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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 553342
Title Local perceptions of ecosystem services and protection of culturally protected forests in southeast China
Author(s) Gao, Hong; Xiao, Yi; Koppen, C.S.A. Van; Ouyang, Zhiyun
Source Ecosystem Health and Sustainability 4 (2018)12. - ISSN 2096-4129 - p. 299 - 309.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/20964129.2018.1546126
Department(s) WASS
WIMEK
Environmental Policy
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Conservation - culturally protected forests - ecosystem services - informal rules - local community
Abstract

Introduction: Culturally protected forests (CPFs), preserved and managed by local people on the basis of traditional practices and beliefs, have social and ecological functions. Local residents’ perceptions were investigated in three types of CPFs (community forests, ancestral temple forests, and cemetery forests) in five villages in southeast China. In semi-structured interviews (232 questionnaires), residents were asked about their perceptions concerning ecosystem services and protection of CPFs. Outcomes: The survey results showed that resource utilization was not high in CPFs than in forests without culturally protected. Important ecosystem services provided by CPFs included air quality improvement, water retention, recreation, and aesthetic value. Respondents were satisfied with different cultural services provided by CPFs, including aesthetic value of community forests, ecotourism of ancestral temple forests, and cultural heritage of cemetery forests. Informal rules and traditional customs were used as the main measures to govern forests in daily life; however, the most effective measures, in order of importance, were setting fines or punishment by laws, using informal rules and village regulations, or protection by government agencies. Only half of the respondents were willing to pay for maintaining ecosystem services of CPFs, but 77.8% respondents were willing to spend time on protection. From apolicy perspective, educational programs were as important as traditions, and they are crucial to explain the ecological importance of CPFs. Conclusion: The conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services of CPFs will benefit if government agencies consider incorporating CPFs into policy and legislative frameworks, maintain CPFs as collectively owned forests, and introduce ecological compensation mechanisms.

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