Historical Changes in Land-Use/Land Cover in the Amur River Basin

Sergey Ganzey, Victor Ermoshin, Natalia Mishina
Pacific Institute of Geography, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences,7 Radio Str., Vladivostok, 690041, Russia


All distinctions in the economic and nature protection policy of the neighboring states are well reflected and shown within trans-boundary river basins. The parts of trans-boundary geosystem of one country can experience an essential negative influence from rash decisions in the field of nature use and nature protection policy of the neighboring state.
The Amur River basin covers the territories of Russia, the Peoples Republic of China, Mongolia and Democratic People's Republic of Korea and occupies about two million kм2. The most intensive development of the basin territory has started since the middle of the 19th century. We compiled two maps of land use in the Amur River basin in the 1930-1940s and in the early 20th   century. Essential changes occurred in distribution of the Amur River basin for 70-years.
Negative dynamics is marked for forest lands, meadows, wetlands and mountain tundra (golets), the share of which has decreased by 5,5 %, 5 %, 6,3 %, and 0,4 % respectively. The share of sparse forests, bushes has increased slightly, whereas that of arable lands has increased considerably by 11, 3 %. The felling area has increased by six thousand kм2, and fire sites by 10,0 thousand kм2.
The basic features in the change of land use within national parts of the basin in Russia, China and Mongolia are analyzed. The comparative analysis of land use peculiarities of the countries for the last 70 years has been done.
Belonging of this territory to one river system of the Amur River basin, common structures and functioning of its landscape framework conditions close interrelation of ecological processes on a vast area. It is demanded to take into account all these phenomena in the models of inexhaustible nature use and sustainable development. It seems that within trans-boundary basins it is necessary to aspire to extremely possible agreement and coordination in regional nature use and sustainable development of boundary areas.
Keywords: Amur River Basin, land cover change, land use