Impacts of Population Migration on Land Degradation in Tarim River Basin, Xinjiang of China

Leiwen Jiang, Peking University
Yufen Tong, Xinjiang University
Zhijie Zhao, Peking University
Tianhong Li, Peking University
Wei Han, Peking University

The potential environment repercussion associated with migration increasingly attracts attention from many researchers. This study is designed to investigate the interactions between population change and land degradation in Xinjiang of China. Taking Tarim River Basin as the focus research site, we study the process of deforestation, desertification under the pressure of large volume of in-migration flow since the 1950s, particularly in its down-stream. Exploiting digitized aerophotograph, remote sensing data and ground socioeconomic, demographic data in 1950-2000, changes in landscape by in-migrants intervention and out-migrants driven by land degradation is visualized and modeled. Moreover, the interactions between over-water-use for land reclamation by in-migrants in the upper-stream in the one hand, serious land degradation and increasing abandoned cultivated-land in the down-stream in the other hand are carefully studied. Finally, system dynamics approach is used to determine which future policies provide the best combination of development and wellbeing in Xinjiang.

Presented in Session 159: Land Use and Migration