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Figure 5 Before returning farmlands to forests in Tiebian Town, Wuqi County, Shaanxi Province, shot in 1984.

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Figure 6 After returning farmlands to forests in Tiebian Town, Wuqi County, Shaanxi Province

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Figure 7 In July, 2015, Kashi Forestry Bureau held a grant ceremony for returning farmland to forest in three towns and 100 households received RMB 431,800 grant. 

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Figure 8 On October 23, 2015, Wang Guizeng, a farmer from Maqunhougou Village, Duolun County, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, had a good harvest of Radix Isatidis with the support of Returning Farmland to Forest Project. He planted 300 mu Radix Isatidis with an income of RMB 180,000.

Conversion of Slope Farmland into Forests is a major ecological project with the biggest investment, the strongest policy, the most extensive coverage and the highest degree of public participation in China, even in the world.

For a long period of time, improper deforestation and farmland reclamation in steep slopes and sandy land have led to severe soil erosion and sand damage, and thus flood, drought, sand storm and other natural disasters occur frequently.

In 1999, Sichuan, Shanxi and Gansu provinces took a lead in carrying out the pilot project of Conversion of Slope Farmland into Forests; in 2002, the project was started completely and it was stipulated that the state provided foods, living subsidies and subsidies for seeds and saplings to farmers who returned farmlands; under the premise of ecological priority, the state helped the families that returned farmlands to enjoy forest ownership, management rights and the like of the abandoned farmlands.

The implementation of the project changes the traditional farming practices of reclaiming wastelands for farmlands from generation to generation, realizes the historical change of returning farmland to forest from deforestation for farmland reclamation, effectively curbs the trend of land desertification and ecological damage in China's fragile ecological environment and poor ecological conditions and promote the solutions to the "three rural"(agriculture, rural areas, and farmers) problems in the central and western regions.

In 2014, China launched a new round of returning cropland to forest and grass and planned to have returned about 42.4 million mu feasible croplands to forests and grasses by 2020, mainly 25 degree above sloping farmland, serious sandy land and 15 to 25 degree above sloping farmland in main water resources.

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