Analysis of Chinese Population, Environment and Development on Ecological Footprint

Analysis of Chinese Population, Environment and Development on Ecological Footprint

By Chen Dongjing Cheng Guodong Xu Zhongmin Zhang Zhiqiang
State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, 730000, P. R. China

Population, environment and development are themes of sustainable development. Ecological footprint, which was developed a few years ago, is an important technique to investigate relationships among the three of them. It measures the development level from a new aspect, which comes from the knowledge that people’s consumption can be transferred into biologically productive land which produces all the resources and assimilates all the wastes generated by human.

In this article, the ecological footprints of China are calculated from 1981 to 2000. It shows in the calculation that per capita footprint of China became bigger and bigger in the last twenty years. The footprint in 2010 (1.493hm2/cap) is 82.8%, larger than that in 1981 (0.817hm2/cap); Ecological deficit is increased from 0.096hm2/cap in 1981 to 0.759hm2/cap in 2000; the proportion among six types of sub-footprints has greatly changed: the rates of arable land, fossil energy land and forest land have been decreased from 44.8%, 41.5% and 4.1% to 27.1%, 40.1% and 3.0% respectively; the rates of sea, pasture and built-up land increased from 3.8%, 4.4% and 1.3% to 15.2%, 12.4% and 2.2% respectively. It indicates that the consumption level and structure has obviously changed. In the article, production coefficients of GDP to footprint of China have been increased from 584 1980’s RMB/hm2 in 1981 to 1522 1980’s RMB/hm2 in 2000, which reflects resources have been used more and more efficiently.

It is found that ecological footprint has positive and significant correlation with resident’s disposable income and expenditure, which can be described by income elasticity (ηI=0.476) and expenditure elasticity (ηE=0.422).

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