. Tibetan Plateau Ecosystem Changes 2011-2075 • Alpine grasslands 23%---9.5% (decreasing) • Shrublands 11%---29% (increasing)Zhao et al. 2011. Reg Environ Change 11(4): 905-915
  8. 8. II. Greater-Rivers: Lancang in Yunnan
  9. 9. III. Xishuangbanna and Mekong Highland
  10. 10. IV. Mekong Lowland
  11. 11. V. Intensive Cultivation
  12. 12. Tonle Sap LakeVI. Tonle Sap/Mekong Delta Mekong Delta
  13. 13. Mangrove in Mekong DeltaVo et al., 2013. Remote Sens 5:183-201
  14. 14. What drives forest transition?
  15. 15. What does global change mean for forest ecosystem?  Land use/cover change 25~30%  Climate Change +emission —sequestration water temperatureSource: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  16. 16. What are roles of states?
  17. 17. Time Triggers Scenarios 2020 Peri-Urbanization Urbanization 2010 Climate change mitigation Secured Forest Rights 2006 Collective Forest Tenure Reform in 2006 2000 Grain for green in 1999 State payment for env. service Logging ban in 1998 “Wasteland auction” in 1994 Economic booming,1990s env. Degradation & Forestland Three Fixing in 1982 Emerging forest rights1980s Establishing Natural Reserves in 1981 De-collectivization in 1978 Township/village1970s enterprise Food Self-Sufficiency1960s Collective period: “Great Leap Forward” Food First1950s Chinese Policy Narratives
  18. 18. Does market drive forest transition?
  19. 19. Kunming-Bangkok Highway
  20. 20. Transboundary resource flows • Water • Fish & wildlife • Timber • Energy • Can be natural, disrupted or ‘assisted’ – Disruption of fish migration by hydropower dams – Illegal trade in wildlife or timber 21
  21. 21. Forest cover change in China Great Household Leap Responsibility Yangtze Goal: Goal: Forward System Flood 2009 23% 26% 25 20 Turning point in 1981: 12% forest cover Goal reached: 15 20% by 2010 10 1958 1981 1998 2009 2020 2050Sources: Zhang (1949); Forestry Surveys (1976-2009); Forestry Ministry (2020, 2050)
  22. 22. Greater Rivers in NW Yunnan: alpine forest
  23. 23. Policy and climate interplay
  24. 24. Priced mushroom asagent for foresttransition:Vegetation/fungalsuccession
  25. 25. Xishuangbanna, Upper Mekong
  26. 26. From shifting cultivator from smallholder rubber farmers 87,000 ha 153,000 ha 424,000 ha (18.3%) Nature Reserve: 242,000 ha, 12.6%Xu et al. 2013 Ecological Indicators
  27. 27. Respondent reported main livelihood activity
  28. 28. Sharing/Sparing MoreMore protectedagroforestry? areas?
  29. 29. Forest transition pathways in Yunnan→ State-initiated forest programs o Regulative, top-down reforestation (NFPP) o Incentive-based afforestation (SLCP)→ More recently, voluntary planting of cash trees o Increasing market-orientation of small farmers o Little government support, in part driven by companies
  30. 30. Key Lessons1. The forest transition in Yunnan was set off by government policies.2. Plantation forests or tree crops contribute largest share to forest increase.3. Increasing tree cover might have little contribution to environmental services particularly watershed function and biodiversity4. Endogenous socioeconomic dynamics become increasingly pertinent for land use transitions.
  31. 31. CIFOR-ICRAF MekongSentinel LandscapePay attention to foresttransition in Yunnan(Greater Rivers) andMekong highlands!
  32. 32. ThanksXu Jianchu, email: