China has been a global leader in setting innovative environment and development targets. Of 17 mandatory targets in China’s latest five-year plan, 12 address the natural resource base. Other examples include the “Grain for Green” or Sloping Lands Conversion Programme and, more recently, China’s “Red Lines” (sustainable-use targets) for water, land and energy/carbon.

Given the importance of both development and environmental protection for China’s future, the question arises: Are these laws and the underlying targets consistent and mutually reinforcing, or are they generating unintended negative externalities and new trade-offs across sectors and resources? The same applies to national vs. province-level policies: Are the provincial targets consistent with one another and with national goals, and do they support the sustainable development of China as a whole?

In Ningxia, per-capita GDP has grown at almost 20% per year, and population at more than 1% per year over the past five years. This brief provides an important perspective on development in the province, focusing on Ningxia’s water, land, and energy resources and their interdependencies.

Download the brief (PDF, 1MB)