Fig. 1. The Sloping Land Conversion Program’s (SLCP) complex administrative and implementation framework used to determine participation, target areas for inclusion, and distribute payments. Local practices and provincial decisions for implementation vary considerably. Sector-specific initiatives embedded within agency development strategies have typically not been analyzed and rectified for inconsistencies and gaps prior to roll out of the SLCP. Once approved, plans are sent back to prefecture level (9-20 per province); counties themselves have between 10-30 townships under their jurisdiction; 15-30 villages under each county, and groups of households called Xiaozu within each village that, rather than households, may hold actual proprietary or managerial rights to land (Agarwal and Ostrom 2001, Wang et al. 2004, Weyerhaeuser et al. 2005, Zhang et al. 2008; B. Lohmar, C. Nickerson, E. Uchida, and X. Jintao, unpublished manuscript).