The Ordos Plateau of China

An Endangered Environment

Hong Jiang
Release Date: November 1, 1999

The Ordos Plateau of China is an account of the regional human-environmental history of the Ordos Plateau, a dryland region inhabited by Chinese farmers and Mongolian shepherds. The book surveys the environmental change (i.e. changes in vegetation and soil) during 1942-92, it also 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 th Ordos Plateau. Throughout the discussion, the author retains 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 society, to the English-speaking world. It also helps the reader to better understand human-environmental issues in China in general.