Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2011, Vol. 2 ›› Issue (4): 345-352.DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2011.04.008

• Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Stakeholder Perceptions of Changing Ecosystem Services Consumption in the Jinghe Watershed: A Household Survey and PRA

CAO Xiaochang1,2, ZHEN Lin1, YANG Li1,2, LONG Xin1,2, DU Bingzhen3, WEI Yunjie1,2, 4   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Wageningen UR, P.O. Box 9101, 6700 HB Wageningen, the Netherlands;
    4. Beijing R & D Centre, Shenzhen Institute of Building Research Co. Ltd., Beijing 100044, China
  • Received:2011-06-21 Revised:2011-10-12 Online:2011-12-30 Published:2011-12-22
  • Supported by:

    National Basic Research Program of China (2009CB421106), the Knowledge Innovation Program of CAS (KZCX2-EW-306), Special Funds for Sino-EU Cooperation of MOST (0813) and National Key Project of Science and Technical Supporting Programs of China (2008BAK50B05).

Abstract: This paper presents cognitive awareness levels of ecosystem services and their consumption by farmers in Guyuan City, which lies in the Jinghe watershed. Household Surveys and Participatory Rural Assessment (PRA) were used to determine differences in farmers cognitive awareness levels. The household survey results showed that farmers have a cognitive awareness of 11 ecosystem services: food supply, air purification, environmental purification, soil and water conservation, clean water supply, natural disaster minimization, increasing income, fuel wood supply, aesthetic recreation, fodder supply and sand stabilization. The job-related requirements of a farmers' daily life, their direct consumption of ecosystem services and the importance of ecosystem services to them all influence their cognitive awareness of ecosystem services. Through group interviews the PRA method can provide the opportunity for information exchange and discussion. The process can help farmers to gain more cognitive awareness of ecosystem services. Large changes in ecosystem services have been observed in the study area. Food production and fuel wood supply have decreased markedly, yet incomes have increased. Spatial and temporal variables, changes in ecosystem services and the level of income all have an impact on farmers' food supply and resource consumption. Overall, the total consumption of food (cereal and potato) and fuel wood declines for most farmers and consumption of vegetables, meat, coals and gas have increased.

Key words: ecosystem service consumption, ecosystem service cognitive level, household surveys, Participatory Rural Assessment (PRA)