Socioeconomic and environmental effects of China's Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program after 15 years: a systematic review protocol

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Agricultural activities on sloping lands have historically led to forest loss and degradation in China which, coupled with industrial pressures on the environment, were deemed responsible for catastrophic flooding events in the late 1990s. After these events, China's forest policy underwent a significant reorientation towards ecological conservation and rural development, a process epitomized by the Conversion of Cropland to Forest Program (CCFP). Launched in 1999, the CCFP integrates both socioeconomic and environmental objectives with the aim of reforesting smallholder cropland on sloping lands, while compensating farmers with payments for their lost income. Following 15 years of implementation, it is timely to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the state of knowledge about the CCFP's impacts on human populations and the environment.

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