Has China's Natural Forest Protection Program Protected Forests?--Heilongjiang's Experience

Miaoying Shi; Jiaguo Qi; Runsheng Yin
October 2016
Forests (19994907);Oct2016, Vol. 7 Issue 10, p218
Academic Journal
Since the late 1990s, China has been implementing one of the largest ecological restoration initiatives in not only the country but also the world--the Natural Forest Protection Program (NFPP). An overarching question is how severe the regional deforestation had become before the NFPP was initiated and whether the forest condition in the protected area has significantly improved afterwards. The goal of this study was to assess the land use and land cover changes (LULCC) and the interplays between different land uses in northeast China from the late 1970s to 2013. Classification results were validated through accuracy assessments using the rule-based rationality evaluation scheme and the spatially balanced sampling method. It was found that the regional forestland suffered significant and persistent decline, about 20.4% loss, before 2000 when the NFPP was launched; thereafter, however, the forestland became gradually stabilized and reforestation became more prevalent. Further examination based on extended conversion matrixes revealed that the largest proportional decline came from wetland, instead of forestland, due to farmland encroachment.


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