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Spotlight on China’s forests

Date: August 19, 2015


China’s biomass and forest area have markedly increased over the past decades according to the country's international reporting of forest resources. As in the United States, such reporting is important for climate negotiations. However, little is known internationally about how China measures its own forests across such a broad area or whether its measurements are consistent over time. RMRS scientist Sean Healey has worked with an international team to describe Chinese efforts to report the status and trends of the country’s forests.

Key Findings

  • Chinese inventory methods and definitions have changed over the decades, and efforts to cross-walk consistent methods across time show significant increases in the country’s forest resources.
  • Like other countries, China has gradually integrated new technology into its inventory, and it has moved toward methods that increase consistency and precision in national estimates.
  • China does not yet freely distribute inventory data, but collaborations like this one help make its methods and results more transparent.

RMRS scientist Sean Healey (left) in front of Beijing Forestry University with Dr. Klaus von Gadow of that institution
Sean Healey (left) with Beijing Forestry University's Dr. Klaus von Gadow

Featured Publications

Zeng, WeiSheng ; Tomppo, Erkki ; Healey, Sean P. ; Gadow, Klaus V. , 2015

National Strategic Program Areas: 
Inventory and Monitoring
National Priority Research Areas: 
Forest Inventory and Analysis
RMRS Science Program Areas: 
Inventory and Monitoring
RMRS Strategic Priorities: 
Inventory & Monitoring
Principal Investigators: 
External Partners: 
Principal Investigator for this project: WeiSheng Zeng (Academy of Forest Inventory and Planning, State Forestry Administration, Beijing, China)

Other partners:
Erkki Tomppo (Natural Resources Institute, Helsinki, Finland)
Klaus von Gadow (Beijing Forestry University)
Research Location: