, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 78–87

Economic Development, Rural livelihoods, and Ecological Restoration: Evidence from China


DOI: 10.1007/s13280-010-0093-5

Cite this article as:
Wang, C., Yang, Y. & Zhang, Y. AMBIO (2011) 40: 78. doi:10.1007/s13280-010-0093-5


This article uses a case study in Southeast China to demonstrate how the substantial changes in rural livelihoods have been driven by a combination of “pull” forces from external economic development, and “push” forces from local areas, leading to a shift in rural household economic activities: household outmigration and de-population of the countryside, changes in energy consumption, and most importantly, changes in land uses and eventually, ecological restoration. Such dramatic changes are becoming common across the Chinese countryside. It is pointed out that economic development has generally caused a deterioration of the environment at least at the early period of economic growth, but the positive impacts, especially in some ecosystem in rural areas, have become more apparent.


Ecological restorationHousehold livelihoodsEconomic developmentChangting County

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Humid Subtropical Eco-geographical Process of the Ministry of Education, College of Geographical SciencesFujian Normal UniversityFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Forestry and Wildlife SciencesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA