SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2002, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (4): 390-396.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2002.04.390

Previous Articles     Next Articles

A Social and economic analysis of ecological deterioration in the Western China——A case study of West Sichuan

CHEN Guo-jie   

  1. Chengdu Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, Sichuan 610066
  • Received:2001-07-05 Revised:2001-09-28 Online:2002-07-20 Published:2002-07-20

Abstract: The decision of taking ecological construction as one of important contents and goals in the Western development indicates a great prograss of construction thought in China history. Its signification is not only to give the ecological construction an outstanding strategical position in Western development, but also to emphasize the integration of ecological construction and economic construction. Ecological deterioration in Western China is causative of profound social and economic origin. The author in the paper wants to expound the homology of ecological deterioration and regional poverty, and their alleviation of integration by taking West Sichuan as an example. West Sichuan, which is a part of Qinghai-Xizang(Tibet) Plateau, provides an important ecological defence for the upper reaches of the Changjiang(Yangtze) River. At present, West Sichuan is suffering from ecological deterioration and ecological function weakening. Regional poverty and ecological degradation form a vicious circle. It is also facing a new contradiction and challenges between the demand of ecological construction and the hope of rapid economic development. The main causes of ecological degradation in West Sichuan include low economic development as a result of over-loaded carrying capacity of population; backward mode of production and backward life style in rural area, for instance, using plant and animal manure as fuel, deforestation, cultivated steep land and natural grazing, result in vegetation destruction, grass degradation and soil erosion.We should recognize the facts that obvious resource superiority in West Sichuan did not lead to alleviate its poverty, but to cause serious ecological and environmental degradation because of primitive exploitation for lack of advanced technology. There low density of population did not avoid the tragedy of overload carrying capacity either. We should re-assess and re-fixed the position of regional superiorities of resource and, low density of population and the choice of resource exploitation and pillar industries in West Sichuan must be thought of using advanced technology, getting high benelits and compatible with environment. For implementing ecological construction and the strategy of sustainable development, it is necessary to build an open dissipative structure of social, economic and natural complex system and to found an order structure and mechanism for social and economic development harmonizing with ecological construction. Meantime they should reform profoundly their agro-ecosystem and create or develop new agricultural structures, new modes of production, new planting patterns and manage patterns, re-build rural structure and inhabitant patterns. All efforts are to exclude social foundation of slash-and-burn cultivation, steep land cultivation and nomadic life.

CLC Number: 

  • F062.2