Adaptive capacity of mountainous rural communities under restructuring to geological disasters: The case of Yunnan Province

Weiguo Jiang, Yue Deng, Zhenghong Tang, Ran Cao, Zheng Chen, Kai Jia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Understanding the relationship between adaptive capacity and natural disasters plays a crucial role in mountainous rural development planning in the context of rapid urbanization and the increasing risk of natural disasters in China. Previous studies have examined the adaptive capacity while ignoring the differences between surrounding environments. We analysed the adaptive capacity while incorporating a variety of geological disaster susceptibilities in prefecture-level cities in the mountainous rural Yunnan Province by using socio-economic data from the Yunnan Statistical Yearbook 2014 and geological disaster data from 2000 to 2014. In addition, the major socio-economic determinants and correlation between the adaptive capacity and geological disaster susceptibility were further explored. The results demonstrate the following: (1) 90.2% of geological disasters were primarily distributed in mountainous rural areas, and nearly 70% of prefecture-level cities had moderate, high or very high geological disaster susceptibility; (2) the adaptive capacity was generally higher in south-eastern Yunnan Province, and only 25% of the prefecture-level cities had high or very high adaptive capacity; (3) although the major factors that affected the adaptive capacity varied between cities, the economic conditions were the most important; and (4) although no significant correlation existed between the adaptive capacity and geological disaster susceptibility, cities with high geological disaster susceptibility but low adaptive capacity required more attention to prepare for geological disasters and improve their adaptive capacity. Both the socio-economic background and natural disaster conditions should be considered when evaluating the adaptive capacity. Therefore, determining the local adaptive capacity and then implementing targeted measures to improve the adaptive capacity is more realistic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-629
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Adaptive capacity
  • Geological disaster
  • Principal component analysis
  • Rural community
  • Socio-economic data
  • Yunnan Province

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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