Liquid biofuel from oil crops are broadly promoted globally, among which biofuel from perennial wood species, as well as from bushes and small trees such as jatropha. In China, oil-bearing small trees, which mainly grow on slope land, are applied as so-called bioenergy and oil forests for liquid biofuel production. The national government in China has devised a series of laws and policies to promote bioenergy and oil forest programs. In this study, the focus is on jatropha and camellia programs.
Similar as other afforestation programs, bioenergy and oil forest programs may face similar institutional problems in their implementation. In addition, China experienced decentralization in forestry sectors. In investigating the institutional problems China faces in implementing bioenergy and oil forestry programs, this research concentrates on the role of three institutions: property rights, the governance structure and farmer incentives.
The general objective of this research is to investigate how these three institutions impact on the implementation of large-scale bioenergy and oil forestry programs, and whether and how these institutions enable, constrain and condition farmers’ participation in these programs. Both qualitative institutional analyses and quantitative econometric analyses are employed, based on empirical fieldwork in China.