China has achieved a comprehensive victory in poverty reduction through decades of hard work and a set of measures, especially the continuous implementation of targeted poverty alleviation policy proposed in 2013.
Many poverty people are still living in deeply impoverished areas in the mountainous regions of Southwest China prone to geological hazards. However, the relationship between economic development level and geological disaster risk, specifically its change driven by poverty alleviation policies, remains unclear.
LAN Hengxing, and TIAN Naiman from Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGSNRR, CAS) and their collaborators, aiming at clarifying the impacts and affecting mechanisms of poverty alleviation policies on the distribution of geological disaster risk in poor areas, analyzed the changes of geological disaster risk in Southwest China during 2009-2017.
They found that the policy has affected the distribution characteristics and the emerging mechanism of the inflection points of such risk. Since the implementation of the poverty alleviation policy, the direct economic losses from geological disasters in Southwest China, especially in poverty-stricken areas, have been effectively reduced.
The change of human social behaviors is an important factor that alters the relationship between economic development level and natural disaster risk. Policies drive the change of human social behaviors. This study suggests that the poverty alleviation policy has effectively lowered the risk of geological disasters in Southwest China, especially in poor areas, by reducing the exposure to the risk and improving the resilience of the society.
“The findings of this study are of certain scientific reference value for consolidating the achievements of poverty alleviation. Poverty alleviation policies, especially the targeted poverty alleviation, have positive effects on the reduction of geological disaster risk. Meanwhile, we still need to focus on the changes of disaster risk to ensure our gains in poverty alleviation,” said Prof. LAN.
This study has been published in Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, entitled “Poverty control policy may affect the transition of geological disaster risk in China”.
Reference: Lan, H., Tian, N., Li, L. et al. Poverty control policy may affect the transition of geological disaster risk in China. Humanities & Social Sciences Communications 9, 80 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-022-01096-6.