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Open AccessArticle

Does China’s Anti-Poverty Relocation and Settlement Program Benefit Ecosystem Services: Evidence from a Household Perspective

1
School of Economics and Finance, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710049, China
2
Institute for Population and Development Studies, School of Public Policy and Administration, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710049, China
3
Department of Biology, Stanford University, 371 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030600
Received: 14 October 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 January 2019 / Published: 23 January 2019
To assess whether and to what extent the anti-poverty relocation and settlement program (APRSP) in China will be able to resolve the development dilemma of ecosystem conservation and human wellbeing, it is important to study the effects of policy on rural households in terms of the income generation from ecosystem services (ES). We constructed an index of dependence on ecosystem services (IDES) to evaluate the dependence of households’ net income generation on ecosystem services. Using data collected from South Shaanxi Province, we examined the effects of the relocation program on rural households’ IDES. We find that this relocation may benefit the ecosystem by significantly decreasing participants’ IDES. Relocation households have higher net incomes than non-relocation households from total ecosystem services, provisioning services, regulating services, and cultural services as well as socio-economic activities. There are significant differences in IDES between groups with different relocation and resettlement characteristics. The anti-poverty relocation program optimized the rural households’ income structure by increasing the proportion of income from socio-economic activities while reducing the proportion of income from ecosystem services. This study provides new evidence for evaluating eco-conservation and development policies by linking ecosystem services and human well-being at a micro scale. We also address the policy implications of our analysis for anti-poverty relocation programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: anti-poverty relocation and settlement program (APRSP); ecosystem services (ES); index of dependence on ecosystem services (IDES); rural households; South Shaanxi Province anti-poverty relocation and settlement program (APRSP); ecosystem services (ES); index of dependence on ecosystem services (IDES); rural households; South Shaanxi Province
MDPI and ACS Style

Li, C.; Kang, B.; Wang, L.; Li, S.; Feldman, M.; Li, J. Does China’s Anti-Poverty Relocation and Settlement Program Benefit Ecosystem Services: Evidence from a Household Perspective. Sustainability 2019, 11, 600.

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