Land-use change: impacts of climate variations and policies among small-scale farmers in the Loess Plateau, China
2006 (English)In: Land use policy, ISSN 0264-8377, Vol. 23, no 4, 361-371 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Changes are taking place in many developing countries causing land-use change. In China there has been enormous economic growth since 1978 followed by impacts on the environmental, social and economical conduct of the society. One of the counter actions taken by the Government to halt the environmental degradation in the Loess Plateau has been the introduction of the Slope Land Conversion Program/Crop Conversion Program in 1999, stopping agricultural activity in slope areas, mainly used by small-scale farmers. At the same time climate variations have also been evident in the area, with decreases in rainfall and increases in temperature since 1970. The aim here is to examine what vegetation changes are seen at the regional scale in the area from 2000 to 2002 and how they correlate to local land-use changes. How the land-use changes are correlated with climate variations and/or policies and reforms is then investigated. The data included in this integrated assessment includes remote sensing information for the end of August from MODIS and ASTER images, climate and statistical data, as well as farmers' participatory data. The results show that the large-scale vegetation cover has increased, which correlates well with the dramatic local land-use change caused by the policy implementation. The land-use change shows some correlation with the climate variables (both lagged and simultaneous) but climatic factors alone do not fully explain the regional increase in vegetation. Hence the direct force behind the extreme land-use change is most likely associated with policy and economics, although climatic has some impact on regional scale vegetation pattern. The result from this study is contributing to the increasing growth of literature in climate change research on the complex issue of multiple stressors, i.e. processes that many areas in the developing world are exposed to.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 23, no 4, 361-371 p.
Land-use change; Vegetation variations; Climate variations; Policies; Impacts; Loess plateau; China
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-19191DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2005.04.004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-19191DiVA: diva2:223583