Course:FRST370/Projects/Huangshan Mountain community forest: a community developed by tourism and understory products

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The case study is about Huangshan, which is in Huangshan City, Anhui province, China. Some geographical, social and cultural information is introduced. It uses a lot of documents to illustrate tenure transmission and purchasing. An introduction of the evolution of tenure due to the historic and political changes in China is also included. What's more, the development of the local economy through non-timber production and tourism industry are also narrated. Stakeholders from local and outside Huangshan are other key points of the case study. Some typical examples of co-management between local government, financing institutions and local residents are mentioned in the case study. This article will also discuss the problems of the collective forest rights reform system.


Huangshan in China

Huangshan, in the southernmost part of Anhui province, is located in the subtropical monsoon climate zone with high mountains and deep valleys. The climate is vertically changing, and local topography plays a leading role in the climate. High humidity and much precipitation form a special mountain monsoon climate where there is no chilly winter or hot summer. Evergreen broad-leaved forest is the most common in Huangshan. Meanwhile, the soil type is a mix of laterite and loess, which is very suitable for farming, such as delicacies and tea. The ecological system of Huangshan is stable and balanced. The flora community is complete and vertically distributed. The forest coverage rate of the scenic spot is 84.7%, and the vegetation coverage rate is 93.0%. Huangshan is also an ideal place for animals to live and breed. These various natural factors contribute to today's Huangshan with abundant non-timber forest products and developed tourism.

A glimpse of Huangshan forestry present situation is quite necessary, which can help to have a profound understanding of its development. Huangshan city is a key forest region of anhui province. The city's woodland area of 12.49 million Mu, accounting for 86% of the total area of the city. In 2015, it was awarded the title of "national forest city" by the state forestry administration.(Huangshan Ministry of Forestry,2015)

Institutionally, Reform of forestry bodies was basically completed. Data show that the task of "clarifying property rights and contracting to households" has been basically completed in all sample counties. First, the reform has been intensified year by year. The proportion of forestland managed by individual households increased from 79.71% in 2009 to 85.48% in 2011, while the proportion of forestland managed by collective households decreased from 9.34% in 2009 to 8.82% in 2011. The proportion of forestland area that farmers participate in forest reform increased from 91.39% and 93.06%. in 2009 meanwhile the proportion of forestland area that they have the right to demarcate increased from 97.72% to 98.83% in 2011. The proportion of issuing the forest right certificate for contracted forest land reached 88.96%. Second, farmers' rights and interests have been further protected. Farmers' autonomy in managing forestland and their right to dispose of trees are fully protected. The right of forestland operators to profit is guaranteed. According to the sampling village questionnaire, the annual income from diverse industries of forestry has increased from 19.2 million Yuan to 27.1 million Yuan, whose annual growth is approximately 10%. According to statistics, the area of forest rights transfer has reached 107,000 Mu. Also the reform of forest rights has also led to a significant increase in farmers' income. For example, the price of Moso Bamboo has increased from 24 Yuan to 29 Yuan per Dan. Meanwhile, the price of timber increased from 520 Yuan/m3 to 750 Yuan/m3 (Shen, L, 2016). It is true that the income of famers increased a lot after the forestry right reform, it is also true that the price of timber rose. Actually, the reason for increasing income largely is not because of the rising price of the timber and bamboo. According to Wangcan’s study, With the development of bamboo processing industry in recent years, the market demand for bamboo has increased sharply, which also makes the price of the master appear the trend of continuous increase, prompting farmers to continuously increase various inputs into the bamboo forest. (Shen, L, 2006) )According to the survey, the average bamboo sales income of farmers in different years is not significantly different. In other words, the reform of the collective forest right system has no significant impact on farmers' bamboo sales revenue. In terms of timber selling, it is almost the same situation. In fact, the latest round of forest right reform, through the collective forest right system reform, farmers can not only obtain new production conditions but also improve their enthusiasm for production. 

Tenure arrangements

Tenure arrangements. Describe the nature of the tenure: freehold or forest management agreement/arrangements, duration, etc.

Chinese forest right reform was closely related to land right reform. China's rural land system reform can be divided into three periods. The first period was from the early days of the communist party to the founding of the country (1 921 ~ 1 953 years). At that time, the land system was "owned by the individual farmers, and the family owned the main economic camp".The second period was from the beginning of the movement for the cooperation of agriculture to the eleventh congress of the communist party of China (1953 ~ 1978). At that time, the land system was "owned by the collective of labour groups, which unified the economic management".After 1978, the rural land system was "owned by labour groups and collectives, and the family contracted the economic camp".Have a general overview of Chinese forest and land reform, Collective forest right reform is a part of the rural land reform process (Jianfei.X, 2015). Historically, China's collective forest rights reform can be divided into two phases. The first round of reform is from 1981 to 1986 -- "three determinations of forestry" reform. "Three determinations of forestry" is the forestry development policy that stabilizes hill authority forest, delimit to stay hill and decide forestry production responsibility system. In 1981, the state formulated the policy of "three determinations of forestry". In 1985, the state opened up the timber market and people can sell timber, before this, the whole country's timber is unified in purchasing and marketing. The second round of reform started in 2000. The distinctive feature of this period is that many rights and interests of peasants were protected in the form of policies and laws. Apart from the features of regularization and legalization, this reform has some other features. Provincial laws and regulations are recognized by the state. In addition, "Village-level decision-making" has brought about diversified reform results. Decisions at the village level are made by the villagers themselves which made the policy fit the local situation better. What’s more, farmers' rights have been enhanced, and they have acquired richer management rights on forest rights and the right to inherit, transfer and mortgage forest rights. Nowadays,forest ownership in China can be divided into state ownership, collective ownership and individual ownership of trees.

Administrative arrangements

In Anhui province, some more detailed laws and regulations are been formulated for communities. People's Governments at or above the county level shall register and put on record the use of forests, trees and lands owned by the state according to law, and issue certificates of forest ownership after verification. In the case of collectively-owned forests, trees and woodlands, or the use of collectively-owned forests, trees and woodlands in accordance with law. Individuals or groups that own woodlands are entitled to transfer, exchange, gift and inheritance. The contractor can transfer part or all of the right to the contracted management of rural land by subcontracting, leasing or buying shares according to law. While the contractual relationship between the contractor and the employer shall remain unchanged, and the rights and obligations of both parties shall remain unchanged. The right to the contracted management of land acquired by means of transfer or exchange may be transferred according to law by subcontracting, leasing, exchanging, transferring and other means in accordance with the provisions of laws and state policies after it has registered and obtained the certificate of the right to the contracted management of land according to law.(Linsheng, L,(2016)

Affected Stakeholders

All those laws and reform contributed to the development of Huangshan, the most affected people are local residents. The undergrowth economy develops rapidly. Forest tourism, forest medicine, forest bacteria, forest tea, forest grain, forest oil, forest vegetables, forest fruits, forest birds, forest grazing and other business models have emerged. Nowadays, the district has 14,000 people engaged in the undergrowth economy, operating area of 8,000 hm2. At present, China's forestry is in the third stage of, rapid development, historical period (from 2004 to now). During this period, the pace of forestry scale enlarging was significantly accelerated, the reform of forestry property rights system was further implemented, the non-public ownership of forestry flourished, and the industrialization of forest resources grew with it. Through the development of non-timber forest economy, the industrialization and large-scale process of forestry have been vigorously promoted. Many farmers' forestry professional cooperatives have been organized successively(would be introduced in Discussion ).

Huangshan Tourism
Dense fog over Huangshan (Unsplash).jpg

Another important economic pillar in Huangshan is its developed tourism. Due to the special terrain condition, there are many unique peaks and grotesque stones, which can provide a wonderful preponderance for its basic tourism. But nowadays, diverse forms of tourism appear and contribute to the development of Huangshan. Huangshan scenic spot is located in the territory of Huangshan district. The most direct and effective way to protect Huangshan is to rely on the people around the scenic spot. The role they can play is crucial to the eternal cause of protecting Huangshan. In 1983, the Anhui provincial government decided to reform the management system of Huangshan by expanding the jurisdiction of Huangshan scenic spot administration bureau. (, (2001)Before 1984, Huangshan’s economy of economic development focused on non-timber forest product farming and timber selling. After 1984, a detailed analysis of the local advantage of tourism resources was made and the strategy of developing tourism, manufacture and agriculture at the same time base on the unique position. (Beijing International MBA, 2018).)In 1985, the number of tourists soared to 1.6 million, and 266 million yuan was introduced into the area. With the rapid development of tourism on the mountain, people in the villages and towns under the mountain also have the opportunity to make money, which has greatly aroused their enthusiasm to protect and develop the Huangshan. The surrounding villages and towns that relied on the sale of wood in the past, made a living in tourism after that, knowing that the protection of trees, development of tourism can also make money. Therefore, starting from the overall situation of protecting the tourism development of Huangshan mountain, they allocated 126,000 Mu of collective mountain field to scenic spot (accounting for 54.5% of the total area of Huangshan scenic spot) for unified management, so as to expand the protection zone of Huangshan mountain. This properly solved the mountain forest dispute with Huangshan scenic spot which had been left for decades. In addition, the villages and towns also set up a voluntary fire brigade, a fire alarm, immediately out. In recent years, there has been no fire accident or deforestation in Huangshan scenic area. In recent years, there has been no fire accident or deforestation in Huangshan scenic area. It is true that the new strategy provides with economic benefit, however, there is still an obvious gap between Huangshan current situation and its economic development strategy. Sightseeing tour is the dominant tourism form, which leads to the short dwell time and insufficient consumption ability. Dwell time of domestic tourists is 1.4 days on average and that of foreign tourists is 1.57 days between 1991 and 1993. Tourists' consumption is mainly based on accommodation and diet, while shopping consumption is limited. In previous years, fiscal revenue is still mainly from the forest timber and tea production. (Lin, L,(1997)The jobs created by tourism are still not enough. The reasons are various, but tourists' expenditure is limited, the city's small economic scale and weak economic foundation are the main reasons. Nowadays, Huangshan is trying to develop eco-tourism. Many farmers turn to investigate in the holiday village. They provide accommodation and organic food they grow which attract a lot of tourists from all over the world due to the perfect natural conditions and the famous Huizhou culture. They also combine the farm life and leisure. There are several forms of vocational village. The first kind is living in barn, doing farm work and tasting farm food, which is also the most popular and typical one, such as Huang Village. The second kind is celebrating local festivals and `experiencing local customs. The third kind is purchasing local farming products and handmade articles. Due to the urbanization and isolation in city life, this kind of new tourism form is getting more and more popular.

Interested Stakeholders

Social actors (stakeholders, user groups) who are interested stakeholders, outside the community, their main relevant objectives, and their relative power

Due to the forestland can be transfered and exchanged, forest land is not only a a piece of land but also a form of commodity and currency. Therefore, forest land can also become a form of capital for mortgages. At the end of 2006, Huangshan Forestry Bureau and District Rural Credit Cooperative (later renamed as Rural Cooperative Bank) began to explore the mortgage loan for forest rights. Since 2009, the major Banks and mortgage companies in Huangshan district have successively developed the business of forest right mortgage. By the end of 2014, 300 mortgages for forest rights had been handled, with more than 400 million loans for forest rights mortgages. (Jiawei.Z, 2015). The forest ownership and use right of timber forest, economic forest and firewood forest and the use right corresponding forest land can all be used as collateral. The mortgage loan for forest rights mainly meets the financial needs of farmers and other entities in forestry production and management, cultivation and development of forest resources, economic development under forest and forest product processing. The innovation of forest right mortgage business lies in that it breaks the single pattern that bank loan mortgage is dominated by real estate for a long time.The introduction of the woodland use right and the ownership of trees as a new type of collateral makes the forest resources into assets that can be mortgaged and realized. (Jiangnan Forest Exchange, 2018)


A discussion of the aims and intentions of the community forestry project and your assessment of relative successes or failures. You should also include a discussion of critical issues or conflicts in this community and how they are being managed

In Huangshan, the local government and provincial government did help local people a lot. It is a successful example of Chinese forest right reform. Now, local farmers make some money through selling non-timber forest products, tourism, and investment. Forestry professional cooperative becomes the driving force of non-timber forest product economic development. Oil tea is especially famous for Huangshan forest products. Take Tafang township oil tea cooperative as an example. In this professional cooperative, the organization provides members with market information and purchasing production materials. Not only that but also the organization introduces new varieties, new technologies, organizations and comfortable counselling and training. The Professional Cooperative carries out standardized production and brand management. For cooperative members, they have the freedom to join and out and the right to transfer shares to people who are in the Professional Cooperative or outsiders. Members need to pay stock capital but can get the year-end surplus distribution of the cooperative. The member meetings are held regularly to formulate development plans, rules, and regulations. In this kind of professional cooperatives, farmers can exploit their resources better through systematic producing. Meanwhile, they can join in different non-timber forest production professional cooperatives with similar features. In this way, it can not only increase farmers' output, but also have brand effect.

In terms of vacation village, due to local feeble economic foundation, Huangshan's vacation village scale is not big. Vacation villages mostly run by local farmers. There are problems such as a single business model and insufficient investment in hardware facilities. In 2015, the Huangshan Government Tourism Association and Saving Banks lent 50 million Yuan to various resorts to accelerate the development of rural tourism, which will drive farmer to increase income and promote the sale of agricultural products.


Your assessment of the relative power of each group of social actors, and how that power is being used

Huangshan people, Huangshan government and financial institutions cooperate with each other. Farmers who own forest rights may engage in economic activities such as transfer, exchange and sale in forest rights exchanges.At the same time, they can also mortgage their forest rights in the bank. Forestland changed from a piece of land before forest right reform and became a kind of economic symbol. Local farmers can benefit from eco-tourism which is supported by local government. This also reduces the deforestation by farmers, which protects the local forest ecological resources and thus has a positive impact on the tourism industry.


Your recommendations about this community forestry project

It is necessary to recognize that rural communities are by no means utopias. In China, the basic conflicts of rural society are all highly related to the rural land system. Establishing the land system and forest land system based on family management is the necessary way to promote the sustainable development of Chinese rural areas.

In terms of forest right mortgage loan, due to long duration of afforestation project, great natural influence to forests, great investment in early stage, and unfit insurance system, it is suggested to extend the term of forestry loan, reduce the fluctuation of loan interest rate, and increase the discount interest of forestry loan by governments at all levels.

As for non-timber forest product farming, developing undergrowth economy is a systematic project, which needs to provide an organizational guarantee at all levels. In addition to strengthening organizational leadership, governments at all levels should accelerate the cultivation of economic cooperatives under forests, professional associations and other social service organizations to improve the degree of organization of forest farmers. Huangshan should vigorously promote the industrialization development mode of "leading enterprises + professional cooperatives + bases + farmers"(Huangshan City Collective Forest Tenure Reform Office, 2008)

Huangshan should actively develop forestry cooperative economic organizations, guide and support the establishment of specialized forestry cooperative organizations of farmers, family cooperative forestry farms, joint-stock cooperative forestry farms and other organizations.

Some more non-government organizations also necessary to establish.


Beijing International MBA. (2018). Review of China's collective forest rights reform and its performance evaluation.  Retrieved from

Huangshan City Collective Forest Tenure Reform Office,(2008),The reform of collective forest right system is required, Briefing on Reform of forest tenure system in Huangshan City,8,1-2,Retrieved from Huangshan Ministry of Forestry,(2015), General Situation of Forestry Reform and Development in Huangshan City, Retrieved from

Jianfei.X. (2015). Review and prospect of the research on the change of rural land system in China. Journal of Guangzhou University,14(7),54-60. doi:1671-394X(2015)07-0054-07

Jiangnan Forest Exchange. (2018], May 15). 2018 forest right mortgage loan policy. Retrieved from

Jiawei.Z. (2015). Present situation analysis and countermeasures of forest right mortgage loan in huangshan district, huangshan city, anhui province. Beijing Agriculture. 9. 103-104.

Lin, L.,(1997),Economic effects of tourism regions: Case Study of Huangshan City, Anhui Province. Journal of Nanjing University,2,53-59. Retrieved from

Linsheng, L(2016) ,The Establishment and Practice of the Innovation Mechanism of Forest Property Transfer in Huangshan District,

Anhui Agricultural Science Bulletin,18,doi: [null 1007-7731(2016)18-0093-02]

Ministry of Agriculture of China, Rural Land Contracting Management Right Transfer Management Measures, C1,4,5(2005) .Retrieved from

Shen, L., (2006)] ,Forest Reform, Spring Breeze, Fushan Township: A Glimpse of Collective Forest Tenure System Reform in Huangshan District, Jianghuai,6,6-6, Retrieved from

Sohu Huangshan, (2018), Qimen, Huangshan build the Chinese medicine production, study and research base. Retrieved from (2001).] Who should be in charge of Huangshan scenic spot? Retrieved from

Standing Committee of Anhui Provincial People's Congress, Anhui Forest Property Management Regulations,C1(2013). Retrieved from

Hongkai Qiu 2018

Seekiefer (Pinus halepensis) 9months-fromtop.jpg
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