Livelihood Diversification and Cropland Use Pattern in Agro- pastoral Mountainous Region of the Eastern Tibetan Plateau

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Chongqing 400716, China

Received date: 2007-08-26

  Revised date: 2007-12-25

  Online published: 2008-04-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40471009; No.40601006; National Basic Research Program of China, No.2005CB422006


This study examined livelihood diversification and cropland use pattern in Keerma village, located in Jinchuan County, eastern Tibetan Plateau. Through stratified random sampling survey, participatory rural appraisal, investigation of households' plots and statistical methods, 63 households and 272 cropland plots were systemically investigated and sampled. The results show: (1) Different types of households have variety livelihood strategies, portfolio and income. Livelihood diversification and introducing and expanding off-farm activities can be the future trend, whereas, adverse natural environment, social-economic conditions and peasants' capabilities together affect sustainable livelihoods and land use. (2) Each livelihood strategy has its own impact on land use, mainly affecting land use type and land use intensification level. (3) Diversification into off-farm activities could be the key of building sustainable livelihoods and the essential approach to the realization of sustainable land use in the region.

Cite this article

ZHANG Liping, ZHANG Yili, YAN Jianzhong, WU Yingying . Livelihood Diversification and Cropland Use Pattern in Agro- pastoral Mountainous Region of the Eastern Tibetan Plateau[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2008 , 63(4) : 377 -385 . DOI: 10.11821/xb200804002


[1] Block S, Webb P. The dynamics of livelihood diversification in post-famine Ethiopia. Food Policy, 2001, 26: 333-350.

[2] Bouahom B, Douangsavanh L, Rigg J. Building sustainable livelihood in Loas: Untangling farm from non-farm, progress from distress. Geoforum, 2004, 35: 607-619.

[3] Barrow C J, Hicham H. Two complimentary and integrated land uses of the western High Atlas Mountains, Morocco: The potential for sustainable rural livelihoods. Applied Geography, 2000, 20: 369-394.

[4] Ellis F, Mode N. Livelihoods and rural poverty reduction in Tanzania. World Development, 2003, 31(8): 1367-1384.

[5] Holden S, Shiferaw B, Pender J. Non-farm income, household welfare, and sustainable land management in a less-favoured area in the Ethiopian highlands. Food Policy, 2004, 29: 369-392.

[6] Eija Soini. Land use change patterns and livelihood dynamics on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Agricultural Systems, 2005, 85: 306-323.

[7] Gina Koczberski, George N Curry. Making a living: Land pressures and changing livelihood strategies among oil palm settlers in Papua New Guinea. Agricultural Systems, 2005, 85: 324-339

[8] McCusker B, Carr E R. The co-production of livelihoods and land use change: Case studies from South Africa and Ghana. Geoforum, 2006, 37(5): 790-804.

[9] Bradstock A. Land reform and livelihoods in South Africa's Northern Cape Province. Land Use Policy, 2006, 23 (3): 247-259.

[10] Chen Houji. Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development: The Theory and Practice of SARD. Beijing: China Agricultural Scientech Press, 1994.
[ 陈厚基. 持续农业与农村发展: SARD 的理论与实践. 北京: 中国农业科技出版 社, 1994.]

[11] Tan Shuhao, Qu Futian, Huang Xianjin. Difference of farm households' land use decision-making and land conservation policies under market economy. Journal of Nanjing Agricultural University, 2001, 24(2): 110-114.
[ 谭淑豪, 曲福田, 黄贤金. 市场经济环境下不同类型农户土地利用行为差异及土地保护政策分析. 南京农业大学学报, 2001, 24(2): 110-114.]

[12] Pender J. Development pathways for hillsides and highlands: Some lessons from Central America and East Africa. Food Policy, 2004, 29: 339-367.

[13] Yan Jianzhong, Zhang Yili, Bai Wanqi et al. Livelihood succession and land use/cover change in the upper reaches of Dadu River watershed. Transactions of the CSAE, 2005, 21(3): 83-89.
[阎建忠, 张镱锂, 摆万奇等. 大渡河上游生计 方式的时空格局与土地利用/ 覆被变化. 农业工程学报, 2005, 21(3): 83-89.]

[14] Bao Weikai, Zhang Yili, Wang Qian et al. Rehabilitation and degradation for subalpine coniferous forest on the upper reaches of Dadu River of eastern Tibetan Plateau. Journal of Mountain Science, 2002, 20(2): 194-198.
[包维楷, 张镱 锂, 王乾等. 大渡河上游林区森林资源退化及其恢复与重建. 山地学报, 2002, 20(2): 194-198.]

[15] Bai Wanqi, Yan Jianhzong, Zhang Yili. Land use/land cover and driving forces in the region of the upper reaches of the Dadu River. Progress in Geography, 2004, 23(1): 71-78.
[摆万奇, 阎建忠, 张镱锂. 大渡河上游地区土地利用/ 土 地覆被变化与驱动力分析. 地理科学进展, 2004, 23(1): 71-78.]

[16] Bai Wanqi, Zhang Yongmin, Yan Jianzhong et al. Simulation of land use dynamics in the upper reaches of the Dadu River. Geographical Research, 2005, 24(2): 206-212.
[摆万奇, 张永民, 阎建忠等. 大渡河上游地区土地利用动态模 拟分析. 地理研究, 2005, 24(2): 206-212.]

[17] Yan Jianzhong, Zhang Yili, Zhu Huiyi et al. Residents' response to environmental degradation: Case studies from three villages in the upper Dadu River watershed. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2006, 61(2): 146-156.
[阎建忠, 张镱锂, 朱会义 等. 大渡河上游不同地带居民对环境退化的响应. 地理学报, 2006, 61(2): 146-156.]

[18] Compliling Committee for Jinchuan Chorography of the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province. Jinchuan Chorography. Beijing: The Ethnic Publishing House, 1994.
[四川省阿坝藏族羌族自治州金川县地 方志编纂委员会. 金川县志. 北京: 民族出版社, 1994.]

[19] Land Resources Investigation Office for Land and Resources Bureau of Jinchuan County. Jinchuan Land, 1995.
[金川县 国土局金川县土地资源调查办公室. 金川土地, 1995.]

[20] Yang Xuecheng, Zhao Ruiying. An analysis of households' operation behavior differentiation at the transition phase. China Rural Survey, 1998, (3): 37-42.
[杨学成, 赵瑞莹. 转型时期农户经营行为分化实证分析. 中国农村观察, 1998, (3): 37-42.]

[21] Chen Changhua, Fang Xiaojun. An analysis of households' operation behavior differentiation in Jiangshu Province. Chinese Rural Economy, 1999, (4): 46-50.
[陈长华, 方晓军. 江苏农户经营行为分化实证分析. 中国农村经济, 1999, (4): 46-50.]

[22] OUyang Jinliang, Song Chunmei, Yu Zhenrong et al. The farm household's choice of land use type and its effectiveness on land quality and environment in Huang-Huai-Hai Plain. Journal of Natural Resources, 2004, 19(1): 1-11.
[ 欧阳进良, 宋春梅, 宇振荣等. 黄淮海平原农区不同类型农户的土地利用方式选择及其环境影响: 以河北省曲周县为例. 自然资源学报, 2004, 19(1): 1-11.]

[23] Cramb R A, Purcell T, Ho T C S. Participatory assessment of rural livelihoods in the Central Highlands of Vietanam. Agricultural System, 2004, 81: 255-272.

[24] Richard Y M Kangalawe, Emma T Liwenga. Livelihoods in the wetlands of Kilombero Valley in Tanzania: Opportunities and challenges to integrated water resource management. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 2005, 30: 968-975.

[25] Chambers R. The origins and practice of participatory and rural appraisal. World Development, 1994, 22(7): 953-969.

[26] International Institute for Environment and Development. A trainer's guide for participatory learning and action. London: IIED, 1995.

[27] Zhao Jie, Zhao Shidong. Apply participatory rural appraisal method to the research of land use change in local scale: A case study of village Yaoledianzi of Korqin sands. Areal Research and Development, 2004, 23(1): 73-76.
[ 赵杰, 赵士 洞. 利用PRA 方法研究小尺度区域土地利用变化: 以科尔沁沙地尧勒甸子村为例. 地域研究与开发, 2004, 23(1): 73-76.]

[28] Bruce C Glavovic, Saskia Boonzaier. Confronting coastal poverty: Building sustainable coastal livelihoods in South Africa. Ocean & Coastal Management, 2007, 50(1/2): 1-23.

[29] Charlie M Shackleton, Sheona E Shackleton, Erik Buiten et al. The importance of dry woodlands and forests in rural livelihoods and poverty alleviation in South Africa forest. Policy and Economics, 2007, 9(5): 558-577.