Topic 1: Forest Resource Policy

Background Information

In forestry practice, governments make policies which influence the way forest resources are developed, managed, and used. The primary objective of forest resource policies is to improve efficiency by affecting the rate and pattern of resource use. Other polices are motivated by distribution or equity considerations or a desire to manipulate community and regional growth. Whatever their primary purpose, all forms of policy intervention inevitably have implications for all three of the fundamental forms of economic impact, namely, the allocation of resources, the distribution of income and wealth, and economic stability and growth (Zhang & Pearse, 2011).

Forest resource policy is included in the curriculum of forestry major with much more contents. Here in this topic we will just introduce the foundations of forest resource policy and discuss forest policy in China. We will cover definition and function, types, and formulation of forest resource policies and look at the major forest resource protection and utilization polices implemented recently in China. We will focus on how the government commits to conserving and recovering forest resources by formulating and implementing a group of forestry ecological programs in China.

Video Lectures

View the following video lectures:

4.1.1 Definition and function of forest resource polices

4.1.2 Components of forest resource policy

4.1.3 Formulation of forest resource policy

4.1.4 Overview of forest resource policy in China

Additional Resources

  1. European Commission. (2015). EU forests and forest related policies. Retrieved from
    An introduction to European forest policy
  1. International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). (2010). Introduction to global forest policy. Retrieved from
    An introduction to the dynamics of global forestry policy taken from discussions at a series of international conferences and forums.
  1. Cubbage,F. W., O’laughlin, J., & Bullock, C.S. (1993). Forest resource policy. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.ISBN-13: 978-047162245; ISBN-10: 0471622451
    This textbook is designed to provide a synthesis of policy analysis frameworks, civics, and forest resource programs to help teach resource professionals about political processes and resource management. The textbook is intended for classes composed of upper-level undergraduate students or graduate students. The book also should serve as a standard reference for information on forest resource laws and programs.
  1. Ellefson,P. V. (1992). Forestresources policy: Process, participants, and programs. New York; Sydney: McGraw-Hill.
    The fundamental structure of this book is based on: the process by which forest resource polices are developed, implemented, and disposed of; the participants who trigger and energize the process; and examples of major forest resource policy and program initiatives which have resulted from the interaction of process and participants. The material presented here is designed for upper-level undergraduate and graduate-level courses.

Self-test for Topic 1

Reflection Questions:

  1. What is the definition of forest resource policy?
  2. What are key elements of forest resource policy?
  3. What are the instruments of forest resource policy?
  4. How do you categorize forest resource policies?
  5. How do you formulate a forest resource policy?
  6. Who should take responsibility for formulating these policies?
  7. What are the differences between forest protection policies and utilization polices?
  8. Why does China conduct six key forest ecological programs?
  9. What forest resource policy or program impresses you most in China?

After formulating your answers, you may post them online at the Knowledge Café for this course as a way to share your ideas and glean knowledge from other students’ responses.