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Impacts of Industrial Forestry Plantations in Local Communities : Case of Guangxi, China

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Title: Impacts of Industrial Forestry Plantations in Local Communities : Case of Guangxi, China
Author(s): Fernández Castellano, Juan
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Forest Sciences
Discipline: Forest Economics and Marketing
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2020
Since the 1990s, globalization effects have driven forest investments to developing economies, establishing industrial plantations of Eucalyptus in areas such as Guangxi in China. The different ecosystem services, from which local communities benefit, are facing deterioration. This happens partly due to the replacement of natural forests for industrial commercial plantations. Previous research has shown that the establishment of such plantations has both positive and negative effects on the environment and the livelihoods of rural communities. Nevertheless, the local communities’ perspective is lacking in most of these studies. The research surrounding the villagers and their perceptions is especially relevant in the case of China, where land cannot be bought by private companies and has to be leased from either the state or individual household collectives. This study firstly aims to identify how are demographic variables (gender factor, age and education level) likely to affect the decision to lend land to the forest company in a tree plantation area. Secondly, the study examines how people’s perception of changes, which occurred in the ecosystem services after the establishment of the forest plantations, varies according to these demographic variables. Responses to a qualitative questionnaire to 70 residents were used for the research. The results indicate that men are more likely to lease land than women. Besides, men and women perceive the changes in the ecosystem services in a different way. Such disparity can be explained by the differentiated role that women play in forest activities in China comparing to men.
Keyword(s): Ecosystem services Industrial plantation Rural livelihoods development Guangxi

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