Saturday, 15 July 2006

Decoupling Indicators of Soil Erosion for Agro-Ecosystem Assessment.

Xiubin He Sr., Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, No 9, Block 4, South Renmin Rd,, Chengdu, 610041, China, Junliang Tian Sr., Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, CAS, 26 Xinong Rd, Yangling, 712100, China, and Wei Jie Sr., Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS, Chengdu, 610041, China.

Accelerated soil erosion is generally thought to couple with population growth, land exploitation and environmental degradation, thus soil erosion has been considered as a major pressure of sustainable development of agro-ecosystem. Nevertheless, implementation of wise policy and application of sound new techniques combined with traditional knowledge, may lead to less soil erosion or limited erosion under the tolerable value while intensive land use or exploitation is adopted for the population and economic growth. Such process of breaking the link between “environmental bads” and “economic goods” was termed as “decoupling”. The present paper, based on DPSIR strategy framework of indicator selection, developed new indicators to assess such decoupling process of soil erosion from sustainable development of agro-ecosystem. A primary application of decoupling indicators was carried out on the Loess Plateau of China to figure out the relation of human activi-ties to soil erosion. Intensive soil erosion on the Loess Plateau in the 1930s and 1960s coincide with the Wars and the “Culture Revolution” respectively. A decoupling process of soil erosion from agro-ecosystem sustainable devel-opment has appeared since the 1980s because of adoption of watershed-based comprehensive soil-water conservation.

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