Foreign trade relations between Russia, China and Japan as factor of land use/cover changes in the Amur River Basin

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


The main part of the Amur River basin (over 90%) belongs to the Russian Far East and Northeastern China. Due to economic-geographical and geopolitical location of the Amur River basin in the 20th century economic development of its Russian and Chinese parts was determined both by internal factors and external influence of neighboring countries and foreign markets. To identify the role of foreign trade between Russia, China and Japan as external driving force of forest and agricultural land use and land cover changes in the Amur River basin, data on total output, domestic consumption and export of forest and agricultural products were analyzed. External influence was considered as the direct and indirect factor of land use/cover changes. Interaction of external influence with internal economic and political situation in the Russian Far East and Northeastern China was examined for the last 100-120 years. As a result periods of significant external effects on forests utilization and agricultural lands development in the Russian and Chinese parts of the basin were determined and characterized. Present-day situation in the Russian part of the basin was explored on the more detailed spatial level of administrative units (Krais and Oblasts).

Key words: Amur River basin, foreign trade, forest use, agricultural land use, driving forces.