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Article: China's land resources and land-use change: Insights from the 1996 land survey

TitleChina's land resources and land-use change: Insights from the 1996 land survey
Authors
KeywordsAgriculture
China
Environmental Degradation
Land Use
Natural Resources
Issue Date2003
PublisherPergamon. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/landusepol
Citation
Land Use Policy, 2003, v. 20 n. 2, p. 87-107 How to Cite?
AbstractStudies of land-use change in China have long been hampered by the lack of accurate and reliable data. This research analyzes systematic data on land use gathered in the 1996 survey, the first nation-wide land survey ever conducted in the history of the People's Republic. The actual size of the Chinese territory on the mainland in 1996 was 9.5 million square kilometers, not 9.6 million as generally believed. It took the world's third largest position next to Russia and Canada. Over two-thirds or 67 percent of China's land coverage were devoted to agricultural activities. The bulk of the construction land was widely scattered in the countryside as a result of rural industrialization and urbanization. The 1996 land survey revealed a total cultivated land of 130 million hectares, nearly 40 percent more than what was reported by local cadres to the State Statistical Bureau. Much of the "discovered" farmland was located in the hilly and mountainous regions where the quality of land is low. Cultivated land per capita continued to drop because of the growing population. Only 14 percent of China's land was cultivable and cultivated land per capita was a mere 0.106 ha which was significantly smaller than the world's average of 0.236 ha. A comparison of data for 1949 and 1996 revealed a pattern of land-use change characterized by the expansion of cultivated and construction land at the expense of pasture and unused land subsequent to the environmentally disastrous campaigns of land reclamation. The processes of agricultural restructuring, rural industrialization, and rapid urbanization since the 1990s have given rise to a new trend of massive farmland loss for the benefits of market farming and non-agricultural developments. Newly reclaimed low-graded farmland in environmentally fragile frontier regions has never been able to compensate for the loss of fertile land in the southeastern part of the country where multiple cropping index and population density are high. There is pressing need for China to use its limited land resources most efficiently and effectively for the sake of not only its own growing population but also the globalizing world. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/157846
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 2.768
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.438
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLin, GCSen_US
dc.contributor.authorHo, SPSen_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-08-08T08:55:56Z-
dc.date.available2012-08-08T08:55:56Z-
dc.date.issued2003en_US
dc.identifier.citationLand Use Policy, 2003, v. 20 n. 2, p. 87-107en_US
dc.identifier.issn0264-8377en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/157846-
dc.description.abstractStudies of land-use change in China have long been hampered by the lack of accurate and reliable data. This research analyzes systematic data on land use gathered in the 1996 survey, the first nation-wide land survey ever conducted in the history of the People's Republic. The actual size of the Chinese territory on the mainland in 1996 was 9.5 million square kilometers, not 9.6 million as generally believed. It took the world's third largest position next to Russia and Canada. Over two-thirds or 67 percent of China's land coverage were devoted to agricultural activities. The bulk of the construction land was widely scattered in the countryside as a result of rural industrialization and urbanization. The 1996 land survey revealed a total cultivated land of 130 million hectares, nearly 40 percent more than what was reported by local cadres to the State Statistical Bureau. Much of the "discovered" farmland was located in the hilly and mountainous regions where the quality of land is low. Cultivated land per capita continued to drop because of the growing population. Only 14 percent of China's land was cultivable and cultivated land per capita was a mere 0.106 ha which was significantly smaller than the world's average of 0.236 ha. A comparison of data for 1949 and 1996 revealed a pattern of land-use change characterized by the expansion of cultivated and construction land at the expense of pasture and unused land subsequent to the environmentally disastrous campaigns of land reclamation. The processes of agricultural restructuring, rural industrialization, and rapid urbanization since the 1990s have given rise to a new trend of massive farmland loss for the benefits of market farming and non-agricultural developments. Newly reclaimed low-graded farmland in environmentally fragile frontier regions has never been able to compensate for the loss of fertile land in the southeastern part of the country where multiple cropping index and population density are high. There is pressing need for China to use its limited land resources most efficiently and effectively for the sake of not only its own growing population but also the globalizing world. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherPergamon. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/landusepolen_US
dc.relation.ispartofLand Use Policyen_US
dc.subjectAgricultureen_US
dc.subjectChinaen_US
dc.subjectEnvironmental Degradationen_US
dc.subjectLand Useen_US
dc.subjectNatural Resourcesen_US
dc.titleChina's land resources and land-use change: Insights from the 1996 land surveyen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailLin, GCS:gcslin@hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityLin, GCS=rp00609en_US
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/S0264-8377(03)00007-3en_US
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-0038608212en_US
dc.identifier.hkuros80845-
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-0038608212&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_US
dc.identifier.volume20en_US
dc.identifier.issue2en_US
dc.identifier.spage87en_US
dc.identifier.epage107en_US
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000183244400001-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLin, GCS=7401699741en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridHo, SPS=7403717179en_US

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