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

Ecological Balance between Supply and Demand in China Using Ecological Footprint Method

  • Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China

Received date: 2011-07-21

  Revised date: 2011-11-04

  Online published: 2012-04-20


A balanced ecological carrying capacity is important to achieve sustainable development for human enterprise. Experiencing fast population growth and increasing pressure on natural resources and environment, China's ecological balance between supply and demand has been widely debated. In this study the "Ecological Footprint" method was used to analyze the supply-demand balance of China's ecological carrying capacity. Firstly, the ecological supply and demand balance was calculated and evaluated, and secondly, the ecological carrying capacity index (ECCI) was derived. The ECCI was calculated for each county of China in 2007 and systematically evaluated towards its supply-demand balance, so as to bring some scientific references and policy-making supports to the population spatial distribution planning, main function zone and ecological security regionalization of China. The results showed that: 1) Ecological deficit appeared to be the main characteristic of the supply-demand balance of the ecological carrying capacity at county level, referring to 1436 counties and a population of 1052.8×106, accounting for 62% and 81% of the whole country respectively. Ecological surplus accounted for the largest share of 62% of the total area; the ecological deficit area and ecological equilibrium area accounted for 32% and 6% respectively. In general, more than 4/5 of the Chinese population was concentrated in less than 1/3 of the land area and more than 2/3 of the land area was inhabited by less than 1/5 of the population. 2) China's ecological carrying capacity demand-supply balance ranged from significant overloading to affluence from southeastern to northwestern China. And what's more, it appeared to be more dominant in regions located at coastal areas which are attracted by migrants and had a generally higher population density. Along with the rapid development and urbanization trends in China, ecological deficits in these regions will become more severe. As a result,environmental problems should be paid sufficient attentions in order to keep ecology secure in these regions.

Cite this article

LIU Dong, FENG Zhi-ming, YANG Yan-zhao . Ecological Balance between Supply and Demand in China Using Ecological Footprint Method[J]. JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES, 2012 , 27(4) : 614 -624 . DOI: 10.11849/zrzyxb.2012.04.008


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