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Sustainability 2014, 6(7), 4426-4451; doi:10.3390/su6074426

The Impacts on Illegal Farmland Conversion of Adopting Remote Sensing Technology for Land Inspection in China

1
School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, 163 Xianlin Avenue, Nanjing 210023, China
2
Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave. West, Waterloo ON N2L 3G1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 March 2014 / Revised: 27 June 2014 / Accepted: 3 July 2014 / Published: 17 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

While China’s central government has adopted remote sensing technology in land inspection since 2000, little empirical research has been done on its effect. This study aims to measure the effect of satellite imagery-based land inspection (SIBI) on illegal farmland conversion. The data used in this study were collected for the period from 1997 to 2010 at the province-level. The econometrics approach for panel data model was used in this research. The results showed that SIBI has a deterrent effect of approximately 2.42 ha for every increase of 1% in proportion to the area of prefecture-level regions inspected in a province-level region. The results also indicate land inspections with RS (Remote Sensing) technology saved approximately 11,880 ha farmland from illegal conversion during 2000–2010 with an estimated contribution of reducing illegal farmland conversion by nearly 11%. Furthermore, the governance structure change for land inspection has also contributed to deterring illegal farmland conversion. The deterrent effects due to land inspection by the Supervisor of State Land (SSL) are about 7332 ha during 2008–2010 with an estimated contribution of reducing illegal farmland conversion by nearly 33%. In conclusion, although SIBI has strengthened China’s central capacity to uncover illegal farmland conversion and weakened local governments’ abilities to hide illegal farmland conversion, it has limited impact on illegal farmland conversion since it is just a technical tool. Improvements in the land inspection governance structure have also helped to deter illegal farmland conversion. View Full-Text
Keywords: farmland preservation; illegal land use; deterrent effects; China farmland preservation; illegal land use; deterrent effects; China
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Zhong, T.; Huang, X.; Ye, L.; Scott, S. The Impacts on Illegal Farmland Conversion of Adopting Remote Sensing Technology for Land Inspection in China. Sustainability 2014, 6, 4426-4451.

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