The Impact of Ecological Restoration Projects in Dry Lands: Data-based Assessment and Human Perceptions in the Lower Reaches of Heihe River Basin, China

Zhou T, Akiyama T, Horita M, Kharrazi A, Kraines S, Li J, & Yoshikawa K (2018). The Impact of Ecological Restoration Projects in Dry Lands: Data-based Assessment and Human Perceptions in the Lower Reaches of Heihe River Basin, China. Sustainability 10 (5): e1471. DOI:10.3390/su10051471.

[img]
Preview
Text
sustainability-10-01471.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (6MB) | Preview

Abstract

Desertification is a critical environmental problem in China’s northwestern region. In this context, since the early 2000s, projects targeting ecological restoration have been implemented in the lower reaches of the Heihe River basin. Using multi-scale remote sensing data and field observations, this paper examines the outcomes of the ecological restoration projects. Specifically, this paper examines the vegetation change through remote sensing and local perceptions of the projects through semi-structured questionnaires. The results from remote sensing reveal that during the restoration projects, vegetation coverage in riparian areas of the lower reaches of the Heihe River basin increased. However, this increase cannot be simply equated with ecological recovery. Expansion of farmland and afforested areas have also contributed to the increase in vegetation coverage. Questionnaire results reveal that although locals perceived improvements in the ecological conditions of the lower reaches, most of them were more about future environmental changes. Additionally, results indicate that ecological restoration projects redistributed water resources in the local river reaches and, as a result, local residents living in riparian areas perceive greater benefit. Therefore, the implementation of the project may have actually negatively impacted the water accessibility of those living in the drier Gobi Desert areas.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ecological restoration; policy assessment; vegetation response; environmental perceptions; ecological changes; NDVI
Research Programs: Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 23 May 2018 06:57
Last Modified: 23 May 2018 06:57
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/15275

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313