Keywords: forest accounts, physical accounts, monetary accounts, evaluation, policy making, China, natural capital, forest assets, economic impact, timber value, forestry resources, afforestation, ecological services, sustainable development, sustainability, green economics, environmental management
Forest accounts: a primary case study in China
Forest accounting considers physical and monetary data relating to the degree of substitutability for natural capital, and composes accounts for forest assets measured in physical and monetary terms to show the impact of the economy on the environment. It is extremely useful in formulating and evaluating macroeconomic and sectoral policies. This study has for the first time built up forest physical and monetary accounts for China and shows opening and closing forest assets balances and their related changes over the course of 1999-2003. The study indicates that the total stock value of forest lands and standing timber in 1999 was 4,301.30 RMB billion, and in 2003 was 4,887.80 RMB billion. The total flow value of forest resources from 1999 to 2003 was 533.47 RMB billion annually, but the trend of afforestation has slowed down in China. The study proposes that the values of forest ecological services should be considered and promotes forest resources used effectively and for sustainable development.