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Livelihood Strategies in Shaxi, Southwest China: Conceptualizing Mountain–Valley Interactions as a Human–Environment System

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ETH Zürich, Institute for Environmental Decisions—Group Society, Environment and Culture, Sonneggstrasse 33, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
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Volkswirtschaftliche Beratung, Steinenberg 5, 4051 Basel, Switzerland
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Institute of Systematic Botany, University of Zürich, Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helmut Haberl
Sustainability 2015, 7(3), 3204-3229; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7033204
Received: 17 January 2015 / Revised: 9 March 2015 / Accepted: 11 March 2015 / Published: 17 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
This paper investigates the socio-ecological differences and interactions between upland and lowland areas in Shaxi Valley, Yunnan Province, Southwest China. As an analytical tool we used an extended Human–Environment System Framework by focusing particularly on the dynamics and sustainability of livelihood strategies and mountain–valley interactions. Drawing from household surveys conducted in two mountain and two valley communities in 2005 and 2009, we show that the distinct income gap between mountain and valley households in 2005 ceased to exist in 2009. The main drivers for this development are the local tourist industry, persistent demand for forest resources, as well as local off-farm and seasonal migrant employment. View Full-Text
Keywords: education; ethnic minorities; migrant labor; natural resources; village networks; Yunnan education; ethnic minorities; migrant labor; natural resources; village networks; Yunnan
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Huber, F.K.; Morlok, M.; Weckerle, C.S.; Seeland, K. Livelihood Strategies in Shaxi, Southwest China: Conceptualizing Mountain–Valley Interactions as a Human–Environment System. Sustainability 2015, 7, 3204-3229.

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