May 21, 2011

Reforesting reduces flooding and lifts economy

Gretchen Daily

photo: BrokenSphere

In rural China, reforesting cropland on steep slopes has reduced erosion, leading to decreased flooding, according to a new study co-authored by Gretchen Daily (1999). To provide for families who lost farmland to reforestation, the study team used InVEST software to help the Chinese government target farmers to receive subsidies for giving up their cropland and moving to the city. In the city, families earned more on average than they did in the country, except families with only a single parent who could move, suggesting a possible change for future subsidies.