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Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 733; doi:10.3390/su8080733

Assessment of the Coordination Ability of Sustainable Social-Ecological Systems Development Based on a Set Pair Analysis: A Case Study in Yanchi County, China

1,3
and
1,2,*
1
Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
Institutes of Science and Development, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
3
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helmut Haberl
Received: 10 April 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1685 KB, uploaded 10 August 2016]   |  

Abstract

Sandy desertification is one of the most severe ecological problems in the world. Essentially, it is land degradation caused by discordance in the Social-Ecological Systems (SES). The ability to coordinate SES is a principal characteristic of regional sustainable development and a key factor in desertification control. This paper directly and comprehensively evaluates the ability to coordinate SES in the desertification reversal process. Assessment indicators and standards for SES have been established using statistical data and materials from government agencies. We applied a coordinated development model based on Identical-Discrepancy-Contrary (IDC) situational ranking of a Set Pair Analysis (SPA) to analyze the change in Yanchi County’s coordination ability since it implemented the grazing prohibition policy. The results indicated that Yanchi County was basically in the secondary grade of the national sustainable development level, and the subsystems’ development trend was relatively stable. Coordinate ability increased from 0.686 in 2003 to 0.957 in 2014 and experienced “weak coordination to basic coordination to high coordination” development processes. We concluded that drought, the grazing prohibition dilemma and the ecological footprint were key factors impeding the coordination of SES development in this area. These findings should provide information about desertification control and ecological policy implementation to guarantee sustainable rehabilitation. View Full-Text
Keywords: social-ecological systems; sustainable development; coordination ability; set pair analysis; Yanchi County social-ecological systems; sustainable development; coordination ability; set pair analysis; Yanchi County
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, Y.; Zhou, L. Assessment of the Coordination Ability of Sustainable Social-Ecological Systems Development Based on a Set Pair Analysis: A Case Study in Yanchi County, China. Sustainability 2016, 8, 733.

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