China Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation Situation Analysis and Research Strategy. Final Report and Annexes.


This report, commissioned by NERC/ESRC/DfID, presents key findings in four sections of a situation analysis and research strategy for ecosystem services and poverty alleviation in China.

Section A summarises knowledge on poverty and ecosystem services. In 2006 there were approximately 80 million people in China below the $1 per day income level. Most of the poor are in west and central regions, and poverty is particularly prevalent in mountainous and grassland areas. Many factors contribute to poverty, including low agricultural productivity and degraded ecosystems, with natural disasters consistently reported as a major cause. Key findings from the literature on China's ecosystem services and poverty linkages are presented.

Section B examines decision-making and drivers of change for ecosystems and poverty. This includes an overview of China's rapidly developing system of legislation, strategies and programmes for addressing ecosystem restoration, poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Section C identifies challenges and research needs for ecosystem services and management to alleviate poverty in China. These findings are drawn from the situation analysis, a case study of Ningxia province, and consultations with the project's Advisory Committee. Some 50 key research needs have been identified and categorised according to poverty, ecosystem services, drivers of change and major policies and programmes, valuation of ecosystem services, pollution, potential impacts of climate change and IAS, and cross cutting issues.

Section D is a capacity development strategy for research providers and users, based on knowledge gaps and skills needs identified through questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and literature reviews. Training, building partnerships and information exchange mechanisms are required to improve understanding and knowledge of ecosystems services and poverty linkages, particularly between natural sciences and social sciences, with a policy focus.

A separate document (attached) includes 20 Annexes providing supplementary information to the main report.


63 + 91 pp.

Published 1 January 2008