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Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 81–90 | Cite as

Research agenda for understanding transboundary ecosystem changes and eco-security in Southwestern China

  • Liu Jiang 
  • He Daming Email author
Article

Abstract

The longitudinal range-gorge region (LRGR) in Southwestern China, characterized by longitudinal mountain ranges and deep valleys, includes the basins of four major international rivers: the Yuanjiang-Red, Lancang Mekong, Nujiang Salween and Irrawaddy. This region is classified as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, and provides an important ecological and economic corridor linking China and Southeast Asian countries. Over the past half century, it has served as a resource base for timber and minerals needed to fuel economic development, which resulted in rapid and drastic changes in ecosystem and species diversity. Proposed and ongoing development programs, such as China’s Great Western Development campaign, Greater Mekong Subregional Economic Cooperation (GMS) and China-ASEAN free trade zone development (“10+1”), threaten to bring unprecedented disturbance to the region’s ecosystems. Present and emerging threats to eco-security have caught tremendous attention worldwide. Therefore, studies on such problems are critical for enhancing ecosystem health and transboundary eco-security.

This paper indicates several multi-disciplinary and cross-sector studies on transboundary resources in this region that will meet three major national needs: 1) identifying core scientific issues of ecological development and infrastructure construction in high plateau and mountainous areas for the Western Development campaign; 2) developing maintenance mechanisms and control methodologies for transboundary eco-security and resource base development; 3) providing scientific grounds for multi-lateral diplomacy, trade and economic cooperation, and conflict resolution as part of China’s opening-up to south Asia. The key subjects to be solved include dynamics and major drive forces of this area, ecological effects caused by major projects construction, and transboundary eco-security and its controlling. The research projects proposed in this article will develop theories on ecosystem change and transboundary eco-security, and provide a scientific basis for national and international development strategies.

Keywords

Longitudinal range-gorge region transboundary ecosystem changes eco-security Southwestern China 

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Copyright information

© Science Press 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Asian International Rivers CenterYunnan UniversityKunmingChina

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