Forest Rehabilitation and its Implication for Forest Transition Theory

Forest Rehabilitation and its Implication for Forest Transition Theory


This article reviews the history of forest rehabilitation in Vietnam, Philippines, China, Peru, Indonesia, and Brazil.

Conclusion & Takeaways

Colonial forest rehabilitation  occured in Indonesia and the Philippines between 1910-1930,  typically invovling involving the exclusion of local people by states entities. National forest rehabilitation occurred in some Asian countries between 1945-1970s and  somewhat included local communities; plantations were largely timber focused.  Internationally supported forest rehabilitation emerged in the 1970s-1990s. This was dono-driven and similar to the national forest rehabilitation phase given its national focus. Participatory forest rehabilitation from 1990 to the present has been tied more tied to rural development and better involved local communities. The authors conclude that despite extensive tree planting, forest cover in the study countries did not increase until the 1990s, especially when deforestation began to slow in Vietnam and China. The authors suggest that because forest rehablitation projects in rural areas were not inclusive of local people, planted trees were either logged or not maintained, e.g., in China and Indonesia. More recent forest planting activities that involve community participation and utilize fruit trees (favored by local communities) are prove to be more successful.




de Jong W. Forest Rehabilitation and Its Implication for Forest Transition Theory. Biotropica. 2009;42:3–9. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2009.00568.x.


  • Center for Integrated Area Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan