Rural hollowing is a recent geographic phenomenon that has received significant attention in China, which is experiencing rapid urbanization. It has led to the wasteful use of rural land resources, and imposed obstacles on the optimization of land use and coordinated urban-rural development. Rural hollowing has various forms of manifestation, which refers to the neglect and vacancy of rural dwellings, both of which can lead to damage and ultimate abandonment of rural dwellings. Damaged dwellings have different degrees of destruction, ranging from slight, moderate to severe. The evolutive process of rural hollowing in general has five stages, i.e., emergence, growth, flourishing, stability, and decline. Based on the combination of both regional economic development level and its physiographic features, the types of rural hollowing can be categorised as urban fringe, plain agricultural region, hilly agricultural region, and agro-pastoral region. Especially, the plain agricultural region is the most typical one in rural hollowing, which shows the spatial evolution of rural hollowing as a “poached egg” pattern with a layered hollow core and solid shape. Furthermore, the driving forces behind rural hollowing are identified as the pull of cities and push of rural areas. In particular, this paper identifies contributors to rural hollowing that include rural depopulation in relation to rapid urbanisation and economic change, land ownership and land use policy, and institutional barriers.
This paper analyzed forest land use change in Trans-Boundary Laos–China Biodiversity Conservation Area which is called Namha National Biodiversity Conservation Areas (Namha NBCAs), with 1992 and 2002 TM (ETM). Based on GIS and statistical methods, the intensity, state index of land use change and transfer matrix were used to study spatio- temporal land use change in the region. The results showed that the area of forest land decreased greatly, also the area of bamboo and grassland decreased. The other way round, the area of unstocked forest, slash and burn and rice paddy land increased. As a whole, the intensity of forest land change was higher, but others were lower. From the transfer matrix, most of the forest land changed into unstocked forest and urban area, some to slash and burn. The grassland and bamboo were mainly transferred to forest and unstocked forest. The unstocked forest land mostly came from forest land and grassland. It was showed there were three main causes of the land use change namely: opium poppy cultivation, rubber plantation and also ecotourism activities and finally some policies were developed in order to address the land use change in the study areas.
Land use change is the result of the interplay between socioeconomic, institutional and environmental factors, and has important impacts on the functioning of socioeconomic and environmental systems with important tradeoffs for sustainability, food security, biodiversity and the vulnerability of people and ecosystems to global change impacts. Based on the results of the First Land Use Survey in Tibet Autonomous Region carried out in the late 1980s, land use map of Lhasa area in 1990 was compiled for the main agricultural area in Lhasa valley using aerial photos obtained in April, May and October 1991 and Landsat imagery in the late 1980s and 1991 as remotely sensed data sources. Using these remotely sensed data, the land use status of Lhasa area in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1999 and 2000 were mapped through updating annual changes of cultivated land, artificial forest, grass planting, grassland restoration, and residential area and so on. Land use map for Lhasa area in 2007 was made using ALOS AVNIR-2 composite images acquired on October 24 and December 26, 2007 through updating changes of main land use types. According to land use status of Lhasa area in 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2007, the spatial and temporal land use dynamics in Lhasa area from 1990 to 2007 are further analyzed using GIS spatial models in this paper.
Land pressure and adaptation are the main factors determining environmental degradation in most of China’s mountainous regions. Little attention so far has been paid to the adaptation strategies based on evaluation of land pressure in these regions. We evaluated the grain production pressure and economic development pressure for 21 small watersheds undergoing soil conservation measures in the northern mountainous region of China, compared the evaluation results with actual production for each of the watersheds, and analyzed the adaptation strategies. The results imply that land pressure was spatially heterogeneous among the sample watersheds, but there was a balancing trend between land pressure and productive capacity for each watershed. Under rising pressure, these watersheds developed a variety of adaptation strategies such as labor migration, increasing fruit and nut production, and expanding rural tourism if possible. These strategies result from evolution of the market economy in China, and persistent development of the national economy determines the variation of environment in these mountainous regions.