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Living With Desertification And Water Scarcity-Research On Rural Household’s Livelihood In Minqin Oasis

Posted on:2015-03-14Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:S Q WangFull Text:PDF
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This paper treated the livelihoods of families in Minqin Oasis as the core of research. It includes a systematic analysis of farmers’livelihood conditions and strategies and outcomes by Sustainable Livelihood Framework. The paper focuses on evaluating the influences on Minqin local residences as a result of environmental changes and policy implementations. The evidences and data in the paper are mainly collected from field investigation. The evidences correlated unstructured interviews with structured interviews and included the basic situation of rural families, the way they have resisted environmental damage, responses to policy arrangements, new production modes, etc. The research object is the livelihood of families. Letting farmers be "voiced" intends to credibly present the farmers’unnecessary sacrifices and their living obstacles caused by environmental changes. It also wants to highlight the policy planning behind the political goal of balancing environmental protection and economic development.Firstly, the research analyzed three main conditions of rural livelihoods; namely, the farmers’ livelihood assets, their living strategies and results. The livelihood assets of rural households in Minqin Oasis are vulnerable to some extent. Also, there has been a certain gap in the livelihood patterns of farmers that have been encouraged by the government. Because the government has also restricted farmers living strategies by various regulations, more and more local people tended to rely on subsidies to make a living. The features of local livelihoods are:scanty livelihood capitals, limited living strategies and hardship. Apparently, the whole livelihood conditions in Minqin did not draw the outline of a virtuous circle as the Sustainable Livelihood Framework does. Conversely, the livelihood was trapped by obstacles.Secondly, the paper analyzed the reasons for livelihood obstacles. That is, farmer households’ livelihood assets failed to be effectively linked with either livelihood strategies selected by farmers’experience or the livelihood strategy proposed by local policy in specific period, which resulted in a break between rural households’livelihood assets and livelihood strategies. The paper called this phenomenon a livelihood obstacle. The main reasons of livelihood obstacle were:first, due to factors such as restriction, the farmers’livelihood resources are no longer able to be transformed into new resources by farmers’experience; second, the living choices given by policy guidance are not feasible because livelihood resources are not provided accordingly. Finally, this situation has impacted the rural households’sustainable livelihood development in the future and means that rural families are trapped in hardship.Thirdly, the paper sought to uncover the deep reasons for livelihood conditions. Local government has ignored the significance of water management while placing much value on desertification control. When politicians strived for economic growth, they overlooked the necessity of protecting the upper stream. However, when they realized and started to govern the water problem down stream,(in which Minqin Oasis is located), they adopted a unitary solution for diverse problems. The cultivation habits changed in a short time. Banning grazing, banning farming and banning water was implemented extensively and abruptly. Also, local families in need of adaptive living strategies were given subsidies. As a consequence, the social capital of rural households was largely limited within blood and neighbor relationships and their "unvoiced" position left them to become’the poor’Finally, the paper considers that the possibility of lifting rural families in Minqin out of hardship and poverty has to be based on feasible livelihood strategies, not just subsidies, especially in regards to the changed environmental situation.
Keywords/Search Tags:rural household, livelihood, livelihood’s obstacle, hardship
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