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SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF RIVER OASES ALONG THE TARIM RIVER (P.R. CHINA) AND THE ECOSYSTEM SERVICES APPROACH

https://doi.org/10.24057/2071-9388-2013-6-4-77-90

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Abstract

In north-western China, the endorheic Tarim River is running along the northern rim of the Taklamakan desert. It is the solely water source for the oases in the region as precipitation is low. The river is mainly fed from water of snow and glacier melt, causing floods in the summer months. Due to global climate change the annual water discharge is increasing. However, not sufficient water flows downstream, as the region is the main production area of cotton in China, and much water is needed for irrigation. A conflict arises between water users of the upper reaches and water users of the lower reaches of the Tarim River as well as with the natural vegetation. The central question of the Sino-German SuMaRiO project (Sustainable Management of River Oases) is how to manage land use, i.e. irrigation agriculture and utilization of the natural ecosystems, and water use in a very water-scarce region, with changing water availability due to climate change, such that ecosystem services and economic benefits are maintained in the best balance for a sustainable development. The overall goal of the project is to support oasis management along the Tarim River under conditions of climatic and societal changes by: i) developing methods for analyzing ecosystem functions/ecosystem services, and integrating them into land and water management of oases and riparian forests; ii) Involving stakeholders in the research process to integrate their knowledge and problem perceptions into the scientific process; iii) Developing tools (Decision support system) with Chinese decision makers that demonstrate the ecological and socio-economic consequences of their decisions in a changing world.

About the Authors

Bernd Cyffka

Germany
Applied Physical Geography, Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, Ostenstraße 18, 85072 Eichstätt, Germany


Christian Rumbaur

Germany
Hydrology and River Basin Management, Technical University Munich, Arcisstrasse 21, 80333 München, German


Markus Disse

Germany
Hydrology and River Basin Management, Technical University Munich, Arcisstrasse 21, 80333 München, German


Martin Kuba

Germany
Applied Physical Geography, Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, Ostenstraße 18, 85072 Eichstätt, Germany


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For citation:


Cyffka B., Rumbaur C., Disse M., Kuba M. SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF RIVER OASES ALONG THE TARIM RIVER (P.R. CHINA) AND THE ECOSYSTEM SERVICES APPROACH. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2013;6(4):77-90. https://doi.org/10.24057/2071-9388-2013-6-4-77-90

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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)