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People's Daily Online>>Special Coverage >> China Studies >> Cooperation >> Resources and Enviroment

Ecological Poverty Measurement and Eco-Purchase System Design

(People's Daily Online)

17:18, August 02, 2011

China is among the few countries that are most severely damaged by natural disasters in the world. Except for modern volcanic eruptions, it is frequently hit by almost all the natural disasters, including floods, droughts and earthquakes. According to the round sum of basic statistics, every year around 200 million people are impacted by these disasters. In the 20th century, the global death toll from earthquake amounts to 1.2 million, in which 590,000 are from China, ranking the top among all the countries. In terms of geographic distribution of disasters, most parts of the mainland are located in areas whose seismic intensity is above Ⅵ degrees; half of the country lies in areas of seismic intensity as high as Ⅶ degrees, including 23 capital cities and 2/3 of big cities with over one million people. Over 70% big cities, over half of the national population and over 75% agricultural and industrial output find themselves in areas frequently hit by meteorological disasters, oceanic disasters, inundations and earthquakes. This paper proposes categorizing and measuring ecological poverty by dividing it into four types, which are climate poverty, water poverty, geological poverty and biological poverty. It is also suggested to adopt different policy tools to prevent and control and eco-purchase mechanism to systematically resolve or mitigate these types of poverty.

Types and measurement of ecological poverty
Ecological poverty here is defined as the poverty resulted from the inability to meet the basic living demands and reproduction activities due to the ecological environment degradation beyond its carrying capacity, or from the deprivation of people’s basic living and production conditions due to environmental degradation and frequent natural disasters. As an indirect form of poverty, ecological poverty is hard to measure. In fact, the government often focuses on reducing income poverty and neglects reducing other kinds of poverty, especially ecological poverty and climate poverty against the backdrop of global climate changes.

The first type is climate poverty. It means people are deprived of basic living and production conditions as a result of unfavorable natural conditions, especially frequent natural disasters caused by global climate changes. This type of poverty will not only suffer from the negative externalities of global climate changes but also will exacerbate environmental damages. According to Right to Survive Report released by Oxfam (April 22, 2009), there have already been 6,500 cases of climate-relevant disasters since 1980. It is estimated that by 2015, the population influenced by global climate crisis will reach 375 million, up by 54%. Over 20% Chinese people will fall victim to them. Poverty-stricken areas are highly sensitive to and greatly impacted by global climate changes. Droughts, snow disasters, floods, hail disasters, frosts, sand storms and typhoons can all be classified into symptoms of climate poverty.

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Leave your comment4 comments

  1. Name

LnrqASHKZsAGZu at 2011-11-22187.177.164.*
I agree
eSXHTsoFD at 2011-11-22109.230.216.*
Back in shcool, I'm doing so much learning.
ZtwiICXaGIzspmfCn at 2011-09-11208.28.37.*
Never would have thunk I would find this so indisepnsalbe.
cSaHHhOykhvcpuSV at 2011-09-11178.79.184.*
Yo, that"s what"s up truhtuflly.

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