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Evaluation and analysis of provincial differences in resources and environment carrying capacity in China

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Resources and environment carrying capacity is central to not only regional sustainable development but also major function- oriented zoning. This paper presents an evaluation index system for resources and environment carrying capacity based on four aspects of carrying capacity (i.e., water resources, land resources, the environment, and ecosystems) by using a square deviation decision- making method, and on the basis of above effort evaluates the resources and environment carrying capacity across 31 provincial regions in China (not including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan regions of China). In addition, this paper evaluates the current state of socio-economic development, and analyzes the spatial distribution of resources and environment pressure. The results showed that distinct spatial differences in resources and environment carrying capacity and pressure across provincial regions. Resources and environment pressure is affected by both comprehensive resources and environment carrying capacity and socio-economic development. Regions subjected to lower degrees of resources and environment pressure will be restricted by resources and environmental problems through future courses of development owing to excessively low carrying capacities. By contrast, regions with higher comprehensive resources and environment carrying capacity will be subjected to excessively high levels of resources and environment pressure because of rapid socio-economic development. Both of resources and environment carrying capacity and pressure must therefore be considered in the allocation of country-binding targets to provincial regions.

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Correspondence to Jie Fan.

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Foundation item: Under the auspices of Science and Technology Service Network Initiative of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. KEJ-EW-ZY-004)

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Cheng, J., Zhou, K., Chen, D. et al. Evaluation and analysis of provincial differences in resources and environment carrying capacity in China. Chin. Geogr. Sci. 26, 539–549 (2016).

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