Title: Long-term environmental impact assessment of agricultural land transition - a comparative case study

Authors: Guangwei Huang; Xin Li; Minguo Ma

Addresses: International Center for Water Hazard and Risk Management under the auspices of UNESCO, Public Works Research Institute, 1-6 Minamihara, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki-ken, 305-8516, Japan ' Cold Arid Region Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 Donggang West Road, Lanzhou, Gansu, 730000, China ' Cold Arid Region Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 Donggang West Road, Lanzhou, Gansu, 730000, China

Abstract: Agriculture is often blamed to be a leading source of water environment degradation. However, a fundamental question: 'Would the reduction of agricultural activities lead to the recovery of water environment?' remains insufficiently explored. The present work addressed this issue through a comparative study on two watersheds where agricultural policy was shifted from promotion to reduction. The comparison was conducted from both historical and policy mechanism perspectives to highlight the commons and differences between the two watersheds. It was concluded that the reduction of agricultural activities could lead to opposite results if policy change is not well designed.

Keywords: water resources; environmental degradation; agriculture; policy change; Heihe River; Lake Tega; environmental impact assessment; EIA; agricultural land transition; watersheds; agricultural activity reduction; China; Japan; water pollution.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSS.2013.052006

International Journal of Society Systems Science, 2013 Vol.5 No.1, pp.46 - 61

Available online: 09 Feb 2013 *

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