Desertification Rehabilitation in China

Photo credit: Panoramio

Sand fixation in Bayingol, Xinjiang, P.R. China

How Sustainable Is Government-Sponsored Desertification Rehabilitation in China? Behavior of Households to Changes in Environmental Policies

Abstract

This paper undertakes a direct, comprehensive assessment of the long-term sustainability of desertification rehabilitation in China under a plausible but worst case scenario where governmental interventions, in the form of payments for environmental services (PES), will cease. The analysis is based on household behavior as well as experimental data. Our econometric results highlight the main obstacles to the sustainability of rehabilitation programs subsequent to cessation of government intervention, including specific shortfalls in households’ preference for a free ride, budget constraints, attitudes, tolerance of and responsibility for desertification, and dissatisfaction with governmental actions. We conclude that desertification rehabilitation is not sustainable in China without continued governmental intervention. The results of this study are intended to support policy makers as they consider future directions for rehabilitation sustainability.

Read the full article: PLOS

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