Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2001, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (5): 599-610.doi: 10.11821/xb200105011

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The Ecological Footprints of the 12 Provinces of West China in 1999

ZHANG Zhi qiang1,2, XU Zhong min1, CHENG Guo dong1, CHEN Dong jing1   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China;
    2. Scientific Information Center for Resources and Environment, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2001-05-10 Revised:2001-07-10 Online:2001-09-15 Published:2001-09-15
  • Supported by:
    The Key Innovation Projects of CAS,No.KZCX1-09-04 and No.KZCX1-10-07;the Innovation Project of CAREERI of CAS,No.210018

Abstract: The quantitative measurement of sustainable development has become one of the frontiers of sustainable development research since the sustainable development concept was put forward The ecological footprint indicator, put forward and developed by W E Rees and M Wackernagel since the early 1990s, is to measure the human impact on the earth and judge whether the human load stays within global carrying capacity The ecological footprint of any defined population (from a single individual to that of a whole city or country) is the total area of ecologically productive land and sea occupied to produce all the resources and services consumed and to assimilate all the wastes generated by that population With an area of about 6 88?10 6 km 2 which accounts for 71 67% of the total land area of China and 3 57?10 8 people accounting for 28 3% of the total population of China, the 12 provinces of West China have relatively low population density, and are abundant in natural resources but backward in economic development It is important to study the usage status of natural resources and sustainability of the 12 provinces of West China Based on the introduction to the concept and calculation method of ecological footprint indicator, the authors calculate and analyze the ecological footprints of the 12 provinces of West China in 1999 according to the data of the statistical yearbooks of these provinces According to this calculation, Yunnan Province and the Tibet Autonomous Region were the two provinces with ecological surplus, the other 10 provinces were all with ecological deficit The ecological surplus of Yunnan and Tibet were 0 145 hm 2 and 5 431 hm 2 per capita, respectively The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Guizhou Province were the two provinces that have the largest ecological deficit, 1 261 hm 2 and 0 876 hm 2 per capita, respectively The ecological footprint and ecological deficit per capita of the 12 provinces of West China in 1999 were 1 172 hm 2 and 0 469 hm 2, respectively The total ecological footprint deficit of the 12 provinces of West China in 1999 is 1 625?10 6 km 2,which is equivalent to the area of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region The ecological footprint deficit shows that the human load has already stayed beyond the regional bio capacity, and the regional natural ecosystem is under great pressure of human activities We also point out the sustainability of the 12 provinces of West China according to the results of ecological footprints, and analyze the use efficiency of natural resources by calculating the ecological footprint needs of gross domestic product (GDP).

Key words: measurement of sustainable development, ecological footprint, ecologically productive area, bio-capacity, ecological surplus, ecological deficit, West China

CLC Number: 

  • X22