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Laws, Policies, & Guidelines

Guide on Sustainable Overseas Forest Management and Utilization by Chinese Enterprises

Scope of Application

Guidelines for companies engaged in forest harvesting, wood processing and utilization, and related activities.


Offers specific guidance to manage and regulate the use of forest resources in a sustainable manner.

General Key Points

Forestry Companies should: 

  • Abide by host countries’ laws and regulations.
    • Comply with agreements and protocols signed by China and host countries regarding the use of forest resources, management of investment, export of labor services, contracted projects, and other business operations, as well as relevant international conventions/agreements. 
  • Respect host countries’ ownership over local forest resources.
Key Points on Stakeholder Engagement

Forestry Companies should: 

  • Establish a multi-stakeholder publicity and consultation system.
  • Respect the rights of local people and consider the interests of local residents.
  • Establish a consultation mechanism with local communities.
    • Actively consult local residents on forestland with specific cultural, ecological, economic, or religious significance. 
  • Encourage community residents to participate in major decision-making processes.
  • Promote the sound development of local economic and community development to achieve win-win solutions for local residents. 
  • Prevent activities from directly or indirectly infringing, threatening, or undermining local residents’ ownership or their right of use to legal resources. 
  • Enhance community development and actively engage in public welfare.
    • Provide employment, training, and other social services to local residents. 
  • Respect local cultural traditions and customs. 
Key Points on Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

Forestry Companies should: 

  • Protect forests, especially those with high conservation value.
    • Minimize the impact of forest harvesting on biological diversity and the environment. 
  • Formulate a forest management and utilization program in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.
    • Submit a report to national or subnational authorities in host countries. 
  • Publicly disclose to local communities and third-party stakeholders and concerned parties the main contents of legal documents regarding forest management and utilization.
    • Provide updates about their progress and the forest management situation.
  • Play a positive role in sustainable management and development of local forests.
    • Safeguard ecological and environmental security while managing and utilizing the forest resources in host countries. 
Applies to
August 2009
State Forestry and Grassland Administration (SFGA) and Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), with support from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Nature Conservancy, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Forest Trends
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