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Sustainability 2016, 8(5), 488; doi:10.3390/su8050488

Impacts of Mining and Urbanization on the Qin-Ba Mountainous Environment, China

State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information Systems, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
School of Marketing and Management, the University of Adelaide, Adelaide 5005, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tan Yigitcanlar
Received: 21 March 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 May 2016 / Published: 18 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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The Qin-Ba Ecological Functional Zone is a component of China’s ecological security pattern designed to protect the regional ecosystem and maintain biodiversity. However, due to the impact of mining and urban encroachment, the plight of a sustainable ecosystem in the Qin-Ba mountainous area is deteriorating. This paper has used a remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) to examine the impacts of mining and urban encroachment on the environment in the Qin-Ba mountainous area. The results indicate that the total mined area in 2013 was 22 km2 and is predicted to escalate. Results also show that the ecosystems in Fengxian County, Shaanxi Province and Baokang County, Hubei Province were most severely affected by mining. Urbanization in the Qin-Ba mountainous area has seen an increase of 85.58 km2 in urban land use from 2010 to 2013. In addition, infrastructure development including airport construction, tourism resorts and real estate development in the Qin-Ba mountainous area has intensified environmental and biodiversity disturbances since large areas of forest have been cleared. Our results should provide insight and assistance to city planners and government officials in making informed decisions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Qin-Ba mountainous area; mining; urbanization; tourism real estate; ecological environment Qin-Ba mountainous area; mining; urbanization; tourism real estate; ecological environment

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Xu, X.; Cai, H.; Sun, D.; Hu, L.; Banson, K.E. Impacts of Mining and Urbanization on the Qin-Ba Mountainous Environment, China. Sustainability 2016, 8, 488.

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