China's Sloping Land Conversion Program
China's Central Government
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China's Sloping Land Conversion Program (SLCP) is the largest land retirement program in the developing world, having the goal of converting 14.67 million hectares of cropland to forests by 2010 (4.4 million of which is on land with slopes greater than 25 degrees) and an additional "soft" goal of afforesting a roughly equal area of wasteland by 2010. Pending successful completion it could represent a 10-20% increase in China's national forest area and a 10% decrease in current cultivated area. At present the program is being implemented in more than 2000 counties across 25 provinces in China - a wide area containing huge ecological and economic heterogeneity - and involves the participation of tens of millions of rural households. The program has a total budget of RMB 337 billion (over US$40 billion), around RMB 50 billion of which has been spent so far, and over 7.2 million hectares of cropland has been retired by the end of 2003.