The International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology vol:13 issue:3 pages:211-220
In 1999, the Chinese government initiated a massive conservation programme, the 'Grain-for-Green' programme, to reduce soil erosion and to improve the eco-environmental status in western China through the set-aside of sloping agricultural lands and their conversion to forest and pasture. The attitudes and perceptions of farmers towards Grain-for-Green are little known, but will eventually dictate the direction and, ultimately, the success of the project. This paper interprets surveys concerning attitudes towards environmental protection, in general, and the Grain-for-Green programme, in particular, in two small catchments in the Loess hilly area. Participatory Rural Assessment techniques are used as survey instruments and logistic regression analysis is used to analyze farmers' attitudes towards environmental conservation and Grain-for-Green. Most respondents are positive about environmental protection and Grain-for-Green in general. However, marked differences are evident between the two small catchments: the level of farmers' environmental protection consciousness in Anjiapo catchment is higher than that in Danangou catchment. Respondents in Anjiapo catchment expressed more support for the programme than respondents in Danangou catchment. Environmental care by farmers may not be sustainable should the programme come to an end. The results provide a useful insight into the interests and concerns of farmers, which might lead to a more positive attitude in officials in the future.