Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2010, Vol. 1 ›› Issue (1): 15-24.DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2010.01.002

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Resources Flow and Its Environmental Impacts

CHENG  Sheng-Kui1, XU  Zeng-Rang1, SU  Yun2, LIU  Xiao-Jie1, SHEN  Lei1, XIE  Gao-Di1, ZHEN  Lin1, LI  Xiao-Juan1, LONG  Xin1   

  1. 1 Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2 School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2009-12-10 Revised:2010-01-21 Online:2010-03-31 Published:2010-03-31
  • Contact: XU Zengrang

Abstract: In the 21st century, China is facing some challenges, e.g. population growth, rapid economy development, resources limitation and environmental vulnerability. Resource-use efficiency and the environmental impacts associated with growing resource utilization is a new challenge for both scientists and politicians, especially. In this paper, the concepts of resources and resource products flow is presented in order to analyze the environmental impacts that occur as a result of the resource flow process. We focus on forest resources, coal products and oil flows as these the main resources and products that are produced continuous severe and increasing environmental pressure. The data for domestic yield and exploitation, importation, exportation, and consumption, for various industries come from China’s forest statistical yearbooks for the period 1949 to 2001, and China’s energy statistical yearbooks for 1980 to 2006. We divided the resources flow process into key stages, such as harvest, exploitation, process or conversion and end consumption. Resources efficiency and environmental performance for each stage were evaluated. This study showed: resource-use efficiency improved and the structure of resources consumption has been optimized markedly in the past decades in China. However, the absolute quantities of resources consumption are still increasing, and the environment pressures originating from resource use became more severe.


Key words: resources flow, environmental impacts, forest, coal, raw oil