The rapid urbanization has exerted tremendous pressure on natural systems in mountains. As a measure of sustainable use of natural resources, ecological footprint is an important basis for judging whether the development of a country or region is within the bio-capacity. Taking Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture as an example, this study comprehensively analyzes the impact of human activities on mountain resources and environment from the three aspects of urbanization, land use and ecological carrying capacity. The results show that Dali Prefecture with the urbanization rate of 33% is still in the accelerated stage of urbanization. The urban space presents the core-periphery feature, and the central city is the focus of human existence and living activities. The per capita ecological footprint is 1.14 ha higher than the ecological carrying capacity, meaning Dali Prefecture has an ecological deficit. This indicates that there is an uncoordinated state between urbanization and environment. Arable land is the main source of per capita ecological footprint in the prefecture. However, the urban expansion overly occupies the arable land in the plain sub-region, leading the arable land to an ecological deficit state. In the future, the development of the mountainous area should focus on the protection of arable land and choose a new sustainable path.
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