Journal of Arid Land


As an important approach for relieving conflicts between ecosystems and human activities in the Tianchi Scenic Area, Xinjiang of China, an ecological migration policy was implemented, aiming to improve the regional ecological environment. The case of resettlement was closely related to the smooth implementation of the migration project. Based on the questionnaires and farmer family interviews, both changes in the ecological environment and the living conditions of migrant farmer families in the Tianchi Scenic Area were investigated in this study. The objectives were to assess the benefits of the ecological migration policy and to analyze the effects of ecological migration on migrant farmer families. The results showed that (1) awareness of the need for ecological environmental protection and the types of migrant families had a great influence on the willingness to migration; (2) since the implementation of the ecological migration project, the ecological environment in the Tianchi Scenic Area had improved significantly, particularly in terms of returning farmland to forestry, while pressures on grassland had also been relieved to some extent; (3) the major income sources and occupations of the migrant farmer families changed, the range of their income sources declined, and their per capita incomes decreased at different degrees; and (4) nearly half of the farmer families were not satisfied with the living environment of new settlements and the decline in the quality of life had significant influences on the attitudes of migrants. In order to ensure the successful implementation of an ecological migration project, it is essential to enhance farmer awareness of needs for ecological environmental protection, and to solve resettlement problems properly.

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