GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2014, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (5): 803-816.doi: 10.11821/dlyj201405001

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A study of the geographical features and implications of eco-compensation

LIU Chunla1,2, LIU Weidong1, LU Dadao1   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences andNatural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2013-05-07 Revised:2013-10-29 Online:2014-05-10 Published:2014-05-10

Abstract: Geography studies the nature and movement law of earth surface in a systematic way that involves perspectives of regional differentiation, regional interactions, a synthesis of environmental, societal and human dynamics, and interdependence between spatial scales. The discipline takes human-land territorial system (HLTS) as its hard core of studies. This paper argues that eco-compensation is a typical geographical issue and presents similar features of the HLTS, such as semi-opening, instability and random. Based on such an argument, the paper examines the geographical features and implications of eco-compensation. First, the physical side of the HLTS determines the fundamental relationships between different stakeholders in eco-compensation;second, patterns of economic geography play a critical role in regional differences of eco-compensation;third, regional cultural and institutional environment affects the formation and implementation of eco-compensation policies and measures;and fourth, geographical methods provide techniques for formulating eco-compensation. The paper suggests that region is a key to studying eco-compensation issues, regional structure is a major reference for formulating eco-compensation policies, externality is the scientific basis to carry out eco-compensation, and ownership of geographical elements and resources is a key factor to distinguish different stakeholders in eco-compensation. As such, eco-compensation studies should take a geographical research paradigm of "region-differentiation-scale". In short, the geographical features of eco-compensation can be best manifested by such terms as regionalization, spatial differentiation, comprehensiveness, and dynamics.

Key words: eco-compensation, geography, features, implications, human-land territorial system