Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2014, Vol. 5 ›› Issue (3): 203-210.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2014.03.002

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The Driving Forces and Synergistic Effect between Regional Economic Growth, Resources and the Environment in the Yangtze River Economic Zone

ZHENG Defeng, ZHANG Yu, ZANG Zheng, SUN Caizhi   

  1. School of Urban Planning and Environmental Science, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China
  • Received:2014-02-25 Revised:2014-07-23 Online:2014-09-18 Published:2014-09-10
  • Contact: ZANG Zheng
  • Supported by:

    Project of Humanities and Social Sciences of Ministry of Education in China (No. 14YJAZH112), Social Sciences Planning Project of Liaoning (No. L13BJL019).

Abstract: From the viewpoints of population, resources, environment and economic-social development, we establish the models of accounting for resource and environmental costs and coordinated (or relative coordinated) development degrees between economic growth and resources and the environment using the evaluation method of ecosystem service value. Synergistic effects between regional economic growth and resources and the environment in the Yangtze River Economic Zone was analyzed and driving forces were analyzed by regression of partial least squares. We found that from 1983 to 2012, resource and environmental costs in the Yangtze River Economic Zone (including seven provinces and two municipalities) increased from 4736.55 trillion CNY to 15 359.45 trillion CNY and corresponding weights dropped from 31.1% to 19.7% compared to the national level. The degree of coordinated development rose from 0.295 to 1.506, higher than the national average. In the years 1983, 1993 and 2003, the main factor that drove the coordinated development of regional economic growth, resources and the environment was low level resource and environmental costs. With continuous increases in primary and tertiary industrial added values after 2012, the advantage of the Yangtze River Economic Zone has weakened. In the future, provinces should improve the rules and regulations on planning and implementing main functional areas, promote adjustment of industrial structure, restore ecology, improve resource utilization efficiency and reduce environmental loss costs to enhance quality of economic development and promote the coordinated development of regional economic growth and resources and the environment.

Key words: resource and environmental cost, partial least squares, synergistic effect, driving forces, Yangtze River Economic Zone