Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2007, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (3): 269-284.doi: 10.1007/s11442-007-0269-5

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Farmers&rsquo|vulnerability to flood risk: A case study in the Poyang Lake Region

MA Dingguo1,2,3, CHEN Jie2, ZHANG Wenjiang1,3, ZHENG Lin2, LIU Ying2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China|
    2. College of Geography & Environment, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang 330022, China|
    3. Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China
  • Received:2007-02-08 Revised:2007-03-16 Online:2007-09-25 Published:2007-09-25
  • Supported by:

    Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Ecological Environment and Resource Development, No.PK2004017; Na-tional Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40561011


This paper quantitatively explores farmers’ vulnerability to flood in the Poyang Lake Region (PLR) with the supports of GIS spatial functions. The analysis consists of three major steps, which is based on the spatial unit of township. Firstly, the spatial extent and charac-teristics of flood risk areas were determined using a digital elevation model (DEM) derived from the 1:50,000 topographic map. Secondly, for each of the township, six indices indicating the economic activities of local farmers were calculated. These indices are: rural population proportion, cultivated land proportion, GDP per unit area, employment proportion of primary industry, net rural income per capita and agricultural income proportion. These six indices were then normalized and used for later vulnerability assessment. Thirdly, the normalized indices (as GIS data layers) were overlaid with the flood risk areas to produce the risk coeffi-cient for each township and to calculate the overall vulnerability for each township. The analysis results show that in the PLR there are high flood risk areas where the farmers’ livings are seriously influenced or threatened. About 55.56% of the total 180 townships in the flood risk areas have a high degree of flood vulnerability. The townships under flood risk are mainly distributed in the areas around the Poyang Lake and the areas along the “five rivers”.

Key words: flood risk, farmer, vulnerability, Poyang Lake Region