Ecological consequences of consumption of bio-resource products before and after the “Return Grazing Land to Grassland” initiative in ordos city in inner mongolia

Hu, Jie; Zhen, Lin; Kuang, Wenhui; Wang, Chao; Du, Bingzhen; Sheng, Wenping; Liu, Wenchao


In order to understand the effects of variation in consumption structure of bio-resource products on the ecological environment, in the case of Ordos City in Inner Mongolia, we explored ecological footprint (EF) based on sub-national (provincial) hectare, which was modified from global hectare, to analyze the characteristics of consumption structure of bio-resources and their ecological influence in 1995 and 2012 (before and after the project of “Return Grazing Land to Grassland”). The results showed that the consumption structure of bio-resource products tended towards multiplication in Ordos City. The food consumption transformed from mainly grain-oil and meat-milk-eggs to a variety of foods; in addition, the consumption of firewood was replaced by fossil fuels gradually. Compared with 1995, the EFs of grain-oil and firewood consumption were reduced by 53.23% and 86.49%, and the increase of melons-vegetables was 44.97% in 2012, respectively. The EF of bio-resource product consumption was mainly relied on cultivated land, which included grain-oils, melons-vegetables and meat-milk-eggs. The EFs of these productions consumption on cultivated land increased or decreased to different extents before and after the “Return Grazing Land to Grassland”. The contribution rate of grain-oils on cultivated land decreased from 40.17% (in 1995) to 21.74% (in 2012), while the contribution rates of melons-vegetables and meat-milk-eggs increased. The Ecological Deficit (ED) of Ordos City in 2012 reached 2.7384 hm2/cap lower than the ED in 1995 (3.4382 hm2/cap), and eco-efficiency in 2012 also was obviously higher than the level in 1995. This indicated that the disturbance and consumption of human activity on the natural resources, and their influences on ecological environment declined, and the utilization efficiency of resources and environment has been significantly improved. However, the ED rate was still very high due to the floating population; approximately 548.83×104 hm2 biological productive land area will be needed to satisfy the total population's demands of consumption of bio-resource products in Ordos City in 2012. The research demonstrated the transformation of consumption structure of bio-resources products has benefit to ease the ecological stress in Ordos City. Furthermore, the increasing of ecological efficiency will play a significant role in improving the human-land relationship, as well as the ecological environment.