Analysis of the environmental Kuznets curve for forest fragmentation : The case of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in China

Deng, Dandan; Dong, Jiayun; Zhang, Yiwen; Liang, Wenyuan; Liu, Kun; Li, Lingchao


In recent decades, the international community has become increasingly concerned about several important environmental challenges including forest fragmentation. In this study, we develop a county-level panel dataset for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region of China from 2000 to 2018 and use remote-sensing image data to estimate forest fragmentation. We use a panel threshold regression model to group sample counties and examine the link between forest fragmentation and economic growth at various economic development levels in the BTH region based on the environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) theory. A robustness test was performed to confirm the validity of the findings. In the sample counties with various levels of economic development, we found different relationships between forest fragmentation and per capita GDP. Inverted “N” and “N” shapes represent the EKC of forest fragmentation in the low- and high-income groups, respectively, and most data show that forest fragmentation reduces with economic growth. Policy changes to reduce forest fragmentation are recommended to promote coordinated and environmentally friendly development in the BTH region.