Special Column:Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of IGSNRR, CAS

Review of Research on Mountainous Ecological Restoration Based on Farmer Household Livelihood Evolution

  • 1. School of Geographical Science, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Humid Subtropical Eco-geographical Process of the Ministry of Education, Fuzhou 350007, China

Received date: 2010-04-08

  Revised date: 2010-09-21

  Online published: 2011-02-20


With the acceleration of industria1ization and urbanization, there is a phenomenon of farmer household livelihood evolution in the vast rural areas. Therefore, farmer household livelihood evolution reflects the change of rural economy to a certain extent. Pushed by marginal rural economies and pulled by employment opportunities, the rural poor seek new livelihoods in local communities, external cities and foreign labor markets. Then the farmer household livelihood experiences a variety of changes. According to international related reports, the livelihood evolution can affect the mountainous ecological restoration by changing the farmer households’ land use activity. In terms of its natural function and task, research on mountainous ecological restoration based on farmer household livelihood evolution becomes the focus of restoration ecology and rural geography. Based on Chinese and international related research, the connotation of farmer household livelihood evolution, driving forces and mechanism were reviewed. It was put forward that livelihood diversification and livelihood substitution were different forms of livelihood evolution, and mountainous ecological restoration was closely related to farmer household livelihood evolution. It was also recognized that the active household livelihood evolution promoted the upland ecological restoration through decreasing the human disturbance. For example, the evident decrease of deforestation, degradation and mountainous woodland recovery, resulted from the marginal land abandonment, the transition of farmer cooking energy from firewood to coal, are widespread in some developing countries recently. Finally, it was proposed that the relation between farmer household livelihood evolution and mountainous ecological restoration, the influence of a series of governments’ programs on farmer household livelihoods and rural ecosystem, should be promoted for further study. It was also suggested that Chinese official assessment criteria should be optimized, adding to the weight of household livelihoods and environment, in order to increase the governments’ focus on household livelihood and local environment. Government officials should be rewarded for their long-term livelihood and environmental achievements, not exclusively based on the economic accomplishment in their term of office.

Cite this article

WANG Cheng-chao, YANG Yu-sheng . Review of Research on Mountainous Ecological Restoration Based on Farmer Household Livelihood Evolution[J]. JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES, 2011 , 26(2) : 344 -352 . DOI: 10.11849/zrzyxb.2011.02.018


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