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Ecological Footprint in Hengdong County of Hunan Province Based on the Emergy Theory

Author: ZhangWei
Tutor: KangWenXing
School: Central South University of Forestry Science and Technology
Course: Ecology
Keywords: Ecological footprint Resource Sustainable Development Emergy analysis Biological capacity Ecological deficit Hengdong county
CLC: X22
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2008
Downloads: 101
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Since Sustainable Development was put forward by Environment and Development of World committee in 1987, the concept was accepted by more and more people. Sustainable development has become one of important basic national policies in our country. Since the reform and opening, Remarkable achievements of economic and social development have been acquired in Hengdong county. As a result, this rapid development went with high resource consumption and environmental pollution. How to analyze and estimate the situation of Sustainable Development of one region in quantitative measurement is still an advancing edge and focus in Sustainable Development research domain. Hengdong is a typical hilly county in the south of China. Therefore, it has important practical and instructional meaning to assess the situation of sustainable development in Hengdong.In this paper we present a new method of ecological footprint calculation, based on the energy analysis. The translation of human demand of natural resources and the supply of nature services into understandable and quantifiable concepts is the main objective of the new method. Firstly, the amounts of human consumption corresponding to six categories of ecological productive areas and the amounts of natural supply are calculated. And then, these amounts are translated into common unit energy through the energy analysis. Thirdly, in this new method we are proposing we will derive the ecological footprint and carrying capacity by dividing the energy amounts by the energy density. Finally, we compare the ecological footprint with the carrying capacity to measure the environmental status of sustainability in the given region. The improved "Ecological Footprint"(EF) model was used to assess the sustainability of social and economic development quantitatively from 1995 to 2004 for Hengdong county. The change tendency of ecological footprint and its main influencing factors in Hengdong county were analyzed for the last 10 years. Based on this analysis, the potential changes of the ecological footprint and biological capacity (BC) was predicted for 2005-2010.During the last 10 years, Hengdong County’s per capita ecological footprint increased year by year, from 1995 to 0.8874 hm2,to 0.8893 hm2 the 1999,2004 and then to the 1.6705 hm2, an increase of 1.9 times.2004 appeared ecological deficit 0.0773 hm2. Per capita demand over supply, gradually prominent contradictions, regional community is facing some pressure on the environment. Per capita ecological footprint from the structural changes in supply and demand, supply and demand of arable land with great contradictions, and water and construction sites rapid demand growth, and fossil fuel sites enjoying a falling trend, as other woodland lawns, a little change. These changes show that Hengdong county is predominately agricultural county, as the increase in population to increase the demand for arable land, urban construction sites is also growing, and the decline of fossil fuels for its industrial development slow.The linear regression models were used to predict the EF of Hengdong county, and the results show that the EF and DF will continue to increase during 2005-2010 The sustainable development in Hengdong county g will face more austere challenges if the conventional development approach is not changed. Therefore, to the long-term development strategies of Hengdong county, more attention should be paid to the following issues:1) to strengthen the protection of farn}land, to control the urban land expansion strictly; 2) to transit developing pattern and to improve energy using efficiency; 3) to control the growth of population and to improve human ability effectively.

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