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Ecological Migration

Environmental Policy in China

Edited By Masayoshi Nakawo, Yuki Konagaya and Shinjilt

In the context of the current wave of global environmental concern, this book considers measures aimed at solving environmental problems, investigating the example of ecological migration.
The term «ecological migration» refers to the organized migration of people engaged in occupations that cause ecological destruction, aimed at rehabilitating and conserving the affected areas. In the vast arid and semi-arid regions that constitute the steppes of Inner Mongolia, grassland vegetation is in imminent danger due to overgrazing. Therefore, the herders are made to migrate to other areas in order to ensure regeneration of the affected grasslands. This book’s contributions are guided by questions such as: What has been the result of the strategy of ecological migration? Have the grasslands successfully been conserved? And can the desertification of Inner Mongolia be prevented?
The essays collected in this volume originate from a workshop on ecological migration held in Beijing, China, in 2004, and were published in Japanese and Chinese, both in 2005. They have been adopted as a textbook in university classes in Japan and China, and were updated and translated for the English publication.


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II Questioning economic aspects: Can “ecological migration”achieve a reduction in poverty?


119 Part 2 Questioning economic aspects: Can “ecological migration” achieve a reduction in poverty? II The mechanism of poverty resulting from “ecological migration” From case studies of herders in Minghua District, Sunan Yogor Autonomous County, Gansu Province MAILISHA Introduction An area termed the “Heihe River Basin Ecological Preservation District” has been added to Chinese Government maps of Gansu Province in recent years. This district lies within the Gobi Desert, in the middle of the Hexi Corridor. Administratively, it is located within Minghua District in Sunan Yogor (Yugu) Autonomous County.1 Several different ethnicities live in the area, including Yogors, Han Chinese, Tibetans, and Muslims, with Yogors making up 89 percent of the population. In recent years, with the implementation of environmental conservation projects,2 a “national agri- 1 Sunan Yogor Autonomous County is home to multiple ethnic groups, the principal group being the Yogors. The county is located in Gansu Province within the central region of the Hexi Corridor in the northern foothills of the Qilian Mountains. The county can be divided into three zones, separated by other cities and districts. The population of the county is more than 35,000, with Yogors making up 28 percent and Tibetans 24 percent of the people. In addition to these two ethnic minorities, there are also smaller numbers of Mongolians, Muslims, Bao-ans, Dongxiangs, and Tus. In all, ethnic minorities make up a total of 56 percent of the entire population and outnumber Han Chinese in the county (“Sunan Yogor Autonomous County Statistics Yearbook,...

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