Advertisement

Ambio

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 245–259 | Cite as

The impact on rural livelihoods and ecosystem services of a major relocation and settlement program: A case in Shaanxi, China

  • Cong Li
  • Shuzhuo Li
  • Marcus W. Feldman
  • Jie Li
  • Hua Zheng
  • Gretchen C. Daily
Report

Abstract

China’s largest-ever resettlement program is underway, aiming to restore ecosystems and lift ecosystem service providers out of the poverty trap and into sustainable livelihoods. We examine the impact of the relocation and settlement program (RSP) to date, reporting on an ecosystem services (ES) assessment and a 1400-household survey. The RSP generally achieves the goals of ES increase and livelihood restore. In biophysical terms, the RSP improves water quality, sediment retention, and carbon sequestration. In social terms, resettled households so far report transformation of livelihoods activities from traditional inefficient agricultural and forest production to non-farm activities. Increased income contributes to decrease the poverty rate and improve resettled households’ living condition and standard. Meanwhile, the RSP decreases households’ dependence on ES in terms of provisioning services. Difficulty and challenge also showed up subsequently after relocation. A major current challenge is to enable poorer households to move, while providing greater follow-up support to relocated households. While the program is unique to China, it illuminates widespread opportunities for addressing environmental and poverty-related concerns in a rapidly changing world.

Keywords

Ankang prefecture Ecosystem services Human development Relocation and settlement Rural household Sustainable livelihoods 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work is part of the Natural Capital Project and was jointly supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (Grant No. 3453), the China National Natural Science Fund (71673219; 71573205), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (SK2015001, SKZD16009; SKZD16004). We are grateful to the many people interviewed for their patience and assistance.

Supplementary material

13280_2017_941_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (267 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 268 kb)

References

  1. Bebbington, A.J. 1999. Capitals and capabilities: A framework for analyzing peasant viability, rural livelihoods and poverty. World Development 27: 2021–2044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cernea, M. 2000a. Risks, safeguards and reconstruction. In Risks and reconstruction: Experiences of resettlers and refugees, ed. M. Cernea, and C. McDowell, 1–55. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cernea, M.M. 2000b. Risks, safeguards and reconstruction: A model for population displacement and resettlement. Economic and Political Weekly 35: 3659–3678.Google Scholar
  4. Cernea, M.M., and K. Schmidt-Soltau. 2003. Biodiversity conservation versus population resettlement: Risks to nature and risks to people. In International CIFOR-Conference on ‘‘Rural Livelihoods, Forests and Biodiversity’’, Bonn, Germany 19–23 May, 2003.Google Scholar
  5. Daily, G.C. 1997. Nature’s services: Societal dependence on natural ecosystems. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.Google Scholar
  6. Daily, G.C., and P.A. Matson. 2008. Ecosystem services: From theory to implementation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105: 9455–9456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Daily, G.C., Z. Ouyang, H. Zheng, S. Li, Y. Wang, M. Feldman, P. Kareiva, S. Polasky, and M. Ruckelshaus. 2013. Securing natural capital and human well-being: Innovation and impact in China. Acta Ecologica Sinica 33: 677–692. doi: 10.5846/stxb201212311906.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. De Sherbinin, A., M. Castro, F. Gemenne, M.M. Cernea, S. Adamo, P.M. Fearnside, G. Krieger, S. Lahmani, et al. 2011. Preparing for resettlement associate with climate change. Science 334: 456–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Department for International Development (DFID). 1999. Sustainable livelihoods guidance sheets. London: DFID.Google Scholar
  10. Duan, Y.F., and S. Steil. 2003. China Three Gorges project resettlement: Policy, planning and implementation. Journal of Refugee Studies 16: 422–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ellis, F. 2000. Rural livelihoods and diversity in developing countries. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Fuggle, R., W.T. Smith, Hydrosult Canada Inc, and Androdev Canada Inc. 2000. Experience with dams in water and energy resource development in the People’s Republic of China. Cape Town: Country review paper prepared for the World Commission on Dams.Google Scholar
  13. Kabra, A., and S. Mahalwal. 2014. Impact of conservation-induced displacement on host community livelihoods: Complicating the DIDR narratives [J]. Land Use Policy 41: 217–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Krantz, L. 2001. The sustainable livelihoods approach to poverty reduction: An introduction. Stockholm: Division for Policy and Socio-Economic Analysis, Sida.Google Scholar
  15. Li, C., S. Li, M.W. Feldman, G.C. Daily, and J. Li. 2012. Does out-migration reshape rural households’ livelihood capitals in the source communities? Recent evidence from Western China. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 21: 1–30.Google Scholar
  16. Li, C., H. Zheng, S. Li, X. Chen, J. Li, W. Zeng, Y. Liang, S. Polasky, et al. 2015. Impacts of conservation and human development policy across stakeholders and scales. Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences of the United States of America 112: 7396-01.Google Scholar
  17. Li, H.M., P. Waley, and P. Rees. 2001. Reservoir resettlement in China: Past experience and the Three Gorges Dam. The Geographical Journal 167: 195–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Liu, J., G. Daily, P. Ehrlich, and G. Luck. 2003. Effects of household dynamics on resource consumption and biodiversity [J]. Nature 421: 530–533.Google Scholar
  19. Liu, J., T. Dietz, S.R. Carpenter, C. Folke, M. Alberti, C.L. Redman, S.H. Schneider, E. Ostrom, et al. 2007. Coupled human and natural systems. Ambio 36: 639–649.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Liu, J.G., and J. Diamond. 2008. Revolutionizing China’s environmental protection. Science 319: 37–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems & human well-being: Synthesis. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.Google Scholar
  22. Ouyang, Z.Y., R.S. Wang, and J.Z. Zhao. 1999. Ecosystem services and their economic valuation. Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology 10: 635–640. (In Chinese).Google Scholar
  23. Pagiola, S., A. Arcenas, and G. Platais. 2005. Can payments for environmental services help reduce poverty? An exploration of the issues and the evidence to date from Latin America. World Development 33: 237–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rogers, S., and M. Wang. 2006. Environmental resettlement and social dis/rearticulation in Inner Mongolia, China. Population and Environment 28: 41–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rosenbaum, P., and D. Rubin. 1983. The central role of the propensity score in observation studies for causal effects. Biometrika 70: 41–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Scoones, I. 1998. Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: A Framework for Analysis. IDS Working Paper 72.Google Scholar
  27. Shi, G.Q., and R.Q. Zheng. 2010. Poverty migrants: New ideas for a poverty reduction. Journal of Gansu Administration Institute 4: 68–75. (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  28. Sharp R., R. Chaplin-Kramer, S. Wood, A. Guerry, H. Tallis, and T. Ricketts. 2015. InVEST 3.1.2 User’s Guide. The Natural Capital Project. USA: Stanford University.Google Scholar
  29. Stanley, J. 2004. Development-induced Displacement and Resettlement. Retrieved 2016, from http://www.forcedmigration.org/research-resources/expert-guides/development-induced-displacement-and-resettlement/alldocuments.
  30. Tang, L.X., Z.B. Lin, and X.Y. Li. 2005. Who moved? An analysis of causes and characteristics of Voluntary migrants. Problem of Agricultural Economy 4: 38–43. (In Chinese).Google Scholar
  31. Wang, Z., K. Song, and L. Hu. 2010. China’s largest scale ecological migration in the three-river headwater region. Ambio 39: 443–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wilmsen, B., M. Webber, and Y. Duan. 2011a. Involuntary rural resettlement: resources, strategies, and outcomes at the Three Gorges Dam, China. The Journal of Environment & Development 20: 355–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wilmsen, B., M. Webber, and Y. Duan. 2011b. Development for whom? Rural to urban resettlement at the Three Gorges Dam, China. Asian Studies Review 35: 21–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wu, Z., M.J. Penning, W. Zeng, S. Li, and N.L. Chappell. 2015. Relocation and social support among older adults in rural china. Journals of Gerontology 71: 1108–1119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Xue, L., M.Y. Wang, and T. Xue. 2013. ‘Voluntary’ poverty alleviation resettlement in China. Development and Change 44: 1159–1180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Yan, D.C., G.Q. Shi, and J. Zhou. 2011. Review of the cause of reservoir relocation poverty under the paradigm perspective. Water Resources Development Research 12: 16–20.Google Scholar
  37. Yang, W., T. Dietz, W. Liu, J. Luo, and J. Liu. 2013. Going beyond the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: an index system of human dependence on ecosystem services. PLoS ONE 8: e64581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zheng, H., B.E. Robinson, Y.C. Liang, S. Polasky, D.C. Ma, F.C. Wang, M. Ruckelshaus, Z. Ouyang, et al. 2013. Benefits, costs, and livelihood implications of a regional payment for ecosystem service program. Proceedings of the National academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110: 16681–16686.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Xi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Research Center for Eco-Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations