People's Republic of China

Environment, water resources and agricultural policies: lessons from China and OECD countries


Table of contents  | How to order

A new OECD publication on Environment, Water Resources and Agricultural Policies: Lessons from China and OECD Countries contains a set of expert papers on how to improve water management in China’s agricultural sector. The Executive Summary (in English and French) captures the essence of discussion and main conclusions from the papers.

China’s leaders face the daunting challenge of feeding the world’s largest population with limited resources. China’s per capita endowment of arable land is low and water scarcity is of particular concern. Not only is China’s endowment of water resources extremely low, but it is also badly distributed, with the North China Plain having one of the lowest per capita endowments in the world. The serious water shortage is exacerbated by poor efficiency in its use and contradictions in the way water is allocated and managed. Water pollution is contributing to water shortages as well as increasing the cost of provision of water for agriculture.

Since agriculture is the main consumer of water and one of the main users of land resources, China’s future development critically depends on initiatives that will raise the efficiency and efficacy of the use of these resources. In June 2006, the OECD and the Chinese Government invited specialists and experts with a wide range of expertise to address these issues and to provide answers to the following questions:

  • How can balance be achieved between the objectives of expanding food production, raising rural welfare, opening up the domestic market to international trade and protecting the environment?
  • How might policy measures be changed or shifted towards market based policy instruments to ensure that polluters pay and providers of environmental benefits are rewarded?
  • What would be the best policy mix in China combining taxes and payments, regulations, and voluntary and stakeholder participation in watershed and land resource management to further environmental and social objectives, and long term sustainability?

These questions and issues were debated on the basis of the papers reproduced in this publication. They offer the reader timely analytical and policy thinking by a number of highly regarded experts on China’s agri-environmental issues and policies.

Table of contents


Executive Summary/Résumé

Part I. Agri-Environmental Situation and Policies in China: Practice and Outcomes

Chapter 1. The New Socialist Countryside and its Implications for China’s Agriculture and
Natural Resources
Editor’s summary of Tang Renjian’s speech

Chapter 2. Selected Aspects of Water Management in China: State, Policy Responses and
Future Trends
Simon Spooner

Chapter 3. Effects of Integrated Ecosystem Management on Land Degradation Control and
Poverty Reduction
Han Jun

Chapter 4. Water Resources and Agricultural Production in China: The Present Situation
Ma Xiaohe and Fang Songhai

Part II. Experiences in Agricultural Resource Management and Environmental Protection in OECD Countries

Chapter 5. Agri-Environmental Policies in OECD Countries and Natural Resource Management
Wilfrid Legg

Chapter 6. Market Mechanisms in Water Allocation in Australia
Seamus Parker

Chapter 7. The Dutch Approach to Water Quality Problems Related to Fertilisation and
Crop Protection
Peter Van Boheemen

Chapter 8. Policy Issues Regarding Water Availability and Water Quality in Agriculture in the
United States
Dennis Wichelns

Chapter 9. Decision Support Tools to Aid Policy Design and Implementation for Sustainable Resource Use in Agriculture
Kevin Parris

Part III. Policy Options for China

Chapter 10. Fertiliser Use in Chinese Agriculture
Chen Mengshan

Chapter 11. Conserving Agricultural Biodiversity through Water Markets in China: Lessons from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
Jeff McNeely

Chapter 12. A Resource Utilisation Approach to Resolving Food Security Issues in China
Ke Bingsheng

Chapter 13. Models and Strategies for the Development of Circular Agriculture in China
Tang Huajun and Yin Changbin

Chapter 14. The Crop Protection Industry Role in Supporting Sustainable Agriculture Development in China
Jeff Au

Chapter 15. Does Crop Insurance Influence Agrochemical Use in the Current Chinese situation?
A Case Study in the Manasi Watershed, Xinjiang
Zhong Funing, Ning Manxiu and Xing Li

Chapter 16. Non-Point Source Agricultural Pollution: Issues and Implications
Huang Jikun, Hu Ruifa, Cao Jianmin and Scott Rozelle

Annex. Agenda and List of Participants

For further information about the OECD’s work on China’s agriculture and agricultural policies, please contact (tel: + 33 1 45 24 95 08).

 How to obtain this publication

Readers can access the full version of Environment, Water Resources and Agricultural Policies: Lessons from China and OECD Countries by choosing from the following options:


Related Documents