Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2020, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (4): 621-641.doi: 10.1007/s11442-020-1746-3

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Surplus or deficit? Quantifying the total ecological compensation of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region

YANG Wenjie1, GONG Qianwen1,2,*(), ZHANG Xueyan3,4   

  1. 1. Center for Green Development and Chinese Rural Land Research, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
    2. School of Marxism, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
    3. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    4. Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2019-03-23 Accepted:2019-09-12 Online:2020-04-25 Published:2020-06-25
  • Contact: GONG Qianwen
  • About author:Yang Wenjie (1990-), PhD Candidate, specialized in resource and environmental economic policy. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Social Science Foundation of China(18BGL173);National Social Science Foundation of China(16CJY044);Beijing Social Science Fund Project, China(16LJC009)


The calculation of ecological compensation and boundary identification of stakeholders represent the key challenges for Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region in its implementation of the trans-regional ecological compensation mechanism. Breaking administrative boundaries and spatially coordinating ecological resources helps to restructure an ecological compensation mechanism of the region based on the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. According to the estimated ecological assets in the counties of the region in 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015, a quantitative model for total ecological compensation was built based on ecological assets and county-level economic development. Then, the spatiotemporal distribution characteristics of the total ecological compensation in the region were defined, and the boundaries of ecological surplus and deficit areas were identified. Results indicate: (1) The region’s annual average ecological assets amounted to ¥1379.47 billion; in terms of annual total ecological assets, Hebei ranked first (¥1123.80 billion), followed by Beijing (¥157.46 billion) and Tianjin (¥98.21 billion); and in terms of ecological assets per unit area, Beijing ranked first, Tianjin second and Hebei last. (2) Among ecosystem services, hydrological regulation and climate regulation had the highest annual average value and contributed most to the increase in ecological assets. In 2015, the contribution of water and soil conservation to the total ecological assets decreased to -15.66%, showing the degradation of the function played by different ecosystems. (3) The ecological surplus of the region in four periods of 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 were ¥398.98 billion, ¥870.37 billion, ¥1254.93 billion and ¥2693.94 billion respectively, basically offsetting the ecological deficit of each corresponding period, but the urgency for ecological compensation was increased. (4) The ecological surplus and deficit areas showed a great fluctuation in different time periods. Larger time span means more noticeable convergence of deficit areas towards central and eastern areas. Public resources such as education, transportation and medical care in central urban areas should be decentralized to encourage population dispersal, weaken the agglomeration effect of deficit areas and finally achieve the ecological synergy of the region.

Key words: regional eco-compensation, equivalent factor, surplus and deficit evaluation, coordinated development, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region