Fallow priority areas for spatial trade-offs between cost and efficiency in China

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Springer Nature
Fallow pilot policies exist in China but fallow priority areas have yet to be identified based on eco-environmental stressors and spatial cost-benefit analyses. Here we use a multi-criteria optimization algorithm to determine fallow priority areas based on soil pollution, groundwater overexploitation, land quality, and ecological protection redlines delineation data and with high-cost effectiveness. By considering five spatial scenarios on three objective functions, we find most notably that fallowing the top 20% of priority areas, the benefit of pollution control and environmental protection can be achieved by up to 98.7% and 64.7%, respectively. Our results show that effective fallow prioritization on cultivated land may reduce implementation costs by up to 509.3 billion USD, corresponding to 13.6% of China’s budget in 2021. Thus, effective fallow prioritization will promote sustainable land use by pursuing goals between benefits and cost synergistically and allow budget allocation to other sustainable agricultural targets based on agricultural diversification.
© The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Communications Earth & Environment, 2023, available online at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s43247-023-00850-1 . Keywords: environmental impact; sustainability.
Zeng, S., Chen, F., Liu, GJ. et al. Fallow priority areas for spatial trade-offs between cost and efficiency in China. Commun Earth Environ 4, 183 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-023-00850-1