Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2008, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (4): 499-509.doi: 10.1007/s11442-008-0499-1

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles    

Livelihood diversification and cropland use pattern in agro-pastoral mountainous region of eastern Tibetan Plateau

ZHANG Liping1, ZHANG Yili1, YAN Jianzhong1,2, WU Yingying2   

  1. 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:2008-01-20 Revised:2008-01-20 Online:2008-12-25 Published:2008-12-25
  • 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 household 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, socio-economic conditions and peasants’ capabilities together affect sustainable livelihood 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 livelihood and the essential approach of realizing sustainable land use in the region.

Key words: household, livelihood diversification, off-farm employment, land use, Tibetan Plateau