JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2016, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (7): 1073-1085.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.20150794

• Resource Ecology •     Next Articles

Footprint and Degree of Ecological Civilization Assessment of Chinese Urban Food Consumption

CAO Shu-yan1, XIE Gao-di2   

  1. 1. Beijing Institute of Petro-chemical Technology, Beijing 102617, China;
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2015-07-25 Revised:2015-11-17 Online:2016-07-20 Published:2016-07-20
  • Supported by:
    “One-Three-Five” Strategic Planning by Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, No.2012ZD007; Key Projects in Studying Abroad as Visiting Scholars for the Facility from Universities Owned by the Municipal Government of Beijing, No.067145301400

Abstract: China’s urban household food consumption has significantly changed over the last decades. China has already begun to enter the primary city-based society with urban population projected to about 70% of the country’s population by 2030. During the urbanization, food consumption pattern involved in urban areas has been increasingly determining the fate of ecological civilization development for China, as in many other countries. Ecological footprint analysis estimates the “load” imposed on the ecosphere by human population and activities. Few but risen studies used it to measure the impact we pin on nature by making green food consumption policy. The Ecological Footprint of Foods (EFF) consumption by urban households is usually accounted using bottom to up footprint methodology. The incomplete food items list and the incomplete consumption-land use matrix are two key limits that significantly affect the accuracy of EFF. We modified the input-output technique based on footprint account model. Firstly, we make the food items list as complete as possible. The new list involves 30 food items consumed at home (FH), about 50% more than most of the published study, with food away from home (FAFH) traced. Secondly, the consumption-land use matrix for every item is accounted by using material flow analysis. The completeness and accuracy therefore could be improved significantly. We also develop a new concept, Degree of Ecological Civilization (DEC), to reveal the quality of EFF. DEC is defined as an indicator depicting the ecological rationality and sustainability of the impact that a defined food consumption pattern imposes on nature. DEC is disaggregated into five hierarchies (very high, high, medium, low and very low) by balancing EFF and two benchmark indicators, bio-capacity required by balanced diet pattern and national average bio-capacity available per capita. We applies the modified footprint account model and new DEC system to China in period 2005-2012, at both national and provincial scales, to measure the impact of human’s change of diet pattern on nature. FAFH contributes rising percentage of total EFF in national and provincial urban households, rocketing to 40% in 2012. Obviously, FAFH has already overridden FH as the key force driving EFF change. DEC degraded at national scale and in 28 of 31 provinces, indicating higher and universal ecological risk. The urban therefore must take corresponding responsibility.

Key words: degree of ecological civilization, ecological footprint, food consumption, material flow analysis, urban households

CLC Number: 

  • F205