CCFP site in Guangxi province/ N. Hogarth/2014


China’s Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program (CCFP) also known as Grain for Green or the Sloping Land Conversion Program, is the world’s largest program on converting cropland to forest involving more than 20 million hectares of land, over 32 million rural households and an investment of more than USD 40 billion. Launched in 1999, the origin program’s objective is to restore vegetation on sloping croplands and lands classified as wasteland or barren land used by smallholder farmers. The original intention of CCFP was to reduce flooding and soil erosion. The scope of the program has been extended to poverty alleviation and economic development in line with the emerging focus of the national poverty reduction strategy. The program can be conceptualized as an afforestation program or a large scale forest payment for ecosystem services (PES) scheme with a compensatory approach towards upstream areas inhabited but economically less advantage populations who play a key role in providing downstream users with forest ecosystem services. Through a large scale conversion of land use (from sloping cropland into forestland) and economic reorientation (from on farm towards off farm sector) in upstream areas, the CCFP is designed to provide ecosystem goods and services for upstream populations and in the long run to downstream populations. The program has been run for 15 years and implemented in 25 provinces including 1,897 counties. Since its implementation, the project has been monitored and assessed to evaluate its socio-economic and environmental impacts. Monitoring and evaluation is conducted by the Forestry Economics and Development Research of People’s Republic of China (FEDRC), which also assesses other key forestry programs in China

CIFOR’s SLANT team is working with the FEDRC to evaluate the monitoring program through advanced analyses of the data already collected and field-tested through surveys at the household, village, county and provincial levels in the four provinces of SW China: Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan. In addition to field tested in Southwest China, a systematic evaluation of the program’s impacts on socioeconomic and environmental outcomes will be conducted. The objective of the review is to provide evidence from literature that could be used to actively inform the CCFP’s design and future implementation.

The objectives of the project:

  1. To evaluate and provide input to the FEDRC systems used to monitor and evaluate the CCFP (identify gaps in survey design, methods and analysis and help fill the gaps)
  2. To analyze the efficacy of the CCFP in meeting is social and environmental goals in the fisrt 1o years since implementation (phase 1)
  3. To determine preliminary impacts and emerging trends related to Phase 2 implementation of the CCFP on land use, livelihood and the environment
  4. To develop household and landscape level models to analyze the response (in terms of land use, livelihood and environment) to the CCFP policies and provide policy consultations to decision makers
  5. To strengthen institutional ties between CIFOR and key Chinese forestry research institutes