The “two mountain concept” explores synergies among economic development and ecological environmental protection

The “Two Mountains concept” is an ideological support system that guides ecological civilization construction. It points out the inherent consistency between economic development and ecological environmental protection, and fundamentally grasps the dialectical relationship of the dynamic unity of man and nature. However, there is still a lack of quantitative research on the progress of “Two Mountains” practice, the transformation results, the realization of ecological product value, and how to promote the green transformation of social economy.

Researchers from CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) evaluated the transformation effectiveness of the green economy from the framework of synergistic coordination of ecology, air, and economy, and analyzed industrial patterns and landscape characteristics in response to these processes.

Based on the ecological-social-economic composite perspective, the researchers  used a weighted method to construct an evaluation framework and indicator system integrating ecological quality and economic development. They took 421 representative county-level demonstration bases in China as the research sample to test the the practical effects of the “Two Mountains” transformation, by comparing the green transformation effectiveness of Near Pilots (NPs) (i.e., it is adjacent to the pilot base) and Far away Pilots (i.e., are separated from the pilot city by at least 3 counties) from 2010-2020.

The results showed that about 98% of the pilot areas achieved an increase in comprehensive benefits, and they are significantly better than non-pilot areas in terms of ecological environment, air quality, economic development, and landscape connectivity. The pilot areas generally exhibit spatial agglomeration and spillover effects, with positive externalities for surrounding areas.

In addition, the industrial structure of the pilot areas has been further optimized, exhibiting a green transformation characterized by deep integration of primary industry, secondary industry, and tertiary industries.

The “two mountain concept” explores synergies among economic development and ecological environmental protection
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