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Land degradation and population relocation in Northern China



Overgrazing in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia following market reform in China has led to severe soil degradation and desertification. In an effort to revive the ecological environment in northern pastoral areas, the government of China recently adopted an intervention policy to relocate families from areas where excess grazing pressure was seriously compromising land and the environment. A survey was conducted in three villages to determine how well the relocated families have adapted to their new living conditions and the factors that affect their willingness to stay in the new villages. Regression analysis revealed that the most important factors were age of the head of the household, length of time the family has resided in the new village, proportion of total income that is made up of government payments and level of fixed, durable and current assets.