Hu Angang, who is director of the Research Center for Contemporary China at Tsinghua University, said that the country's forest industries present much-needed opportunities for long-term development and should be given the same priorities as scientific and financial development.
His words have been seconded by experts at alternative investment advocacy group, Alternative Asset Analysis (AAA), who has long championed the rise and development of long-term investments and the profitability of forestry projects.
Mr Hu said that China's twelfth five-year plan for national economic and social development, which accounts for 2011 to 2015, is the first-ever national document to orientate China toward sustainable development and combat environmental degradation and the effects of climate change. He said it stresses the importance that China has come to attach to the construction of the conservation of resources and an environmentally friendly society.
"To fulfill its international commitments in dealing with climate change, the 12th Five-Year Plan commits China to raising its forest coverage ratio to 21.66 percent by the end of 2015 and increasing its forest stock volumes – an important index to reflect a country's forest quality and measure its forest ecology and forest carbon-sink capability – by 600 million cubic meters by that time," he said. "This crucial period in China's economic transformation provides a rare opportunity for the country to expand its forest development area and improve its forest carbon-sink capacity."
Mr Hu added that the global increase in forest projects will serve to aid China's focus on the matter, and assist its formation of a long-term comprehensive forest development strategy in which "green development"
AAA's chief analyst, Anthony Johnson, said they actively encourage investment in alternative assets, such as real estate, private equity and more ethical projects, such as forestry in emerging economies. "There are several firms, such as Greenwood Management and Robinia, which have started offering people the chance to invest in tangible forested land in markets like Brazil," explained Johnson.
He continued, "These investment opportunities have proven hugely popular with individuals and fund managers alike as they are less risky than traditional investments and offer an ethical investment opportunity with the added bonus of healthy returns."
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Our remit is to analyse and provide news on the global performance of a wide range of alternative asset classes including, but not restricted to, commodities, real estate, forestry, foreign exchange, hedge funds, private equity and venture capital.
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