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Research on Cultivated Land Conservation during the Process of Urbanization of China

Author: HouLi
Tutor: WangShengJin
School: Jilin University
Course: Population, Resources and Environmental Economics
Keywords: Urbanization Arable land resources Urban system Land requisition system Peasants' land rights
CLC: F323.211
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2008
Downloads: 1472
Quote: 10
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Abstract


Since 1990’s China has speeded up urbanization. During this process, the scale of cultivated land has reduced continuously and the quality of cultivated land also presents a trend which drops unceasingly, so that the situation of cultivated land conservation becomes severer. One of the important reasons for the reduction and poor quality of cultivated land is that more and more cultivated land has been occupied by construction. In the future 20 to 30 years, the urbanization level will improve more, the town construction will speed up, and the influence of urbanization on cultivated land will appear further. According to the static effect of cultivated land use, some scholars considered that along with the urbanization development, more cultivable land could be released from countryside; therefore, urbanization was a process to realize the land intensive use, which was helpful to cultivated land conservation. This article starts from the dynamic effect of cultivated land use, and considers that the urbanization in essence is a process of urban economy development and income level increase. With the income improvement, the demand for construction land will increase, and the task of farming land protection will be tougher. Therefore, we can’t analyze the influence of urbanization on cultivated land too optimistically, and underestimate the austere situation of farming land conservation only according to the static effect of cultivated land use.The reduction and poor quality of cultivated land have aroused close attention to cultivated land conservation paid by the government, who has constituted the strictest farming protection systems in the world. Our farming land protection policy systems mainly include farming land property system, land use control system, construction land examination and approval system, management by objectives for dynamic equilibrium of the total cultivated land, etc. These above farming land protection systems provide necessary system guarantee for achieving the goal of cultivated land conservation, and have made certain progress in practice. But overall these systems haven’t fundamentally reversed the trend of reduction and poor quality of cultivated land. The greatest problem that affects farming land protection is illegal occupation impelled by local governments. The fiscal decentralization system started in 1994 has caused local governments to form a‘multi-duties request and proxy relationship’kind of management structure, which caused a behavior tendency of achievements demonstration and‘growth supremacy’. Namely, the highest goal for the local governments is to pursue economic development, GDP scale and fiscal revenue increase. There’s an obvious conflict between above goals and cultivated land conservation, thus the local governments lack the enthusiasm to protect the cultivated land. Just because of this reason, the central authority and local governments have a serious non-cooperation gambling revolving the problem of cultivated land conservation. In order to carry out the strict farming land protection systems effectively, we must deepen the management structure reform and speed up the function transformation of local governments.Since the reform and open policy, the legal framework of land confiscation system has been established gradually. But this system and the land increment income distribution mechanism based on it has many unreasonable places. For example, the procedure of land confiscation is not standard, the major part of land increment income are possessed by all levels of local governments and the development and construction enterprises, and the compensation standard of land confiscation to farmers is excessively low. Therefore, it’s necessary to impel the reforms of land confiscation system and land increment income distribution mechanism. At present, there’s a popular viewpoint domestically on how to promote and speed up the reforms. It is said that in order to protect the cultivated land and promote social justice, we should impel the marketability reform of land confiscation, reduce the range of land confiscation by the governments. That is to say, we should limit the range of land confiscation strictly within the frame of‘public interest’, and carry out the marketability reform regarding to the land circulation that are not involved in‘public interest’. While this article believes that the marketability reform of land confiscation and the reduction of the range of land confiscation by the governments are not helpful to the cultivated land conservation, which will also intensify the injustice between the farmers whose lands are confiscated and whose are not, as well as the social injustice caused by huge compensation standard difference because of the different types of land confiscation. Therefore, the key to the land confiscation system reform is to take the cultivated land conservation and social justice and fair maintenance as the fundamental principles and establish the reasonable land increment income distribution mechanism. Namely, we should increase the compensation standard for farmers’land confiscation and innovate in the compensation mode, the whole or the majority of the land income should be managed by the central finance, which could be used specially in cultivated land conservation and agriculture development.Urbanization is not only a process of population mobility from country to city, but also a process of cities system construction improvement. In a long time, our government has carried out the cities system construction strategy of giving priority to develop small cities, controlling the excessively expand of big cities. In the initial stage of reform and open policy, this kind of cities system construction strategy has contributed greatly to alleviate the pressures of employment, housing and public facilities in big cities, speed up the agricultural economic development, and advance the process of urbanization. However, along with the changes of all kinds of social and economic conditions, the strategy of giving priority to develop small cities has exposed more and more problems. The most prominent problem is that small cities construction has caused serious waste of land resources and proliferation of environmental pollution. The policy of controlling excessively expand of big cities hasn’t restrained the larger scale of city land occupation and increase of population inflow, and also caused the lack of supply of construction land in big cities. So that the land price and house price have climbed continuously in big cities, especially in developed economic areas, which directly restrict the healthy development of urbanization. This indicates that it is necessary to make significant adjustment to the cities system construction strategy, in order to meet the double needs of urbanization and cultivated land conservation. Specifically, it has three aspects: First, to insist on the cities system construction direction of giving priority to develop large and medium-sized cities; Second, to speed up the urban agglomeration construction in high concentration of economy, population and urban areas. Third, the cities system construction in less-developed areas should be based on the existing central cities.To strengthen the cultivated land conservation in the process of urbanization and cities system construction, we need not only to control the non-agriculture of cultivated land efficiently, to reduce the excessively expand of construction land and to raise the utilization efficiency of land; but also to strengthen the protection to the farmers’land rights and interests and to enhance the enthusiasm to protect the cultivated land. Namely, to improve the quality of cultivated land stably while ensuring the quantity and scale of cultivated land. Since the reform and open policy, our government has gradually established a systematical protection system to farmers’land rights and interests, which mainly includes land use right, land circulation right, land right of inheritance, land income right and land increment income right. What we could not deny is that the above system and its practice still have many problems we could not neglect, which directly affects the enthusiasm of farmers to protect cultivated land and enhance the farming land quality. In order to improve the quality and productivity of farming land, we should further strengthen the maintenance of farmers’land rights and interests. The specific measures mainly include 4 aspects: First, to introduce the long-term land use right to relevant law stipulation; Second, to maintain the farmers’land circulation right and promote the reasonable mobility of land; Third, to strengthen the agriculture support policy system construction and protect the farmers’land income; Forth, to reinforce the protection of farmer’s increment income.

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CLC: > Economic > Agricultural economy > China 's agricultural economy > Construction and development of agricultural economy > Agricultural resources development and utilization of > Types and evaluation of agricultural resources > Land, arable land resources
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