Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2018, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (3): 367-384.doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1478-9

• Review Article • Previous Articles    

Ecological compensation for desertification control: A review

Dajing LI1,2,*(), Duanyang XU1(), Ziyu WANG3, Xue DING4, Alin SONG5   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
    3. Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
    4. Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, China
    5. Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, CAAS, Beijing 100081, China.
  • Received:2017-03-30 Accepted:2017-07-18 Online:2018-03-10 Published:2018-03-10
  • Contact: Dajing LI;
  • About author:

    Author: Li Dajing (1993-), specialized in ecological compensation and regional development. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Xu Duanyang (1983-), PhD, specialized in desertification. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.71573245;National Key Research and Development Program of China, No.2016YFC0501002


Desertification control is a crucial way to enhancing the ecological conditions of arid and semi-arid regions, and maintaining sustainable development globally. Designing and improving an ecological compensation mechanism for desertification control has great significance related to achieving balance amongst the needs of different economic subjects and the assurance of a sustained and stable supply of desert ecosystem services. In this paper, (1) the theoretical bases of ecological compensation for desertification control were re-analyzed; (2) the research status and challenges of three important topics related to ecological compensation for desertification control were systemically discussed, including compensation standards, ecosystem service supply-consumption process and multi-scale effects, and resource-environment basis and policy orientation; (3) a research framework of ecological compensation for desertification control based on the process of desert ecosystem service supply-flow-consumption was proposed; (4) and finally, seven priority research issues were discussed, which aimed to support ecological compensation policy-making and ecological engineering implementation for desertification control.

Key words: desertification control, ecosystem service, ecological compensation, evaluation system, scale