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ISBN 92-808-1035-9
1999, 232 pages
Paper; US$29.95
The Ordos Plateau of China: An Endangered Environment
Hong Jiang
[UNU Series on Critical Environmental Regions]

The Ordos Plateau of China is an account of regional human-environmental history of the Ordos Plateau, a dryland region inhabited by Chinese farmers and Mongolian shepherds. It surveys environmental change (i.e. changes in vegetation and soil) during 1949-92, examines such societal factors as government policy, resource use institutions, economics (economy), population, and cultural attitudes and beliefs, and investigates how these factors have contributed to environmental change in the Ordos Plateau. Throughout the discussion, the author remains a keen awareness of the intricate interrelations among the environmental and societal factors. Following the theoretical framework of human dimensions of regional environmental change, this book seeks to contribute to the understanding of human-environment relationships in the Chinese socio-political and historical contexts.

The Ordos Plateau of China is among a few books written on China’s regional human-environmental issues by a Chinese- and US-trained geographer in recent years. It reflects a combination of the Chinese strength in regional environmental studies and the western tradition of nature-society geography. Based primarily on first-hand materials, and other documents that are not readily accessible in English, this book provides a richly contextualized account of Ordos environmental history and its relationship with the society to the English-speaking world. It also helps the reader to better understand human-environmental issues in China in general.

Hong Jiang is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Since 1988, she has been engaged in human-environmental studies in China’s dryland, and has published a number of articles.

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