Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Secure right of usage more important than ownership to China's forest farmers

18.02.2009
What do poor forest farmers want from China's ongoing forest land reform?

Well, it is not private ownership of the land that makes them invest. What Chinese farmers value most and what attracts them to investments that can raise their standard of living and contribute to sustainable forestry is secure rights of usage, as shown by Ping Qin's doctoral thesis in economics at the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

In China, forestry is undergoing reform aimed at giving the right to manage forests to individual households instead of collectively to villages. Many studies have shown that the efficiency of forestry improves when the forest is managed by individual families instead of by collectives.

Privatisation, i.e., if ownership should also be transferred from the village to the individual family, is a question that is under constant discussion among researchers and politicians in China.

Western economists usually claim that private land ownership leads to more efficient utilisation of natural resources. Privatisation of land is therefore also believed to solve environmental problems. Chinese supporters of privatisation agree with this.

Their opponents claim quite the opposite that the gains from privatising land would be small. Privatisation would not benefit Chinese forest farmers and their investments, as they enjoy greater security under collective ownership and individual right of usage.

"What farmers themselves want and consider they need is often ignored by researchers and decision-makers, even though this is of great importance to the success of a reform," says Ping Qin.

Ping Qin therefore let farmers from 11 villages in one of China's poorest provinces, Guizhou, take part in an experiment to find out what they considered most important in a forestry contract.

The farmers value well-established rights of usage most. They want to avoid the risk of their land contract being terminated, they want priority rights when renewing their contract, and they do not want to wait more than a year to be allocated a harvest quota. These factors increase their willingness to invest in their forestry. Privatisation, i.e., that they would own the forest individually, is not seen as important.

"So far, the farmers in our study do not see any benefits from privatisation. Decentralisation of the power over the forest is important, however, to strengthen their rights of usage," says. Ping Qin.

Ping Qin has also studied China's regulation of forest harvesting, which aims to preserve forest. The effect of the harvest quotas is uncertain, as Ping Qin's research shows. The current regulation policy reduces the farmers' willingness to invest, which in turn reduces the growth of timber. The future end result may therefore be a decrease instead of an increase in the total forest area.

In another study in the thesis, Ping Qin looks at the relationship of power between the husband and wife in rural households with regard to joint decisions involving risk. The husband has greater influence over joint decisions, but the wife's influence increases when she has a higher income and more years of education than her husband, and she is a member of the Communist Party. Better opportunities for women to educate themselves and contribute to the household income would therefore increase gender equality in China.

The thesis has been carried out with support from Sida's capacity-building programme in environmental economics.
Time and place of the public defence of the doctoral thesis: Fri, 13 Feb at 10 am, room D 33, GU, School of Business, Economics and Law, Vasag 1, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Title of thesis: "Risk, relative Standing and Property Rights: Rural Household Decision-Making in China". Link to page with abstracts and all the articles in the thesis.

Author of thesis: Ping Qin

For more information, contact: Ping Qin +46 (0)31 786 46 67 qin.ping@economics.gu.se
Supervisor: Fredrik Carlsson
+46 (0)31 786 41 74, 0709 27 70 97
fredrik.carlsson@economics.gu.se and Håkan Eggert
+46 (0)31 786 41 75, 0705 24 36 10
hakan.eggert@economics.gu.se
Press information:
Karin Backteman
+46 (0)31 786 25 95
karin.backteman@economics.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se/
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/19159

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Microjet generator for highly viscous fluids
13.02.2018 | Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

nachricht Sweet route to greater yields
08.02.2018 | Rothamsted Research

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Japanese researchers develop ultrathin, highly elastic skin display

19.02.2018 | Information Technology

Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?

19.02.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>