Edited by Jeff Bennett, Xuehong Wang and Lei Zhang
Chapter 6: Valuing Run-off Reductions
Jeff Bennett, Lei Zhang, Yangwen Jia, Zuhao Zhou, Yaqin Qiu, Xuehong Wang and Zhitao Zhang INTRODUCTION The Conversion of Cropland to Forest and Grassland Program (CCFGP) was initiated primarily as an ecological restoration programme to tackle the environmental degradation in Western China through increasing vegetation along the Upper Reach of the Yangtze River and the Upper and Middle Reaches of the Yellow River (SFA and SDPC 2000). Since its implementation in 2000, the land-use change induced by the Program in the Northwest Provinces has brought about observable biophysical changes both on-site and off-site. Increased vegetative cover has changed the appearance of the countryside. Wind erosion has decreased with consequential reductions in sandstorm severity and frequency. Biodiversity enhancement in the revegetated areas has been evidenced (Du and Guo 2001; Ge et al. 2001; Li et al. 2001; Shen, Ma and Li 2001; Zhao 2001). However, along with these impacts, research conducted by the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (Jia, Zhou and Qiu 2006) has found reductions in run-off resulting from the CCFGP. Projections of further run-off reductions have been made for a time period extending to year 2020. The reduced run-off is expected to have impacts on both water availability and ﬂooding risks in the Yellow River Basin. Reduced run-off can have both positive and negative effects. On one hand, decreased run-off can reduce soil erosion and sediment loads in the Yellow River, consequently reducing ﬂooding risks. On the other hand, however, decreased run-off can have important repercussions...
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