Optimal Land Use Management for Soil Erosion Control by Using an Interval-Parameter Fuzzy Two-Stage Stochastic Programming Approach
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Soil erosion is one of the most serious environmental and public health problems, and such land degradation can be effectively mitigated through performing land use transitions across a watershed. Optimal land use management can thus provide a way to reduce soil erosion while achieving the maximum net benefit. However, optimized land use allocation schemes are not always successful since uncertainties pertaining to soil erosion control are not well presented. This study applied an interval-parameter fuzzy two-stage stochastic programming approach to generate optimal land use planning strategies for soil erosion control based on an inexact optimization framework, in which various uncertainties were reflected. The modeling approach can incorporate predefined soil erosion control policies, and address inherent system uncertainties expressed as discrete intervals, fuzzy sets, and probability distributions. The developed model was demonstrated through a case study in the Xiangxi River watershed, China's Three Gorges Reservoir region. Land use transformations were employed as decision variables, and based on these, the land use change dynamics were yielded for a 15-year planning horizon. Finally, the maximum net economic benefit with an interval value of [1.197, 6.311] × 10(9) $ was obtained as well as corresponding land use allocations in the three planning periods. Also, the resulting soil erosion amount was found to be decreased and controlled at a tolerable level over the watershed. Thus, results confirm that the developed model is a useful tool for implementing land use management as not only does it allow local decision makers to optimize land use allocation, but can also help to answer how to accomplish land use changes.
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