Table of Content

    30 July 2018, Volume 9 Issue 4 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Land Resources and Land Use
    Research on Land Resource Carrying Capacity: Progress and Prospects
    SUN Tong, FENG Zhiming, YANG Yanzhao, LIN Yumei, WU Yanjuan
    2018, 9 (4):  331-340.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.001
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (430KB) ( )   Save
    As an important part of resource and environment carrying capacity (RECC), land resource carrying capacity (LRCC) has focused on the limiting factors on regional development from the scale of land resources for more than two hundred years. After a brief review of the origin and early development of LRCC, the progress of LRCC is summarized as a progression from land resource population carrying capacity (LPCC) to land resource comprehensive carrying capacity (LCCC), and the hot issues of LRCC have changed from the simple human-grain relationship to more complex social and economic activities-land resources relationships. The corresponding research methods also evolved, from static research to dynamic research, and the assessment factor have evolved from a single factor to a comprehensive index system. Agro-ecological zoning (AEZ), system dynamics (SD), ecological footprint (EF), and comprehensive evaluation methods have come to be viewed as the most representative methods of LRCC in recent years. As a focus of conventional LRCC research, the human-grain relationship still plays a significant role in LRCC evaluation because grain remains the top limiting factor of land resources and is the most significant criterion in the balance between regional population and land resources, especially for very populous countries. More attention should be paid to the accurate calculation of arable land and average food consumption levels to improve the scientific basis of LRCC evaluation. The development of science and technology and the variation of lifestyle are also important factors that influence regional LRCC. As a new topic of LRCC, LCCC has expanded the research field of LRCC in an attempt to reveal the limiting effects of land resource under open systems, but some issues such as carrying mechanism research and the combination of theoretical and applied research are needed in future studies to promote the further development of LCCC.
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    Spatial Differentiation Characteristics and Driving Forces of Forest Transition: A Case Study of Zunyi City, Guizhou
    DONG Shunzhou, ZHAO Yuluan, LI Xiubin
    2018, 9 (4):  341-351.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.002
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (708KB) ( )   Save
    Spatial differentiation in forest transition was measured in terms of space transition and function transition using the exploratory spatial data analysis method (ESDA) and data from 2004—2014 for Zunyi city, Guizhou province, China. The validity of factors affecting forest transition was analyzed by constructing radial basis function neural networks (RBFNN) based on the data processing system (DPS). Our results will provide references for scientific understanding of the potential mechanism underlying forest transition in mountainous areas. We found that Global Moran’s I of space transition and function transition of forest land was 0.0336 and 0.2323, respectively. This suggests a significant positive correlation in spatial distribution of space transition and function transition of forest land, and significant spatial aggregation. The Global Moran’s I of function transition was higher than that of space transition, and the spatial aggregation characteristics of function transition were more significant than for space transition. The Global Moran’s I at each time period tended to increase, and the spatial aggregation degree of the function transition and space transition was further enhanced. Hot and cold spots of space transition of forest land stably evolved, suggesting a minor spatial difference in forest land among different administrative units at the county level. The number of hot spots at the county level in function transition increased. Hot spots were intensively distributed at the western edge and continuously distributed in the northeast. The space transition and function transition of forest land were both greatly influenced by urbanization rate and second and third industries. The development of urbanization and industrialization was the main factor driving forest transition, suggesting a positive role of economic growth on forest transition in mountainous areas. The development of urbanization and industrialization is an effective approach to forest transition in mountainous areas.
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    Is Larger Scale Better? Evidence from Rice Farming in Jianghan Plain
    WANG Jiayue, XIN Liangjie
    2018, 9 (4):  352-364.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.003
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (562KB) ( )   Save
    Small-scale household agricultural production has been in conflict with China’s agricultural modernization. In the context of vigorously promoting rural land circulation and moderate scale management nationwide, research on the relationship between farm size and scale efficiency has become increasingly important. In this paper, we use the “DEA-OLS” two stage method to analyze data from 368 surveys of rice farming households in the Jianghan Plain. The scale efficiency of rice farming was calculated, and the relationship between farm size and scale efficiency investigated. The results indicate that (1) the rice farm size is generally small in Jianghan Plain, with an average of 0.77 ha. The average scale efficiency is 0.88, and it is the main factor limiting an increase in comprehensive technical efficiency. Moreover, 88.32% of households are in the stage of increasing returns to scale. (2) There is a stable inverted “U” type relationship between rice farm size and scale efficiency. Considering characteristics of the householder, the household and land quality, the maximum scale efficiency corresponds to a household with 5 ha of rice farm. (3) Among householder characteristics, age has a significant negative influence on scale efficiency, and scale efficiency is lower for a household whose householder is engaged in non-farm work than for one whose householder is devoted to farming. As for land quality, there was a significant positive effect of irrigation on scale efficiency. Among family characteristics, the application of a machine during the seeding process increased scale efficiency by 3.07%. Therefore, we suggest that local government should actively promote rural land circulation, implement a staged-scale management subsidy, and other forms of support for the purchase of agricultural machinery and technical popularization. Increased investment in irrigation improvements and mechanical facilities and encouragement of farmers to enlarge their farm size could improve scale efficiency and farming profit and lead to the development of moderate scale management.
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    Factors Driving the Expansion of Construction Land: A Panel Data Study of Districts and Counties in Ningbo City, China
    MOU Chufu, WANG Limao, QU Qiushi, FANG Yebing, ZHANG Hong
    2018, 9 (4):  365-373.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.004
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    This paper analyzes panel data from 2003-2012 to identify the factors driving the expansion of construction land in Ningbo city; it uses panel data, regional-level, and year-by-year regression models. The results indicate the following: (1) For each 1% increase in the size of the economy, urban population, and industrial structure adjustment coefficient, the amount of construction land increased by 0.35%, 0.52% and -1%, respectively. (2) The factors driving the expansion of urban construction land differed across regions. In more highly developed areas such as Yuyao, Cixi, Fenghua and the downtown area, population growth was the most obvious driving factor with coefficients of 4.880, 1.383, 3.036 and 0.583, respectively, in those areas. Here, the impact of industrial structure adjustment was lower than that of population growth (with coefficients of 1.235, 0.307, 0.145 and -0.242), while economic development was an increasingly insignificant factor (with coefficients of -0.302, 0.071, 0.037 and 0.297). On the other hand, economic development was the most important factor for the expansion of construction land in relatively less developed areas such as Xiangshan and Ninghai counties with coefficients of 0.413 and 0.195, respectively. Here, population growth (with coefficients of -0.538 and 0.132) and industrial structure adjustment (with coefficients of -0.097 and 0.067) were comparatively weaker driving factors. (3) The results of the year-by-year regression indicate the increased impact of economic development as a driving factor (from -1.531 in 2005 to 1.459 in 2012). The influence of the population growth factor slowly declined (from 1.249 in 2005 to 0.044 in 2012) and from 2009 on was less influential than the economic development factor. The industrial structure coefficient remained negative and its influence diminished from year to year (from -5.312 in 2004 to -0.589 in 2012).
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    Where Should the Start Zone Be Located for Xiong’an New Area? A Land Use Perspective
    JIANG Luguang, LV Peiyi, FENG Zhiming, LIU Ye
    2018, 9 (4):  374-381.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.005
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (2379KB) ( )   Save
    China announced plans on April 1, 2017 to create Xiong’an New Area, a new economic zone about 110 km southwest of Beijing. The new area of national significance covers the three counties of Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin in Hebei Province, and is home to Baiyangdian, a major wetland in northern China. It will cover around 100 km2 initially (called “Starting Zone”) and will be expanded to 200 km2 in the mid-term and about 2000 km2 in the long term. In this context, it is important to assess the land use pattern for the new area’s planning and development. Based on remote sensing interpretation of Landsat OLI images, we examine the current land use features, the potential for built-up land saving and intensive use, and the spatial variation of arable land quality. The results indicate that the arable lands, built-up lands and wetlands account for around 60%, 20% and 10%, respectively. The potential for rural built-up land saving and intensive use is quite large. The arable land quality and use intensity in Rongcheng and Anxin counties are much better than that of Xiongxian. The pros and cons for three potential options for the Starting Zone are listed and compared. The eastern area of Rongcheng county, to the north of Baiyangdian, is believed to be the most suitable Starting Zone. Policy recommendations for built-up land expansion, farmland saving and flood risk mitigation for Xiong’an New Area are also proposed in this paper.
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    Comparison on Eco-compensation between the Domestic and International Studies
    LIU Guihuan, MA Ya, WEN Yihui, ZHU Yuanyuan, XIE Jing
    2018, 9 (4):  382-394.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.006
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (367KB) ( )   Save
    Because it offers an effective means to alleviate current ecological problems and a way to coordinate sustainable economic and social development with protection of the environment, eco-compensation has become a subject of interest to scholars and governments all over the world. A great many studies have been carried out and eco-compensation schemes have been put into practice; there have been many fruitful results. Based on a review of related research and practices, this paper attempts first to discuss domestic and international eco-compensation research and practices in terms of the meaning of eco-compensation and its components (stakeholders, compensation criteria, compensation modes, compensation approaches, compensation funds, and compensation effects). Next, taking into consideration the above discussion, the paper looks at the differences between Chinese and international eco-compensation measures. Finally, existing problems with eco-compensation research and practices in China are summarized and some suggestions are put forward.
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    Transverse Eco-compensation Standards for Water Conservation: A Case Study of the Middle Route Project of South-to-North Water Diversion in China
    YANG Lun, LIU Moucheng, MIN Qingwen, LUN Fei
    2018, 9 (4):  395-406.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.007
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (500KB) ( )   Save

    In China, the distribution of water resources is incompatible with the development of productivity. The construction of South-to-North Water Diversion Project has achieved inter-basin water diversion, and the project can alleviate the uneven distribution of water resources phenomenon effectively. However, in recent years, the aggregate effects of water pollution and water resource shortages have been serious. Establishing transverse eco-compensation mechanisms becomes the key method to achieve sustainable use of water resources. Based on statistical and questionnaire data, this paper uses the Opportunity Costs Method and Willingness to Pay approach to establish a transverse eco-compensation standard calculation model for the Middle Route Project of the South- to-North Water Diversion. The results show that the upper and lower limits of the transverse eco-compensation standard for the Middle Route Project is $2.52 billion and $2.20 billion every year, respectively. However, the paying and receiving standards varied widely among different compensation payers and compensation receivers. Meanwhile, the significant factors influencing the paying willingness of the receiver area citizens were age, education level, average revenue per month, knowledge about the South-to-North Water Diversion Project and recognition of the importance of eco-environmental integrity. This study began with a theoretical analysis, then analysed related problems related to calculating transverse eco-compensation standards for the Middle Route Project of the South-to-North Water Diversion by an empirical study. This empirical study helps to establish effective transverse eco-compensation mechanisma and promotea the development of effective policies and legislation.

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    Factors Affecting the Willingness of Farmers to Accept Eco-compensation in the Qianxi Chestnut Agroforestry System, Hebei
    WANG Jiaran, LIU Moucheng, YANG Lun, MIN Qingwen
    2018, 9 (4):  407-415.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.008
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (487KB) ( )   Save
    Ecological compensation plays an important role in promoting ecological protection. Identifying factors affecting the willingness of farmers to accept eco-compensation has become a focus of ecological economics. The Qianxi traditional chestnut agricultural heritage system is a typical agroforestry system in China and adapts the local environment well. However, local farmers concentrate on chestnut monocultures, driven by short-term profits. The local ecological environment is very fragile. We surveyed 100 local rural households. Based on face-to-face interviews and questionnaires and model assessment, we analyzed factors affecting the willingness of farmers to accept eco-compensation in the Qianxi chestnut agroforestry system of Hebei. We found that many factors influence farmer willingness to accept, including education level, household income, environmental awareness, environmental protection practices and knowledge of ecological compensation. This research provides helps clarify the mechanism of farmer participation in eco-compensation and provides a basis for further development of compensation standards that benefit the local environment.
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    Eco-compensati on in Guanting Reservoir Watershed Based on Spatiotemporal Variations of Water Yield and Purification Services
    WEN Yihui, LIU Guihuan, WU Rui
    2018, 9 (4):  416-425.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.009
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (651KB) ( )   Save
    Guanting Reservoir (GR) is one of the most important water sources for Beijing and neighboring regions. Due to water pollution, it was withdrawn from the system to supply Beijing drinking water; however, after a thorough treatment process, GR was made a reserve water source since 2007. To develop a comprehensive and quantitative analysis of water yield and purification services in the GR watershed, this study selected two time periods: the period when GR was withdrawn from the system supplying local drinking water and the period that it has been designated a reserve water source. The InVEST model was used to evaluate the quantities of water yields, and total nitrogen and total phosphorus outputs from 1995 to 2010 Additionally, the spatiotemporal variations of water yield services and water quality purification services in the GR watershed were analyzed. The results showed that water yield services in the GR watershed first weakened and then became stronger, but weakened overall during the years 1995 to 2010. Water yield capacity in the basin decreased from 1.89×109 m3 in 1995 to 1.43×109 m3 in 2010 (a drop of 24.0% in total). Water quality purification services also showed the same tendency. Total nitrogen output decreased from 4028.7 t in 1995 to 3611.4 t in 2010, while total phosphorus decreased from 379.7 t in 1995 to 354.0 t in 2010. Nitrogen and phosphorus purification services were enhanced by 10.4% and 6.8%, respectively. Changes in the climate and land use were the main factors which lead to the changes in the water yield service in the GR watershed. Policies intended to protect water resource have matched the varying trends of water quality purification services during different periods. On one hand, the research results provide a foundation to identify key fields for eco-compensation in the Guanting Reservoir basin. On another hand, the ecosystem service value will increase on the basis of eco-compensation criteria through setting the scenarios of returning farmland to forest and ecological protection. This method directly reflects increases in ecosystem service values that have occurred since measures to protect the ecological environment have been implemented. This method is more persuasive and feasible than using eco-compensation criteria based on regional ecosystem service values determined by land use/ coverage type. It can provide a new way to assess eco-compensation in the Guanting Reservoir basin and other regions.
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    Establishing an Agro-ecological Compensation Mechanism to Promote Agricultural Green Development in China
    JU Xuehai, XUE Yinghao, XI Bin, JIN Tuo, XU Zhiyu, GAO Shangbin
    2018, 9 (4):  426-433.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.010
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (318KB) ( )   Save
    In recent years, grain production has been rising steadily, and the income of farmers has been increasing dramatically, thanks in part to the central government’s policy support for agriculture, rural areas and farmers. However, the conventional production mode leads to overconsumption of agricultural resources, increasingly challenging ecological environment impacts, and higher costs of agricultural products whose quality falls short of public expectations. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council both put extra emphasis on agricultural supply-side reform, restructuring of the sector, and a shift in the production mode. This paper explains the significance of the agro-ecological compensation mechanism, analyzes the efficacy of China’s current agricultural subsidy policies, introduces related experience from developed countries, elaborates options to establish the mechanism, and proposes policy recommendations to accelerate its development. This analysis concludes that one of the most important approaches to agricultural green development is to shift the existing subsidy policy from one which aims to ensure the yield by purchasing at a protective price, to a green subsidy which focuses on agro-ecological compensation.
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    Resources Policy
    Quantitative Analysis of Central Asian Countries’ Energy Security and Its Political Influence Factors
    CHEN Xiaopeng, CHENG Shengkui, WU Liang
    2018, 9 (4):  434-443.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.011
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    Central Asian countries are located in the heartland of the Eurasian Continent. Their geographic location puts their energy flows under tremendous geopolitical pressure from the countries along their limited number of pipelines. With energy trade data from the United Nations Comtrade Statistics Database in the period from 2005 to 2016, this paper evaluates energy security of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan (exporter) and Kyrgyzstan (importer) using three standards: correlativeness, diversity, and the impact of international relations. It concludes that Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan’s oil markets are balanced in terms of correlation and diversification, and thus less subject to geopolitical pressure. Turkmenistan’s gas markets, on the other hand, still have tremendous exposure to geopolitical risks for lack of diversification. Kyrgyzstan, as an energy importer, could rely on a few neighboring countries for energy supply. We found out that the three Central Asian countries’ energy security is largely determined by four political factors: the relationship with Russia, the new “great game” in Eurasia, the rise of China, and Central Asian regional geopolitical configuration.
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    Comparative Study on Collective Forest Tenure Reform and Water Rights System Reform in China
    SU Puya, QI Shi, LI Yue, JIN Mengli
    2018, 9 (4):  444-454.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.012
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (552KB) ( )   Save
    Collective forest tenure reform and water rights system reform are two types of resource system reform initiated by the Chinese government since the implementation of the reform and opening policy of the 1980s. Forest tenure reform has been completed and water rights system reform is ongoing. This study analyzes key points and problems with collective forest tenure reform and summarizes four typical successful reform measures and lessons that will have implications for the developing water rights system: the collective forest-cutting quota system, collective forest tenure compensation, collective forest tenure confirmation, and collective forest tenure trading center. A flexible water permission index, compensation measures in water rights trade, water rights approval, and various forms of water rights trading platforms are proposed as reform measures. This study fills a gap in comparative studies between two important resource system reforms in China and provides a reference for further reform and development of water rights systems locally and abroad.
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