Ecosystem Services, Industrial Plantations and Rural Livelihoods : Case of Guangxi, China

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Title: Ecosystem Services, Industrial Plantations and Rural Livelihoods : Case of Guangxi, China
Author: Cai, Dinglin
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Forest Sciences
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2016
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Marknadsföring av skogsprodukter
Forest Products Marketing
Abstract: Globalization has remarkably redirected the flows of global forestry investment to developing countries since early 1990s, several leading multinational forest companies have established a huge area of Eucalyptus plantations in the past decades in Guangxi, China. Previous studies show that the establishment of Eucalyptus plantations has both positive and negative effects on rural environment and communities’ livelihoods, but few of these studies have highlighted the local communities’ perspective. This study aims to assess how the local communities perceive ecosystem services and their livelihoods after the intense land use changes to provide a deeper understanding of the impacts for companies operating or investing in the region, moreover, it also aims to complement the previous studies on forest industry managers’ perception on plantation forestry and ecosystem services in the context of China. With the guidance of two qualitative questionnaires, 5 village-level and 80 villager-level semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data in villages near Eucalyptus plantations. The results indicate that from local communities’ perspective, the establishment of Eucalyptus plantations has degraded ecosystem services, especially soil fertility, water quantity and quality, the local livelihoods have been however diversified to some extent. Some managerial implications concerning community engagement are provided according to the findings so that the forest companies can achieve better business performance in Guangxi and similar areas in future.
Subject: ecosystem services
industrial plantation
rural livelihoods development

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