PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (9): 1401-1412.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.09.010

• Urban and Regional Development • Previous Articles    

Research progress on island economy

QIN Weishan1,2, ZHANG Yifeng1   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2013-05-01 Revised:2013-07-01 Online:2013-09-25 Published:2013-09-25

Abstract: Island is a special regional unit with unique development models and paths. Islands, with their unique locations, resources and environmental advantages, play an important role in the modernization process. Besides being the frontier of the defense of national sovereignty and security, the islands are the important basis to strengthen the marine economy and expand the development space of China. As an important transitional region connecting the continents and oceans, islands often have important traffic advantage of port and waterway. Islands are also an important platform to protect marine environment and maintain marine ecosystems. In recent years, with more emphasis being put on marine territories world wide, researches on islands also increased among the scholars at home and abroad. In this paper, we started with analyzing the meaning of island economy. On the basis of others' accomplishments, we tried to define what island economy is. Based on extensive literature study, we conducted a systematic analysis on island economy from the four aspects as follows: its development, evolution and transformation, its development model, the coordination and optimization of man-land relationship in the development process, and its impact on resource and environment. Foreign scholars focused on sustainable economic development of an island as well as the development of various industries in island economy, and they had a series of research achievements especially on island tourism development. Domestic scholars focused on island fisheries, tourism and other industries, and carried out active research on overall economic development of an island, its economic evolution, economic development model, spatial differentiation, and so on. However, as shown in the literature published so far, in this research field there is still lac of systematic studies, research teams and achievements, especially on the formation, evolution mechanism, the elements of island economy and the mechanism of their interactions. The studies on the resources and environmental effects of island economy were mainly combined with the sustainable development of island economy, and most of the studies on this topic mainly focused on the impact of island economy (especially the tourism) on resources and environment and how to protect them in order to maintain the sustainable development of regional economy. Finally, we suggested furture direction of the research on island economy: (1) Launch systematic studies on island economy by using the Man-land Relationship Areal Theory as a guide, combined with system science theories, regional economic development theories and industrial structure evolution theories. (2) Conduct quantitative analysis based on the studies on the bearing capacity of resources and environment; (3) Pay attention to the support of 3S technology and use participatory investigation method in order to obtain more intuitive and reliable data. (4) Conduct comprehensive studies on the development and sustainability of island economy to serve practice.

Key words: evolution, island economy, research progress, response mechanism of resources and environment