وعده های کاذب بهره برداری از زغال سنگ: چگونه استخراج معادن رفاه دامدار در اکوسیستم مرتع مغولستان داخلی را تحت تاثیر قرار می دهد؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20486||2014||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6348 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 67, April 2014, Pages 146–153
The grasslands of Inner Mongolia are not only the source of the necessary resources for the survival and development of herdsmen, but also represent a significant green ecological barrier in North China. Coal-mining production is important in maintaining GDP growth in Inner Mongolia. However, over-exploitation has created serious problems, such as pollution of the environment and significant decreases in grassland ecosystem services, in addition to impacting the well-being of herdsmen and other humans. Based on questionnaires survey performed among 864 herdsmen addressing the relationship between coal exploitation in grasslands and human well-being in Xilinguole League in Inner Mongolia, we found that (1) coal resource exploitation in these grasslands does not benefit the herdsmen by increasing their income; (2) the rapid development of this resource has not obviously materially improved the life of the herdsmen; and (3) these activities have increased the risks that herdsman will have to endure in the future. Overall, coal resource exploitation in grasslands has more negative than positive effects on the well-being of herdsmen. We propose the conservation of coal resources and improvement of ecological compensation should be carried out without blindly pursuing economic growth, instead of focusing on economic development and structural adjustments.
China is the world's largest coal producer and consumer. At present, coal still serves as the major energy resource in China. The demand for coal in China is projected to increase in the near future. According to statistics, coal consumption accounts for approximately 70% of China's primary energy consumption, and it is predicted to remain China's main energy source far into the future (Yang and Xue, 2012). In recent years, with the acceleration of industrialization and urbanization, China's energy needs have grown rapidly. Coal consumption in China in 2011 exceeded 3.2 billion tons (Liu, 2012a). China's oil and gas production cannot meet the rapidly increasing energy demand, resulting in the need for continuous imports, with the dependency on oil imports now exceeding 50% (Geng et al., 2010). In this context, to meet the energy needs associated with economic growth and achieve economic security, the development of coal resources in China has increased significantly in recent years. The grasslands of Inner Mongolia are not only the source of the necessary resources for the survival and development of herdsmen, but also represent a significant green ecological barrier in North China (Zhao et al., 2008a). Grassland ecosystems perform fundamental life-support services upon which the herdsman society depends. The grasslands of Inner Mongolia are rich in coal resources. As mining resources in other coal-rich provinces have been exhausted, Xilinguole League has drawn attention as an investment hot spot, and the national energy base is developing toward a new economic growth point in Inner Mongolia and even in western areas (Lu, 2012). An increasing number of coal factories are being built in grasslands to generate revenues through large-scale coal exploitation. Coal exploitation has increased the growth rate of the GDP in this region. However, the natural environment and even the well-being of herdsmen has been heavily affected by the activities associated with coal exploitation in grasslands. Several environmental problems are generated caused by coal mining, transportation, storage and utilization (Meij and Te Winkel, 2009). Mining coal resources was proved to damage and alter the natural environment (Finkelman et al., 2002 and Meij and Te Winkel, 2009) and to cause subsequent environmental problems that seriously affect human daily life in both production activities and health, among other impacts (Finkelman et al., 2002 and Dai et al., 2005). Coal exploitation activities are characterized by persistence in time, space scalability, long development cycles, numerous forms of perturbations of environmental systems, a wide range influence and complex mechanisms; the influence of coal exploitation on human well-being is profound and long-lasting (Wang et al., 2010). Coal exploitation seriously pollutes surface and ground-waters while also impacting the growth of surface vegetation (Lu et al., 2007). The expansion of mining goaf areas has taken up increasing areas of grasslands and caused the levels of toxic material pollution in grass roots to rise. Through the application of three research programs, Finkelman et al. (2002) demonstrated that the coal mining process causes a range of human health problems. Lu et al. (2007), through three time phase TM (thematic mapping) of remote sensing data, analyzed the growth of vegetation near the Bulianta coal mining region in arid and semi-arid areas subjected to coal exploitation stress and showed that coal exploitation had permanent effects on the environment in spite of environmental protection measures. Toxic elements released during coal combustion were proved to influence the normal growth of animals and vegetation as well as human health in various countries and certain areas (Finkelman et al., 2002 and Dai et al., 2005). These kinds of damage can induce serious ecological and environment problems and increase the conflict between the demand for resources, environmental protection and preservation as well as impact the self-modulation functions of the natural system (Lu et al., 2007) in so altering the ecosystem services that support human well-being. Since the 1950s, concerns were raised in Europe, North America, Australia and other areas about the environmental problems related to mining activities. A number of engineering and biological measures have been implemented to restore and restrict mining, water pollution and soil erosion (Christensen et al., 1996 and Pilar and Eduardo, 2006). At present, the focus of studies in countries other than China has shifted from land restoration towards the prevention of negative effects in ecosystems, ecological restoration and reconstruction (Vangronsveld et al., 1995). China is a fast developing country, where a great deal of energy is invested to support growth. China is also the larger producer of CO2 emissions in the world, although per capita emissions are still much lower than USA and Europe (Olivier et al., 2012). Policies aimed at energy conservation and emission reduction play an important role in maintaining the sustainable development of society and satisfying the demand of people to live in a favorable environment. However, the activity of coal exploitation in grasslands is still a critical issue. More research should be conducted to systematically investigate the day-by-day influence of coal exploitation on human well-being. In this context, the question arises, once again, of whether increasing GDP is more important to well-being than the environmental protection of grasslands and how to make such comparison. Furthermore, what is the attitude of local herdsmen towards coal exploitation, and is it possible to increase GDP and human well-being simultaneously? In this study, human well-being includes five large components: the basic material needs associated with sustainable high-quality living, safety, health, societal relationships, the freedom of choice and activity rights, similar to Maslow’s (1954) pyramid of self-actualization. We analyze the influence of coal exploitation on the net income herdsmen, describe the effects of coal mining on the basic needs of herdsmen, and finally, discuss the health and safety problems caused by coal exploitation in grasslands. These are not, of course, all the impacts caused by coal mining, but they are used here to illustrate the influence of coal exploitation on human well-being and to address the importance of the protection of grassland ecosystems.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Coal resources are non-renewable resources and are limited in supply. However, as a locally abundant energy source, coal is still widely required in China to increase GDP and to satisfy the needs of rapid development. In the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, there is plentiful high-quality coal, but the grassland ecosystem of Inner Mongolia is fragile due to the dry weather, high winds, pests and other disasters in this area. The conflicts between GDP growth, protection of the grassland environment and human well-being are increasingly becoming an important issue for regional sustainable development. Coal exploitation in grasslands alters ecosystem services, and these changes strongly impact human health and well-being (Willox et al., 2013). The damage to grasslands will threaten human and livestock food safety, thus directly affecting the income of herdsmen and, hence, all of their basic necessities for living. Herdsmen will cut medical expenses, increasing their risk of getting ill, hindering the development of social relationships. Therefore, the negative effects caused by coal mining are directly related to human well-being, which is supported by the results of our questionnaire survey. The overexploitation of an ecosystem may temporarily increase material well-being and alleviate immediate poverty, though these practices have been proven to be unsustainable in the long run and ultimately severely reduce material well-being and increase levels of poverty (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), 2005). Most of the surveyed herders are not in favor of the coal exploitation activity in these grasslands. The conflict of interest between the government and herdsmen is still a large problem in the attempt to achieve local sustainable development. To protect the grassland ecosystem environment, following the policy of energy conservation and emission reduction and ensuring sustainable socio-economic development in mining areas as well as improving human well-being, coal resources should be exploited at a lower rate and in a rational manner to minimize the damage to grasslands and supply reasonable amounts of compensation to individuals whose grasslands are lost or damaged, in addition to maintaining the grassland ecological balance without reducing human well-being. The amount of coal mining compensation provided should be based on the actual situation of the mining area, and corresponding compensation should be given for different problems. The compensation provided to herders from coal mining should include compensation for land acquisition, compensation for environmental services lost due to resource development and compensation related to resource output interests and intergenerational interests associated with resource development (Lu, 2012). An ecological compensation mechanism should be incorporated into the legal system during the development of laws aimed at mineral resource protection to constrain the responsibilities and obligations between the various entities involved and protect the ecological compensation mechanism.