Jan 12 2011

Who Owns Carbon in Rural China? An Analysis of Legal Regime and Practices with Policy Recommendations.

Despite decades of rapid economic growth in China, rural areas remain largely undeveloped. Rural China is home to more than 195 million hectares of forestland – the equivalent of around 5 billion tons of carbon. The ecological and environmental value of forestland and trees in rural China cannot be overstated.
Rights to forestland are either 1) broad use rights of individual farm families or 2) the remaining ownership rights of village collectives. No law directly specifies who owns the carbon sequestered in farmers’ forestland and trees, but there is a strong inference from existing law, policy and practices that farmers should be the rightful owners of carbon. Nevertheless, because of historical and institutional factors, particularly the weak rule of law in the countryside, farmers’ rights are far from secure. | download PDF

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