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The program of fast growing and high yielding timber plantation bases in key regions is one of the 6 major forestry programs in the new period. In July 2002, the State Planning Commission approved the “Program plan for fast growing and high yielding timber plantation bases in key regions” with the document of “Agriculture economy [2002] 1037). In August 1 of the same year, the State Forestry Administration organized the inception meeting, announcing the formal start of implementation of the program of fast growing and high yielding timber plantation bases.

According to the program plan approved by the State Planning Commission, following the principles of forest classification, based on existing fast growing and high yielding timber plantation bases, program sites were selected in the east of the 400 mm rainfall isoline, with priority on the east of 600 mm rainfall isoline where have favorable natural conditions and good site conditions (site index over 14 in principle), with gentle slopes, not subject to soil erosion and causing no impacts on ecological environment, the selected sites were located in tropical and south subtropical areas in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan and Fujian, north subtropical areas in the middle and lower reaches of Yangtze River, temperate areas in the middle and lower reaches of Yellow River (including Huai River, Hai River) and cold temperate areas in northeastern region and Inner Mongolia, specifically the program scope involved 1,000 counties (municipalities, districts) of 18 provinces (autonomous regions) of Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi, Shandong, Henan, Hunan, Hubei, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan and Yunnan.

2.6.1.1 Tasks of the program plan

The total task of the program was 13.33 million ha, including 5.86 million ha of plantation bases for pulp production, 4.97 million ha of plantations for wood based panels, 2.50 million ha of plantations for large-diameter timber, with a total investment of RMB 71.8 billion.

The program duration was 2001-2015, divided into 2 periods and 3 phases of implementation. The phase 1 was from 2001-2005, mainly focused on industrial plantations in the south, with a total area of 4.97 million ha. The phase 2 was from 2006-2010, with a total area of 9.2 million ha. The phase 3 will be from 2011-2015, a total of 13.33 million ha of fast growing and high yielding timber forests, complete the development of green industries of the fast growing and high yielding timber forests.

Calculated on an average annual growth of 15 m3/ha, when all the production bases are established, the annual supply of timber will be 133.37 million m3, which can support a capacity of pulp production of 13.86 million tons, wood based panels of 21.5 million m3 and large diameter logs of 15.79 million m3. The timber production can meet 40% of the total domestic timber demand, together with harvests from the existing forest resources, the domestic timber supply and demand tend to be balanced in general.

Relevant policies

Since the issuance of the “Notice on some advices on accelerating development of production bases for raw materials for paper industry” by the State Planning commission, the Ministry of Finance and the State Forestry Administration, especially the issuance of “Decision on accelerating forestry development by the central government” and the national forestry working meeting, further speeded up the adjustment and improvement of policies related to the fast growing and high yielding timber plantation development program, mainly in the following aspects:

1)Investment policy. The government provides a certain amount of financial assistance. This was explained in the document of the State Planning Commission approving the “Program plan for development of fast growing and high yielding timber plantation bases in key regions” and the document 9 of the central government. The funding provided by government will be mainly used for fire prevention, disease and pest control, and development and extension of superior seeds and planting stocks.

2)Provision of favorable policies of financial assistance. The fast growing and high yielding timber plantation development program was included in the policy-based loans from the government, extend the term of loan and soften the warranty conditions. In February 2004, the State Forestry Administration signed the “Agreement on developmental financial cooperation” with the State Development Bank. According to the agreement, the State Development Bank will provide a total of RMB 8 billion loan during the period from 2004-2005 for the major forestry programs, with focus on the fast growing and high yielding timber plantation development program in key regions and the integrated plantation and paper (plantation and panel) development program, providing steady financial support to the major national programs important for forestry industrial development and major technical renovation programs.

3)Resource management policies. Following the conception of classified forest management, the State Forestry Administration has issued documents earlier or later, to adjust and reform the policies on forest resource management in order to encourage and promote healthy development of the fast growing and high yielding plantation program. The State Forestry Administration issued “A notice on adjustment of management policies on harvesting of timber plantations (Forest resources doc. [2002] 191)” in 2002, and formulated “Advices on improving harvesting management of commercial plantations (Forest resources doc. [2003] 244)” in 2003, further releasing the harvesting restrictions on timber plantations.  

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