Environmental function zoning for spatially differentiated environmental policies in China.


Center for Environmental Zoning, Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning, Beijing, 100012, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Different regions in China face greatly dissimilar ecological and environmental problems due to large variations in natural conditions and socioeconomic development levels. Such spatial variability calls for regionalized environmental management and protection policies. Environmental function zoning is an effective tool for the design and implementation of differentiated environmental policies. To contain the ecological degradation in different regions of China, we first created a comprehensive environmental function evaluation index system that included 25 socioeconomic and environmental indicators for the three key elements of natural ecological security protection, healthy human living environment maintenance, and regional environment carrying capacity. To clarify the division of Chinese environmental function zoning in the new period, we use GIS and remote sensing technology. We generated 1-km resolution grid data for the 25 indicators and implemented this index system to evaluate the environmental function of the 2414 counties in China. Differentiated environmental management objectives and strategies were designed and implemented for different zones to avoid the phenomenon of one size fits all. This work lays a scientific foundation and provides a quantitative tool for the design and implementation of differentiated management. By considering not only the natural system but also the social and economic systems and their interactions, this evaluation of environmental function provides a more comprehensive view and thus offers new insights on balancing environmental protection and socioeconomic development.


China,Environmental function zoning,Environmental planning and management,Environmental protection and management policies,Spatial zoning,

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