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Development, land-use change and rural resettlement capacity: a case study of the Three Gorges Project, China
journal contributionposted on 2005-07-01, 00:00 authored by Y Tan, Brett BryanBrett Bryan, G Hugu
Resettlement of people displaced by dam projects is an important development issue. Land lost due to the Three Gorges reservoir inundation and the adjustment of land-use policy in China resulted in land-use changes, and impacted on the human carrying capacity of the land and the land availability for resettlement. The Chinese government has implemented a 'development-oriented resettlement' policy and a 'near resettlement' approach to relocating rural dwellers affected by the Three Gorges Project (TGP). Based on recent land-use survey and population data of the case study area and using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis in land-use planning, this study analyses the characteristics and changes of land use in both the inundation and resettlement areas. Undeveloped land is scarce in both areas. The non-flooded cultivated land is distributed mainly on steep slopes (over 25 degrees). There is a discrepancy between the amount of land required by those being resettled and what is available in the designated resettlement communities. This study suggests that resettlement should consider the human carrying capacity of the land and, from a community standpoint, sheds light on the interplay between land-use planning and resettlement, and provides constructive suggestions for TGP resettlement strategies.