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Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 175; doi:10.3390/su9020175

Household Livelihood Strategy Choices, Impact Factors, and Environmental Consequences in Miyun Reservoir Watershed, China

1
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
2
Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0B9, Canada
3
School of Economics and Finance, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710061, China
4
Beijing Water Science and Technology Institute, Beijing 100044, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Phoebe Koundouri and Ebun Akinsete
Received: 5 December 2016 / Revised: 14 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 25 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable River Basin Management)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1335 KB, uploaded 25 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

Household livelihood strategies are embedded in the natural and socioeconomic contexts in which people live. Analyzing the factors that influence household livelihood choice and defining their consequences can be beneficial for informing rural household policies. In turn, this has great significance for fostering sustainable livelihood strategies. We grouped household livelihood strategies based on the income distribution of 756 households and analyzed their influencing factors and possible livelihood consequences in the watershed of Miyun Reservoir, the only source of surface water currently available for domestic use in Beijing, China. Local farmers’ livelihood strategies can be grouped into three types: farming, local off-farm, and labor-migrant. Farming households have the lowest livelihood capitals, other than natural capital, compared with labor-migrant households and off-farm households, the latter having better livelihood capital status. Geographical location, natural capital, household structure, labor quality, and ecological policies are the main factors affecting farmers’ choice of livelihood strategy. Local off-farm households have a significantly lower dependency on firewood, land resources, and investment than that of farming and labor-migrant households, and have the highest reliance on fossil fuel. This household classification can help us understand the livelihood characteristics, impact factors, and consequences of different types of household strategies, which also suggest tailored policy and management options to promote sustainable livelihoods based on different household types. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural households; livelihood strategy; livelihood diversity; watershed management; China agricultural households; livelihood strategy; livelihood diversity; watershed management; China
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Peng, W.; Zheng, H.; Robinson, B.E.; Li, C.; Wang, F. Household Livelihood Strategy Choices, Impact Factors, and Environmental Consequences in Miyun Reservoir Watershed, China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 175.

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