A study on afforestation on mountains from the perspective of political economy: wisdom from forestry production in Southwest China where the Miao ethnic group live in the Qing Dynasty

LI Xiangyu1,2

(1.School of Economics and Business Administration, Huazhong Normal University)
(2.School of Economics & Political Science, Guizhou Normal University)

【Abstract】Since the middle of the eighteenth century, Miao and Dong people (people of Miao and Dong ethnic groups in China) living in the Qingshui River area have creatively developed an exemplary system of artificial afforestation. Relations of production centered on afforestation on mountains effectively promoted the large scale and commercialization of production of local fir trees. System design of links on the relations of forestry production, such as production, distribution and exchange was mainly based on local contracts existed widely. Multiple and coordinated economic relations, such as relations between landlords of mountains, relations between tenants, and relations between landlords and tenants were derived from the implementation of the contracts. In addition, it adequately made afforestation on mountains as a typical case in the forestry production field as well as reference for contemporary Chinese forestry development.

【Keywords】 afforestation on mountains; relations of production; woodland-use right; economic integrity;


【Funds】 Supported by the General Project of National Social Science Foundation of China (14BMZ057) the Teaching Reform Project of Higher Education in Guizhou Province (12JG426)

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    [1]. ① Data resources: China News Website, http://www.chinanews.com/gn/2013/06-21/4956020.shtml [^Back]

    [2]. Annals of Liping Prefecture, Shihuo Annals, Volume 3 (黎平府志·食货志,卷三(下)), 1892. [^Back]

    [3]. After fir seedlings are transplanted to the soil of mountains, about three to five years, Miao and ① Miao and Dong people will plant some food crops such as corn and sorghum in the field of fir seedlings in order to achieve the double goals of nurture replaced by cultivation and double benefits from forest and crops. [^Back]

    [4]. ① It referred to mountains where firs grow into forest but not get mature, and are fast growing. Many contracts about business of this kind of mountains showed that in the Qingshui River area, the tenants were often forced to sell these semi-finished products at a low price due to the difficulties in living and making money. [^Back]

    [5]. ② Forestry production has its strong rhythm. Large-scale forestry production not only can fully take advantage of natural growth of forest, but also can reduce the production cost with some methods such as coordinating fireproofing, anti-theft and prevention of insects. [^Back]

    [6]. ① At the beginning of the breeding-forestry stage, if the growth of firs seedlings encounters huge setback due to some reasons, and the tenants cannot reach the goal of growing firs into forest in the appointed time in the following two or three years, then the tenants will have no motivation to plant firs. At this time, the monitoring and intervention from the landlord are indeed necessary. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-3586/F

Vol , No. 06, Pages 86-93

November 2016


Article Outline


  • 1 The political economy meaning of afforestation on mountains
  • 2 Economic relations in afforestation on mountains and its consistency
  • 3 Enlightenment to the reform of collective forest ownership in contemporary China
  • 4 Conclusions
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