JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2019, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (5): 911-920.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20190501

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Evaluation on land carrying capacity of Tibet based on dietary nutrients:Present and prospects

Qing HAO1,2,3,4(), Zhi-ming FENG1,3,4, Yan-zhao YANG1,3,4, He ZHU1   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Chinese Academy of Natural Resource Economics, Beijing 101149, China
    3. Key Laboratory of Carrying Capacity Assessment for Resource and Environment, MNR, Beijing 101149, China
    4. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2018-11-24 Revised:2019-02-28 Online:2019-05-28 Published:2019-05-28


Land carrying capacity is a fundamental representation of relationship between human and land. Forecasting and evaluating land carrying capacity will bring benefits to agricultural spatial governance, population strategies and agriculture policy-making. Taking the Tibet Autonomous Region as an example, this study evaluates and predicts the actual land carrying capacity and its changes based on the daily calorie, protein and fat of regular human needs. Through analysis, it is found that: (1) The land carrying index of Tibet remained between 80.66% and 89.84% from 2004 to 2016 in a tight balance level. (2) In the future, the land carrying index of Tibet will continue to remain above 87.5%, with a trend of rising first and then falling, and then reaching a peak around 2032, with the proportion of more than 92.56%; it will continue to decline thereafter, with the proportion of less than 90% in 2050. Therefore, based on the evaluation of land carrying capacity and according to the changes in future food consumption and the natural conditions of this region, there is no need to increase the intensity of agricultural and livestock development, but it is matter to reduce the occupation of cultivated land and grassland, such as urban and rural construction, and maintain the current total production space of both agriculture and animal husbandry. Some suggestions are also proposed, including gradually increasing investment in science and technology of agricultural and livestock products to improve the production efficiency, implementing ecological restoration and land remediation. It is necessary to optimize agricultural production structure of Tibet in accordance with these changes in residents' food consumption structure, which includes moderately reducing the area planted with grain, expanding the cultivation of vegetables, fruits and fruits in suitable areas, and developing the economy of grassland and animal husbandry.

Key words: carrying capacity, spatial governance, population, dietary nutrition, Tibet