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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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Conclusion: Global environmental problems and ecological migration 257

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Conclusion Global environmental problems and ecological migration MASAYOSHI NAKAWO Global environmental problems It has been more than 30 years since the world began to take notice of global environmental problems. This began with scientists warning that the average global temperatures of the earth were rising at an abnormally fast pace, and that this was leading to accelerated melting of polar icecaps and glaciers, which would cause sea levels around the world to rise. The first identified cause of this global warming phenomenon was the now well-known “greenhouse effect” resulting from the increasing concentra- tions of CO2 in the atmosphere due to the considerable global consump- tion of fossil fuels. Since the majority of the world’s large metropolitan areas are located at less than a few meters above sea level, it would be a disaster of unprecedented proportions if sea levels were to rise. Since the earth’s atmosphere is a globally shared resource that extends around the world, global warming issues and their associated environmental threats have received considerable coverage by the mass media as issues affecting the entire world. There is now considerable awareness of global warming among both policy-makers and the general public in many countries. Triggered by these concerns over global warming, attention was subse- quently shifted toward a variety of other so-called global environmental problems that were arising in different parts of the world. These issues included ocean pollution, expanding desertification, the appearance of holes in the ozone layer, and the loss of biodiversity, all of which...

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