Analysis of the push and pull factors of environmental migration in Sanjiangyuan area in China

Xiangjing Meng, Renmin University of China

Sanjiangyuan area is the source of Yangtze River, Yellow River and Lancang River and located in Tibetan Plateau in Qinghai Province in China. It’s been called the water tower of China and plays a critical important role for the three great rivers water security. The area of Sanjianyuan is 31.81х104km2. The total population there is 650 thousands. Most of the residents are Tibetan herdsmen. The environmental situation in Sanjiangyuan is fragile and it becomes worsen in recent years due to the climate changing and overgraze. For protecting the ecological environment of Sanjiangyuan area, Qinghai government conducted an ecological migration project to move the herdsmen out of Sanjiangyuan area since 2004. Environmental migration in Sangjiangyuan area has drawn a lot of attention in China. Though the migration in Sanjiangyuan area is organized by the government, we still want to know who migrated and what determined the migration. Based on the survey data and focus group discussion with government officials, migration village cadres and migrants in 5 counties in Sangjiangyuan area which conducted in July 2009, this paper used the push-pull model to analyze the push and pull factors in origin and destination, the intervening obstacles and the personal factors of the migrants. It shows that government policy is the driven factor for the migration, the push factor of origin is relative weak and the most attractive factor in destination is the better education condition. Several policy applications also were discussed in the paper.

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Presented in Poster Session 2