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    Risk assessment of transnational oil investment in Central Asia using a fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method
    Haitao Ma, Zhan Sun, Chuanglin Fang
    Regional Sustainability    2020, 1 (1): 11-19.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.06.002
    Abstract236)   HTML11)    PDF (820KB)(2143)      

    Central Asia (including five countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan) is rich in oil reserves and has become one of the most important target regions for global oil investment. The construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt has prompted Central Asia to look outwards for more collaborations in the oil industry. China’s need for oil investment in Central Asia has also increased significantly. This research established a comprehensive index system for assessing the risks of transnational oil investment in Central Asia. The system incorporated political, regulatory, economic, social, and infrastructural indices. Based on the Delphi method and fuzzy comprehension evaluation method, we qualitatively and quantitatively assessed and analyzed the risks of transnational oil investment in Central Asia. The results indicate that the risk score for regulatory risk was highest with the value of 6.1670, indicating a high risk level in transnational oil investment, followed by economic, social, political, and infrastructural risk indices. Of the 18 secondary risk indices calculated, there were seven indices with the probability of high risk occurrence exceeded 30.0% and the descending order was as follows: establishment of mining rights; host country intervention in operations; taxing system; stability of regulations; war and turmoil; labor capital; and ethnic, cultural, and religious differences. These seven critical risks should be watched closely and avoided during transnational oil investment in Central Asia. This study provides a comprehensive understanding of the potential risks of investing oil in Central Asia. The findings demonstrate the causes of these risks and provide a scientific basis for reasonably avoiding oil investment risk and improving investment benefits for both host and investing countries.

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    Use of the knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) model to examine sustainable agriculture in Thailand
    LIAO Xuewei, Thi Phuoc Lai NGUYEN, Nophea SASAKI
    Regional Sustainability    2022, 3 (1): 41-52.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.03.005
    Abstract241)   HTML4)    PDF (504KB)(149)      

    Sustainable agriculture plays an important role in achieving sustainable development goals with regard to food security and environmental conservation. Sustainable agriculture relies on sustainable farming practices that reduce greenhouse gas production, the wise use of local natural resources, and reductions in negative impacts on the environment and human health. Sustainable farming practices can be driven by various factors, such as the socio-environmental setting, socio-cognitive factors, agricultural institutions, and policy. This study used the knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) model to examine farmers’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices in the area of sustainable agriculture. It also considered the factors affecting farmers’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Two different socio-environmental contextual settings in Surin Province (a Thai-Cambodian border province) of Thailand are considered. The results show that there are differences between the two different socio-environmental contextual settings with regard to farmers’ sustainable agricultural practice perceptions, knowledge, and attitudes. Farmers’ perceptions of environmental degradation, the number of years of agricultural experience, and agricultural policy drive farmers’ attitudes and individual sustainable practices. Another major result of the study is that individual farmers’ attitudes and practices promote collective sustainable agricultural behaviors. The implication of these findings is that it is necessary to improve the learning ability of individual farmers on the environment and sustainable agricultural practices through social learning and scientific knowledge dissemination, so as to produce sustainable collective development behaviors.

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    From theme park to cultural tourism town: Disneyization turning of tourism space in China
    Zi’ang ZHANG, Zengxian LIANG, Jigang BAO
    Regional Sustainability    2021, 2 (2): 156-163.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2021.05.003
    Abstract374)   HTML5)    PDF (774KB)(255)      

    Theme park development has become an important choice for tourism space development in Chinese cities, and the theming of space as well as the implied consumption symbols and cultural implications are usually viewed as examples for the development of other urban spaces, such as cultural tourism towns. The result is the Disneyization of urban tourism space. With the construction of characteristic towns being vigorously promoted throughout China, cultural tourism towns are springing up. They are typical of the “Wuzhen Town Mode” and represent the process of the Disneyization of tourism space in China. This research reflects on the evolution of the characteristics of tourism space in China. Taking the Wuzhen Town Mode as an example, this study reveals the characteristics and conversion mechanism of the Disneyization of tourism space in Chinese cities. According to this research, the Wuzhen Town Mode of the Disneyization is characterized by theming, hybrid consumption, merchandising, and performative labor. Residential function is a unique characteristic of the Disneyization of cultural tourism towns in China. Moreover, the Wuzhen Town Mode of the Disneyization is jointly motivated by the driving force of local governments, the propulsive force of tourist demand, the attractive force of the social environment, and the driving force of capital. Finally, suggestions and policy proposals are provided for the Disneyization of tourism space in China.

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    Charging infrastructure planning for electric vehicle in India: Present status and future challenges
    Sulabh SACHAN, Praveen Prakash SINGH
    Regional Sustainability    2022, 3 (4): 335-345.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.11.008
    Abstract327)   HTML3)    PDF (584KB)(125)      

    The challenge to deal with environmental contamination along with national goals such as energy security, reliability, and self-dependency due to depleting fossil fuel resources has motivated researchers to find an alternate solution in the transport sector. Due to this, electrification of the transport sector has become an achievable solution that has caught attention with increasing penetration in the market share. India is a participant in the Paris Agreement which aims to curtail the production of greenhouse gases and limit the escalating temperature. Public intervention and changes in policy and regulations are the key aspects of technological transition. Compared to internal combustion engine (ICE)-based vehicles, the consumers’ frame of mind concerns about adapting to e-mobility is anxiety over charging times and driving range. Thus, the development of charging stations plays a crucial role in promoting electric vehicles (EVs). This study investigates to identify different barriers that exist in the Indian context related to the adoption of e-mobility. Furthermore, this work emphasizes the recent developments in charging infrastructure planning in India. Also, the status of installed charging stations is examined. Developing appropriate charging stations are associated with several challenges, which are also highlighted to provide guidance to public and private entities that can be adopted in their respective business model. As India has the second largest population and is the seventh largest country in the world, the EV adoption rate of India is considerably low compared to other countries; for India, there is a long way to match the growth rate of EV adoption. Hence it becomes essential to develop a robust and suitable charging infrastructure to promote the sale and use of EVs in India.

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    Towards a sustainable campus-city relationship: A systematic review of the literature
    Ahmed Mohammed Sayed MOHAMMED, Tetsuya UKAI, Michael HALL
    Regional Sustainability    2022, 3 (1): 53-67.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.03.004
    Abstract312)   HTML3)    PDF (1170KB)(103)      

    The relationship between a university and its city is considered strategical to achieve university targeted ambitions and visions. The university-city relationship is also encouraged for the benefit of the city, as universities unleash their respective cities’ potentials to act as driving forces not only for their local communities, but also for the whole nation. Therefore, maintaining a mutual relationship between the university and the city is considered essential to accomplish strategic goals for both. However, the nature of this relationship is quite complex, overlapped, interconnected, and diverse. Therefore, this paper conducted a systematic review of the literature on university-city and campus-city relationships to evaluate recent research trends to uncover the aspects that connect universities with their respective cities. The search included articles published in 4 different databases from January 1990 to January 2021. A total number of 50 articles were selected in this review. The findings uncovered different aspects that could help or hinder university-city relationship based on the physical and functional linkage between the campus and the city. Moreover, findings have shown that it is necessary to understand universities according to their contextual differences, as universities have shown different impacts on their respective cities in terms of their sizes and locations. Results have also shown that the impact of the physical connection between the university and the city goes far beyond campus’s accessibility as it deeply affects students’ social life as well. Therefore, decision makers, stakeholders, and university administrators need to co-design campus development process especially in the early stages to maximize the mutual benefits of campus-city relationship. The main conclusions of this paper address several perspectives and lessons for a more sustainable campus-city relationship.

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    Coupling analysis of the major impact on sustainable development of the typical arid region of Turpan in Northwest China
    Lingxiao Sun, Xiang Yu, Boshan Li, Haiyan Zhang, Dong Sha, Yao Wang, Jiaqiang Lei, Yang Yu, Martin Welp, Ruide Yu
    Regional Sustainability    2020, 1 (1): 48-58.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.08.002
    Abstract220)   HTML11)    PDF (1306KB)(161)      

    Analyzing the sustainable development of a given region can provide an important reference and guide for future orientation. The study selects Turpan (including Gaochang District, Shanshan County, and Toksun County) in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of Northwest China as the study area and first investigates the essence of regional sustainable development. Based on the relevant data of the population, economy, and environment of Turpan from 2002 to 2018, we constructed an evaluation index system for three dimensions, namely, the population, economy, and environment, and analyzed them systematically. Specifically, we quantitatively calculated the comprehensive evaluation index, coupling degree, and coupling coordination degree of the sustainable development system of the study area. The study finds that Turpan has on some dimensions become increasingly sustainable, especially the economic development level has improved. The results show that the coupling coordination degree has increased from 0.3692 to 0.8894 during the period 2002-2018, which reflects the actual situation of Turpan and indicates that the proposed analysis method can effectively measure and evaluate the level of sustainable development in this region. Moreover, the study also puts forward main functional zoning of Turpan (i.e., Gaochang District as an optimized development zone, Shanshan County as a major agricultural production zone, and Toksun County as a key ecological function zone) and regional planning principles based on the population, economic, and environmental coupling analysis for the three jurisdictions in Turpan.

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    Land tenure security, place satisfaction and loyalty in the peri-urban area of Ibadan City, Nigeria
    Taiwo Oladapo BABALOLA
    Regional Sustainability    2022, 3 (4): 346-355.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.11.004
    Abstract182)   HTML2)    PDF (406KB)(83)      

    Land tenure security is pertinent to achieving the sustainable development agenda in cities where land is needed and useful for development purposes. Sufficient empirical research has been done to prove the importance of tenure security for investment, resilience, conservation, food security, as well as health and well-being, but it has not been clarified if and how land tenure security could adequately influence place loyalty and satisfaction with the residential environment, as it is clear that place loyalty and satisfaction are pertinent to inclusive development. Using the case of Ibadan City, the study examined how different dimensions of tenure security could determine residents’ place loyalty and satisfaction. The study employed a survey cross-sectional research design to distribute 514 structured questionnaires to household heads across 4 sampled peri-urban local government areas while 452 were retrieved for analysis. Hierarchical regression analysis model was employed to understand the association between tenure security dimensions and satisfaction (as model I) and loyalty (as model II). For model I, F=8.640, P=0.000, R=0.555, and R2=0.308 were obtained; while for model II, F=9.157, P=0.001, R=0.415, and R2=0.173 were acquired. This thus means that residents’ place loyalty and satisfaction can partly be explained by tenure security. In particular, respondents with no eviction experience, recognized property rights, and invulnerable to eviction have higher odds of being satisfied and loyal. Therefore, we recommend protection, improvement, and upgrading of land tenure security as one of the means to promote place loyalty and satisfaction, which is essential to achieving inclusive and sustainable development.

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    Regional landscape transformation and sustainability of the rural homegarden agroforestry system in the Chengdu Plain, China
    ZHOU Lian, HUANG Xueyuan, ZHAO Chunmei, PU Tiancun, ZHANG Lei
    Regional Sustainability    2022, 3 (1): 68-81.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.04.001
    Abstract239)   HTML4)    PDF (11842KB)(101)      

    Traditional rural homegarden agroforestry system in the Chengdu Plain of China, called “Linpan” in Chinese, integrates the ecological functions of the landscape with human production activities. Studying the driving mechanisms of rural landscape changes in the Chengdu Plain is of great significance from stakeholders’ perspective. Taking the Pidu Linpan Farming System (PLFS) in the suburban area of Chengdu (designated as one of China-Nationally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems in 2020) as a case, this study combined remote sensing image analysis, oral history interviews, and focus group interviews to elucidate the driving forces of landscape changes in the PLFS. The results show that tourism development, traffic accessibility, economic demand, and agricultural heritage protection measure are the main driving forces promoting the stability and maintenance of the traditional homegardens. In contrast, population ageing, land circulation, centralized residence, climate change, and living and recreational need are the forces leading to adverse changes in the traditional homegardens. In addition, these driving forces have led to the gradual abandonment of traditional agricultural activities and critical issues related to rural landscape planning and management. The current research indicates that infrastructure construction and increased traditional agricultural income are considered as the best practices of local stakeholders, promoting the development of the protected homegardens of heritage sites and tourist destinations. Finally, we put forward some suggestions to improve and maintain the traditional rural landscape: (1) establishing a benefit-sharing mechanism; (2) establishing a training system with traditional technology and culture; (3) strengthening infrastructure construction; (4) promoting the development of the agricultural industry; (5) improving the cultural quality of farmers; and (6) establishing a management system with legal effects. This research can provide a basis for the formulation of rural landscape planning and the orderly and healthy development of agricultural heritage in Chengdu Plain.

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    Spatial variability and driving factors of soil multifunctionality in drylands of China
    ZHANG Shihang, CHEN Yusen, LU Yongxing, GUO Hao, GUO Xing, LIU Chaohong, ZHOU Xiaobing, ZHANG Yuanming
    Regional Sustainability    2022, 3 (3): 223-232.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.10.001
    Abstract277)   HTML2)    PDF (1310KB)(89)      

    Drylands are highly vulnerable to climate change and human activities. The drylands of China account for approximately 10.8% of global drylands, and China is the country most severely affected by aridity in Asia. Therefore, studying the spatial variation characteristics in soil multifunctionality (SMF) and investigating the driving factors are critical for elucidating and managing the functions of dryland ecosystems in China. Based on the environmental factors (mean annual precipitation (MAP), mean annual temperature (MAT), solar radiation (Srad), soil acidity (pH), enhanced vegetation index (EVI), and cation exchange capacity (CEC)) and aridity from the Dataset of soil properties for land surface modeling over China, we used non-linear regression, ordinary least square (OLS) regression, structural equation model (SEM), and other analytical methods to investigate the relationships of SMF with environmental factors across different aridity levels in China. SMF in different dryland regions varied significantly and showed a patchy distribution, with SMF index values ranging from -1.21 to 2.42. Regions with SMF index values from -0.20 to 0.51 accounting for 63.0% of dryland area in China. OLS regression results revealed that environmental factors like MAP, MAT, Srad, pH, EVI, and CEC were significantly related to SMF (P<0.05). MAP and MAT were correlated to SMF at the whole aridity level (P<0.05). SEM results showed that the driving factors of SMF differed depending on the aridity level. Soil pH was the strongest driving factor of SMF when the aridity was less than 0.80 (P<0.001). Both soil CEC and EVI had a positive effect on SMF when aridity was greater than 0.80 (P<0.01), with soil CEC being the strongest driving factor. The importance ranking revealed that the relative importance contribution of soil pH to SMF was greatest when aridity was less than 0.80 (66.9%). When aridity was set to greater than 0.80, the relative importance contributions of CEC and EVI to SMF increased (45.1% and 31.9%, respectively). Our findings indicated that SMF had high spatial heterogeneity in drylands of China. The aridity threshold controlled the impact of environmental factors on SMF.

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    A bibliometric analysis of ecotourism: A safeguard strategy in protected areas
    Uswathul HASANA, Sampada Kumar SWAIN, Babu GEORGE
    Regional Sustainability    2022, 3 (1): 27-40.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.03.001
    Abstract196)   HTML3)    PDF (1937KB)(62)      

    Ecotourism projects are mostly implemented in naturally fragile ecosystems as a savior of nature, culture, and indigenous people. This paper aims to make quantitative study of ecotourism in protected areas by using bibliometric analysis. VOSviewer, a popular bibliometric software, was used to analyze as many as 1182 research articles published from 2002 to 2020. Those articles were collected from the Scopus database. The study measured three distinct types of bibliometric indicators (quantity, quality, and structural indicators) to analyze the published articles scientifically. The analysis uncovers ecotourism research in protected areas as an emerging and predominant field of research with a sound growth in annual publications and citations. Importantly, the majority of ecotourism research articles are published in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Canada, and China. Nevertheless, ecotourism as a relevant research theme of is getting due importance in African and Asian countries for two key reasons: (1) wildlife and tribal populations, and (2) uncontaminated ecology and environment of ecotourism sites. Further, the main research themes of articles in the field of ecotourism in protected areas are broadly focused on conservation, visitor management, and community. Our findings reveal that controversial issues surrounding ecotourism and its relationship to protected areas, dominated by human-wildlife conflict, gender, and climate change, are attracting the attention of researchers worldwide.

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    Potential risks and challenges of climate change in the arid region of northwestern China
    Yaning Chen, Xueqi Zhang, Gonghuan Fang, Zhi Li, Fei Wang, Jingxiu Qin, Fan Sun
    Regional Sustainability    2020, 1 (1): 20-30.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.06.003
    Abstract246)   HTML11)    PDF (1411KB)(196)      

    In the arid region of northwestern China (ARNC), water resources are the most critical factor restricting socioeconomic development and influencing the stability of the area’s ecological systems. The region’s complex water system and unique hydrological cycle show distinctive characteristics. Moreover, the intensified hydrological cycle and extreme climatic and hydrological events resulting from global warming have led to increased uncertainty around water resources as well as heightened conflict between water supply and water demand. All of these factors are exerting growing pressures on the socioeconomic development and vulnerable ecological environment in the region. This research evaluates the impacts of climate change on water resources, hydrological processes, agricultural system, and desert ecosystems in the ARNC, and addresses some associated risks and challenges specific to this area. The temperature is rising at a rate of 0.31°C per decade during 1961-2017 and hydrological processes are being significantly influenced by changes in glaciers, snow cover, and precipitation form, especially in the rivers recharged primarily by melt water. Ecosystems are also largely influenced by climate change, with the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) of natural vegetation exhibited an increasing trend prior to 1998, and then reversed in Xinjiang while the Hexi Corridor of Gansu showed the opposite trends. Furthermore, the desert-oasis transition zone showed a reduction in area due to the warming trend and the recent rapid expansion of irrigated area. Both the warming and intensified drought are threatening agriculture security. The present study could shed light on sustainable development in this region under climate change and provides scientific basis to the construction of the “Silk Road Economic Belt”.

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    Illustrating the multi-stakeholder perceptions of environmental pollution based on big data: Lessons from China
    LIU Haimeng, LIU Huaming, CHENG Yi
    Regional Sustainability    2022, 3 (1): 12-26.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.03.003
    Abstract263)   HTML7)    PDF (3719KB)(80)      

    The relationship between stakeholders and the environment influences sustainable development and human wellbeing. To illustrate the multi-stakeholder perceptions of environmental pollution in China, we interpreted a feedback loop in the perception-behavior-environment nexus from the perspective of the coupled human-environment system, measured the differences of environmental perceptions among five stakeholders (the public, government, media, companies, and scientists) and regions (including 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in China, with exceptions of Taiwan of China, Hong Kong of China, and Macao of China due to a lack of data) using big data, and made a comparison between the perceptions and the actual pollution situation. The results showed that the five stakeholders exhibited similar perceptions of environmental pollution at the national scale, with air pollution being of most concern, followed by water pollution and soil pollution. There were significant spatial differences in environmental perceptions. All stakeholders in the developed regions in eastern China paid relatively high attention to environmental issues, while those in the northwestern regions paid much less attention. There existed a mutual influence and interaction among the different stakeholders. More attention should be paid to air pollution in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, water pollution in Hainan Province, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Heilongjiang Province, and Jilin Province, and soil pollution in Hainan Province, Fujian Province, and Jilin Province. This paper provides a research paradigm on multi-stakeholder environmental perceptions based on big data, and the results provide a background reference for regional environmental governance.

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    Purchase willingness of new energy vehicles: A case study in Jinan City of China
    Xueqing Tian, Qingling Zhang, Yuzhu Chi, Yu Cheng
    Regional Sustainability    2021, 2 (1): 12-22.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.12.003
    Abstract321)   HTML7)    PDF (802KB)(148)      

    Speeding up the promotion of new energy vehicles is an important measure to optimize the energy structure, promote energy conservation and emission reduction, and develop the economy sustainability. The research uses a questionnaire survey to analyze the residents’ willingness to purchase new energy vehicles in Jinan City of China, and utilizes the binomial logistic regression model and Global Moran’s I to explain the impact of three factors (including respondents’ personal characteristics and subjective cognition, products, and social environment) on the purchase willingness of new energy vehicles. According to the survey, 75.12% of the respondents consider buying new energy vehicles in the future, but only 11.66% of the respondents know new energy vehicles well. It can be seen that the respondents in Jinan City generally have an insufficient understanding of new energy vehicles. It may lead to a decline in residents’ trust in new energy vehicles, which will in turn affect their purchase willingness. Based on the survey, we find that women who live far from the city center enjoy high incomes and have a low-carbon awareness, generally exhibit a higher willingness to purchase new energy vehicles. Spatial distribution of the purchase willingness has certain aggregation characteristics, showing a positive spatial correlation pattern. Purchase willingness has a certain positive diffusion effect in space, and areas with a higher purchase willingness have a positive driving effect on their surrounding regions. Spatial distribution of the purchase willingness can be used as one of the breakthroughs in promoting new energy vehicles. In addition, safety, price, after-sales service, and infrastructure of new energy vehicles are important determinants of people’s purchase willingness. Among the types of subsidies, financial subsidy is most effective on the residents’ purchase willingness. Our research provides an important information for the promotion of new energy vehicles in the region.

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    Characteristics and utilization of plant diversity and resources in Central Asia
    Yuanming Zhang, Daoyuan Zhang, Wenjun Li, Yaoming Li, Chi Zhang, Kaiyun Guan, Borong Pan
    Regional Sustainability    2020, 1 (1): 1-10.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.08.001
    Abstract298)   HTML21)    PDF (1438KB)(209)      

    The geographical region of Central Asia comprises Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. Central Asia’s temperate forests, steppes, and sandy deserts, including riparian tugai forests, have been identified by the World Wide Fund for Nature as Global 200 ecoregions, and the Mountains of Central Asia are considered biodiversity hotspots. Here, we describe and analyze the diverse characteristics and utilization of plant diversity and resources of the region. We confirm that there are 9520 species of higher plants, 20% of which are endemic species, belonging to 138 families and 1176 genera. The vegetation geography of Central Asia can be divided into 5 provinces and 33 districts, and more than 65% species have a Central Asian geographical distribution pattern. Plant resource utilization can be grouped into 5 categories and 31 subcategories, including food, medicine, industry, environmental protection, construction, and plant germplasm. In this review, we also discuss the principal threats to plant biodiversity in Central Asia posed by global climate change and offer recommendations for conservation strategies.

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    Is there regional convergence between Morocco and its OECD partner countries in terms of well-being?
    Ilyes BOUMAHDI, Nouzha ZAOUJAL
    Regional Sustainability    2023, 4 (1): 81-95.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2023.03.004
    Abstract61)   HTML5)    PDF (473KB)(40)      

    Morocco wants its 12 regions to play the role as the main lever of its public policies to initiate harmonized spatial multidimensional development. In the context of this goal and Morocco’s openness over the past two decades to bilateral and multilateral cooperation in an effort toward regional integration, this article studies the convergence of 389 regions in 36 countries (Morocco and 35 of its partner member countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)) between 2000 and 2019 in terms of well-being. To this end, we considered the territorial dimension of β-convergence models for well-being and its four domains (economic, social, environmental, and governance). Then, we adapted the absolute β-convergence model by taking into account the existence of spatial heterogeneity according to five specifications of spatial models. Thus, apart from environmental domain, we found that β-convergence of regions is significant for well-being and three of its domains (economic, social, and governance). These convergences are made by a spatially autocorrelated error model (SEM). However, the speed and period of convergence are relatively low for social domain, partly explaining the very exacerbated tensions at the territorial level. The fastest convergence was achieved in governance domain, followed by economic domain. This suggests that emerging countries must pay particular attention to national public action in favor of social cohesion at the territorial level. The lack of convergence in environmental domain calls for common actions for all countries at the supranational level to protect the commons at the territorial level.

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    Spatial-temporal characteristics of the coupling coordination of social security and economic development in China during 2002-2018
    Qiong LI, Yang ZHAO, Songlin LI, Lanlan ZHANG
    Regional Sustainability    2021, 2 (2): 116-129.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2021.04.001
    Abstract372)   HTML10)    PDF (2575KB)(164)      

    Clarifying the relationship between social security and economic development is helpful to realize the sustainable social security system and the stable function of sustainable economic development. In this paper, the entropy method, coupling coordination degree, standard deviation ellipse model, and spatial autocorrelation were used to study the spatial-temporal characteristics of coupling coordination of social security and economic development in China from 2002 to 2018. The results indicate that the relationship between social security and economic development in China has been gradually strengthened in the process of mutual adaptation and common development. The benign interaction between the two was unstable, though the coupling coordination degree gradually transitioned to the primary coupling coordination type. Besides, from a spatial perspective, first, the coupling coordination degree of social security and economic development in China contracted in the east-west and north-south directions, and the coupling coordination clustered in the central region in this period; second, the coupling coordination degree generally presented a positive spatial autocorrelation, and regions with similar coupling coordination degrees were in a state of agglomeration; finally, the hot spots clumped together to form a continuous area in the eastern coastal area while the cold spots expanded toward the northwest and northeast. Furthermore, the random distribution areas exhibited a trend of contraction.

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    Exploration of the dynamic water resource carrying capacity of the Keriya River Basin on the southern margin of the Taklimakan Desert, China
    Shuhong Yang, Tao Yang
    Regional Sustainability    2021, 2 (1): 73-82.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2021.01.005
    Abstract314)   HTML6)    PDF (934KB)(128)      

    The water resource carrying capacity (WRCC) in river basin changes dynamically under climate change, economic development, and technological advancement. Climate change affects hydrological processes and spatial/temporal distribution of water resources; while economic development and technological advancement can also affect the balance of water resources systems. Under climate change, economic development, and technological advancement, it is of great significance to explore the dynamic behavior of WRCC in river basins. This will help to alleviate water resources security issues and build a sustainable water resources system. This study was carried out to evaluate the dynamic WRCC using the “climate, economics, and technology-control objective inversion model”, which used total water consumption, water-use efficiency, and restrained total pollutant control in the water functional area as boundary conditions. This study was conducted on the Keriya River Basin, a sub-catchment located in southern margin of the Taklimakan Desert. The WRCC in the Keriya River Basin in 2015 was calculated, and the trends in the short term (2020), middle term (2030), and long term (2050) were predicted. The results revealed that climate change factors have a positive effect on WRCC in the Keriya River Basin, which leads to an increase in total water resources. Economic and technological development exhibits an overall positive effect, while increasing in water consumption and sewage discharge exhibit a negative effect.

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    Evaluation of carbon emissions associated with land use and cover change in Zhengzhou City of China
    HE Jianjian, ZHANG Pengyan
    Regional Sustainability    2022, 3 (1): 1-11.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.03.002
    Abstract334)   HTML13)    PDF (3234KB)(127)      

    Studies on carbon emissions associated with land use and cover change (LUCC) are key to understanding the impact of human activities on regional sustainability. In this study, we analyzed the temporal and spatial changes in carbon emissions associated with LUCC for production, living, and ecological spaces in Zhengzhou City of China. Landsat remote sensing images were used to classify the land use and land cover (LULC) types in Zhengzhou City in 1988, 2001, 2009, and 2015. Carbon emissions associated with LUCC were evaluated using a spatial gradient model and the niche mechanism. It was found that during 1988-2015, carbon emissions associated with LUCC in Zhengzhou City increased by 17.1×106 t, while the carbon sink resulted from cultivated land, forests, water bodies, and unused land decreased significantly. Most of the increase in carbon emissions associated with LUCC occurred in the center of the city. The peak carbon emissions were located in the northeastern, southeastern, northwestern, and southwestern regions of Zhengzhou City, and carbon emissions varied considerably in the different spatial gradient rings over time. Among the three spaces, carbon emissions associated with LUCC were mainly affected by the living space. The population size and population urbanization rate were negatively correlated with the ecological space and positively correlated with the production and living spaces. Our results highlight that Zhengzhou City should take the new urbanization path of urban transformation development and ecological civilization construction to ensure the realization of the promised carbon emission reduction targets.

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    Exploring the complex structural evolution of global primary product trade network
    JIANG Xiaorong, LIU Qing, WANG Shenglan
    Regional Sustainability    2022, 3 (1): 82-94.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.03.006
    Abstract265)   HTML6)    PDF (4539KB)(101)      

    The production and trade of primary products had a growing impact on the economic security of all countries and regions, and the strategic position of these products in the global trade network was becoming increasingly prominent. Based on complex network theory, this paper explored the spatial pattern and complex structural evolution of the global primary product trade network (GPPTN) during 1985-2015 by using index methods, such as centrality, Sankey diagram, and structure entropy, focusing on the diversified spatial structure of China’s import and export markets for primary products (with exceptions of Taiwan of China, Hong Kong of China, and Macao of China due to a lack of data) and their geographical implications for China’s energy security. The research offered the following key findings. The GPPTN showed an obvious spatial heterogeneity pattern, and the area of import consumption was more concentrated; however, the overall trend was decentralized. The trade center of gravity shifted eastwards and reflected the rise of emerging markets. The overall flow of the GPPTN was from west to east and from south to north. In terms of the community detection of the GPPTN, North America, Europe, and Asia increasingly presented an unbalanced “tripartite confrontation”. China’s exports of primary products were mainly concentrated in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other peripheral regions of Asia, and its imports undergone a major transformation, gradually expanding from the peripheral regions of Asia to Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and other parts of the world. Energy fuels also became the largest imported primary products. Based on the changing trend of structural entropy and main market share, the analysis showed that the stable supply of China’s energy diversification was gradually realized. In particular, the cooperation dividend proposed by the Belt and Road initiative became an important turning point and a strong support for the expansion of China’s energy market diversification pattern and guarantee of energy security.

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    Biodiversity arks in the Anthropocene
    Honghu MENG, Xiaoyang GAO, Yigang SAONG, Guanlong CAO, Jie LI
    Regional Sustainability    2021, 2 (2): 109-115.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2021.03.001
    Abstract263)   HTML11)    PDF (831KB)(136)      

    The Anthropocene proposal suggested that the Earth may have entered a new geological epoch, in which human activity and climate change are influencing the environment at global scale. Arrival of the Anthropocene is bringing an unprecedented challenge to the biodiversity that is essential to humans, and enhancing many benefits of nature to human being. However, biodiversity loss is aggravating in the rhythm of inevitable change in the Anthropocene, and the adaptation of biodiversity to the anthropogenic disturbance seems unable to keep pace with the human activity and climate change. Therefore, re-examination of the assumptions and practices upon the current conservation endeavor are needed. We suggested that biodiversity conservation should be paid more attention to the response from biodiversity to the human activity and climate change in the Anthropocene. Thus, the concept of biodiversity arks in the Anthropocene is proposed, that is, biodiversity arks in the Anthropocene are the areas where vulnerable biodiversity is sheltered to alleviate human activity and buffered from climate change under the anthropogenic disturbance. The concept should be implemented for biodiversity conservation to fill gaps between our knowledge and build on successful conservation and sustainability in the Anthropocene. It will be certainly important to conservation policy instruction and management under climate change, especially the implementation of climate buffering zones preserving biodiversity in the face of warming climate.

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