Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 959–983 | Cite as

Biodiversity impact analysis in northwest Yunnan, southwest China


This paper reports the main findings of a study on the factors threatening biodiversity in northwest Yunnan, a global biodiversity ‘hotspot’ in China and home to over five million people. The research was based on eight site-level case studies. The main driving forces of biodiversity loss are livelihood activities, including agricultural production, livestock grazing and the collection of fuel wood, construction timber and NTFPs. Behind these specific drivers are underlying factors including changes in demography, market conditions, resource tenure policies and development policies and projects. Some change in land cover has been due to specific trigger events, the most significant of which reflect national policy changes. At the site level, a range of biophysical and socio-cultural factors influence the specific outcomes that any particular factor may have. The paper suggests some specific redressive measures and general implications for research and policy.

Biodiversity impact assessment China Land cover change Livelihoods Policy impacts 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Convention on Biological Diversity 2001. Global Biodiversity Outlook. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, Canada.Google Scholar
  2. Geist H.J. and Lambin E.F. 2002. Proximate causes and underlying driving forces of tropical deforestation. BioScience 52: 143–150.Google Scholar
  3. Guo H.J. and Long C.L. 1998. Yunnan's Biodiversity. Yunnan Science and Technology Press, Kunming, China (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  4. Ji W.Z. 1999. A Report on the World Environment and Resources Program, Eastern Himalaya and South Asia Grantees Meeting. Yunnan Science and Technology Press, Kunming, China.Google Scholar
  5. Mackinnon J., Sha M., Cheung C., Carey G., Zhu X. and Melville D. 1996. A Biodiversity Review of China. WWF International, Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  6. Marquette C. and Bilsborrow R. 1997. Population and environment relationships in developing countries: a select review of approaches and methods. In: Baudot B. and Moomaw W. (eds), The Population, Environment, Security Equation. Macmillan, New York.Google Scholar
  7. Pearce F. 2001. Logging ban backfires. New Scientist 169: 17.Google Scholar
  8. Sajise E.P. 1995. Biodiversity and methods: a synthesis. In: Pei S.J. and Sajise P. (eds), Regional Study on Biodiversity: Concepts, Frameworks, and Methods. Yunnan University Press, Kunming, China.Google Scholar
  9. Shapiro J. 2001. Mao's War against Nature: Politics and the Environment in Revolutionary China. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.Google Scholar
  10. Vayda A.P. 1983. Progressive Contextualization: Methods and Research in Human Ecology. Human Ecology 11: 265–281.Google Scholar
  11. Yin S.T. 1994. Yunnan Daogeng Huozhong Zhi. Yunnan People's Press, Kunming, China (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  12. Yunnan Statistics Bureau 2000. Yunnan Statistical Yearbook 2000. Yunnan Statistical Press, Kunming, China (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  13. Zhao J.C., Xu J.C. and Qi K. 2001. Community Survey Report on the Natural Forest Protection and Upland Conservation Programs in Yunnan. Yunnan Science and Technology Publishers, Kunming, China (in Chinese).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Geography and EthnobotanyKunming Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of SciencesHeilongtan, KunmingChina
  2. 2.Rural Development Research Center of the Yunnan Institute of GeographyKunmingChina
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

Personalised recommendations