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Evaluation of the forestry and environmental conservation policies in Western China with multi-output regression method

An, Xin, Wen, Yali, Zhang, Yaoqi, Xu, Shuo
Computers and electronics in agriculture 2019 v.157 pp. 239-246
biodiversity, forest policy, forestry, natural resources conservation, regression analysis, soil, China
Western China serves as a significant national ecological security barrier, but the eco-environment is deteriorating. The government of China has been making great efforts to reduce the loss of soil, improve water retention, and generally protect biodiversity and eco-systems in western China by implementing several large-scale forestry and environmental conservation policies (FECPs) from 1999. The primary objective of this study is to assess the potential efficacy of all the FECPs and understand which forest policies contribute more to developing social economy, protecting natural resource, and improving ecological environment in western China. Due to the underlying complicated relatedness amongst multiple policies in terms of social economy, natural resource and ecological environment, it disables many traditional regression approaches to be applicable to this case here. In this work, the evaluation of the multiple policies is regarded as a multi-output regression problem from input indicator system to implementation effect indicator system, and an evaluation framework is proposed. Finally, experimental results on the data from China Statistical Yearbook on Environment show that our evaluation framework is feasible and efficient.