Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2012, Vol. 67 ›› Issue (12): 1599-1610.doi: 10.11821/xb201212002

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An Assessment of China’s Ecological Environment Quality Change and Its Spatial Variation

SUN Dongqi1, ZHANG Jingxiang2, ZHU Chuangeng3, HU Yi1, ZHOU Liang1   

  1. 1. School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
    2. School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
    3. Collage of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou 221116, Jiangsu, China
  • Received:2012-04-20 Revised:2012-09-26 Online:2012-12-20 Published:2012-12-20
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41171134;No.40901082;National Social Science Funds Special Commission Project of China, No.2007@ZH005;Key Project of National Soft Science of China, No.2700ZXQ4D166

Abstract: Ecological environment pressure has been increasing steadily in China over time. The purpose of this paper is to assess ecological environment quality changes and its spatial variation. The data is collected from statistical yearbooks of 31 provincial administrative units in 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010. It provides a general assessment of ecological environment at provincial level and three economic regions from western to eastern China. In addition, the paper analyzes the trend of ecological environment and the gravity centre change of ecological environment quality. A geographic information system (GIS) and SPSS were used to carry out this study. Some conclusions can be drawn as follows. 1) During 1990-2010, the deterioration rate of the ecological environment reduced, but the ecological environment still worsened. The paper argued that this deterioration trend of the ecological environment in China was neither as the results "deterioration trend was under control" which was noticed by the government departments concerned, nor as many other scholars pointed out that "the deterioration rate of the ecological environment is increasingly intensified". 2) On the whole, from 1990 onwards, the ecological environment was worsening in China, but it was improved in some areas. The ecological deficit is still expanding and will continue for a period of time in the future. 3) From western to eastern China, the deterioration rate of ecological environment quality shows a downward trend. The reasons are the good natural environment, as well as the developed regional economy, technology and financial support. 4) As the economy has been developing rapidly in China for a long time, there has been an imbalance among the population, economy, society and eco-environment in the 31 provincial regions. The governments at all levels should give full play to the role of the eco-environmental protection and research. And it is imperative to take concrete measures, such as controlling population, improving environment and promoting sound economic development to balance the socio-ecological system.

Key words: China, eco-environment changes, time-space analysis