The Chinese government has launched a new wave of reform of collective forestland tenure, with a series of matching reform measures since 2003. The overall goals of these reforms were to increase peasants' income while enhancing sustainable forest resource management. Using a unique large-scale household dataset gathered over eight years, we examine the effects of the new collective forest reforms on peasants' income, labour input and investment for forestry purposes and forest resource management. After examining in detail a number of determinants, we find that the effects of these reforms are varied. Rural households have benefited from the reforms with increased income from forestry, at the expense of a greater degree of forest fragmentation. The NRCFT and the MRMs have not encouraged rural households to invest more for forestry purposes, due to a lack of institutionalized financial support to peasants. Well-designed mechanisms to forest investment in sustainable forest management are called for.
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Vol. 19 • No. 1