Two new publications including VITRI staff

China's cropland to forest & land use and governance

China’s Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program as a national PES scheme: Institutional structure, voluntarism and conditionality of PES

K. Zhang, Y. Artati, L. Putzel, C. Xie, N.J. Hogarth, J.N. Wang and J. Wang
International Forestry Review Vol.19(S4), 2017


China’s ‘Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program’ (CCFP) is one of the world’s largest national ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’ (PES) programs, with over 32 million rural households enrolled and 28 million ha converted to forest since 1999. Given the scale of the program and emerging interest in forest landscape restoration, the structure and function of implementation models is of interest. This study is based on key informant interviews tracing the structure and interactions among institutions for implementation of the CCFP from central government to provincial and sub-provincial scales in Yunnan Province. Data are used to analyze implementation arrangements for program planning, implementation and monitoring, and to identify features ensuring conditionality of PES payments. To assess the degree of voluntarism in enrolment, the study employs data from 87 household-level interviews in four southwestern provinces. Findings indicate that the CCFP system is designed to fulfil expectations of PES programs in  terms of conditionality and voluntary participation on the side of ecosystem service sellers.


From divide to nexus: Interconnected land use and water governance changes shaping risks related to water

Aleksi Räsänen, Anja Nygren, Adrián Monge Monge, Mira Käkönen, Markku Kanninen, Sirkku Juhola
Applied Geography


Land use changes have been recognized to have considerable impacts on water; and vice versa, changes in water use and governance may have implications on land use and governance. This study analyzes recent land use/ land cover (LULC) changes, and how changes in land use and water governance are perceived to affect land use and water-related risks in three case-study areas exposed to frequent flooding and inadequate or deteriorating water quality. The areas studied included the Vantaa basin in Finland, a section of the Grijalva basin in Mexico, and the Lower Xe Bang Fai basin in Laos. We show how there are complex and context-specific interrelationships between land use, water governance, and water-related risks in each study area. In a remote sensing analysis of LULC changes during the past 30 years, we found that LULC changes have been the most dramatic in Xe Bang Fai, Laos in the form of expanding agriculture and built-up areas; however, there has also been an expansion of built-up areas in the two other sites. According to our stakeholder scenario workshop data, analysis of policy documents and field visits, the nexus between land, water and risks is recognized to some extent in each study area. There have been modest shifts toward more integrated land use and water governance in Vantaa and Grijalva, while the integrated governance seems to have been most absent in Xe Bang Fai. Tighter integration of land and water policies is needed in all the three cases to manage the land use changes in a way that their effects on water-related risks will be minimized.