Lin'an Model Forest

(From 2000 to 2003, the Linan Model Forest developed through core support provided by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and an FAO/IMFNS Regional Model Forest Project)

Country: China
Location: Zheijiang Province, approximately three hours west of Shanghai
Year joined IMFN: 1999
Area of Model Forest: 312 000 hectares
Regional affiliation: Regional Model Forest Network for Asia

Contact information

1. Dr. Jiang Chunquian, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 10091, China
2. Tang Mingrong, Lin'an Forestry Bureau, Lin'an of Zhejing 311300, China
Phone: 86-10-62889093, 86-571-63722262
Fax: 86-10-62888345, 86-571-63731575

Forest resource profile

Dominant species include Chinese fir, pine, bamboo, hickory, and broad-leaved trees. Approximately 75 per cent of the land is forested, predominately mountainous. Standing volume is approximately 5.2 million m3. Commercial stands occupy 95 000 hectares, bamboo plantations 29 000 hectares, and fuel wood, 17 000 hectares. Intensive plantation development has been introduced to take pressure off of natural forests.

Of a population of over one-half million, approximately 400 000 people inhabit rural areas. The area includes 39 towns and townships and 662 villages. The lowland agricultural areas are very productive, particularly in canola, which was introduced from Canada through a CIDA/IDRC project. Many highly scenic areas in the mountains are readily accessible, including an historically significant Buddhist temple.

Economic profile

In the late 1980s, the people and government of Lin'an County realized that their timber-dependent economy was being adversely affected by continuing forest loss and degradation. They began to look to non-wood forest products (NWFPs), such as hickory nuts and bamboo products as an alternate source of livelihood. One of the first areas in China to take advantage of long-term land leases, a form of semi-privatization that allows farmers to plant and manage according to their individual choices. The area subsequently became one of the most successful forestry districts in China, particularly for bamboo shoot production.

Why a Model Forest?

Adverse ecological impacts of bamboo monoculture and ecotourism inadequately addressed; inadequate information documentation and dissemination among local stakeholders; lack of updated scientific and technical information and facilities.

Main partners

  • Chinese Academy of Forestry
  • Zheijian Forestry College
  • Linan Forestry Bureau
  • 28 partners in total (farmers, cooperatives, producers, etc.)

Strategic goal

To test and demonstrate the best available approach to sustainable forest management relating to innovative governance and techniques.

Accomplishments to date

  • Establishment of Lin'an Model Forest Partnership Cooperation Committee, with over 33 partners or partner groups
  • One of China's leading demonstration areas in SFM
  • Development of 10 new ecotourism sites attracting more than 2 million visitors per year with earnings of US$121 million
  • Training in high-yield edible bamboo shoot and hickory farming techniques: more than 5 000 people, mainly farmers, have been trained
  • Review of forest policy changes and impacts on forest and land use practices
  • Active supportive role in the introduction of the Model Forest concept to co-participants in the region
  • Active pursuit of networking opportunities outside of China

Lin'an is now the bamboo producing hub of China and is the first Model Forest in a proposed national network of Model Forest sites.