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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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Afterword to English Edition 281

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Afterword to English Edition This book was first published in Japanese and in Chinese in 2005 and translated into English in 2009. With this in mind, we would like to pro- vide some additional information with regard to the direction that policy and research have taken during the intervening years, in an effort to bring this book up to date. By accessing the CNKI (Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure) data base, one can easily find more than 10,000 articles related to “eco- logical migration” published between January 1, 2005 and April 30, 2009. Among these, 386 articles have the words “ecological migration” in their titles. Reports on newspapers and yearbooks make up 190 of these, and the remaining 196 titles are academic research including doctoral and mas- ter’s theses. The number of articles with the words “ecological migration” in their titles nearly reached 100 in 2006 but has not increased any more in the years since. While this is a direct reflection of the fact that “ecologi- cal migration” has peaked out in the research world, it does not mean that it is no longer considered in the political sphere, or in the academic sphere for that matter. This book shows that three dimensions – the ecological, economic and cultural – must be considered and proved in order to make an assess- ment of policy. Of these, an economic assessment is somewhat easier than the other two dimensions for which more time is required to determine their relative stability. Consequently we must...

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