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Tourism leads to wealth but increased vulnerability: a double-edged sword in Lijiang, South-West China

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Tourism development in Lijiang, China, has helped lift many people out of poverty but has also led to increased pollution and water scarcity, which climate change is predicted to exacerbate. A shift towards tourism and cash crops has reduced the diversity of crops and livestock used by agrarian households. These effects are explored in two villages between 2008 and 2013 using a multi-method approach. It is found that local water governance does not follow any of the best practice principles outlined in the international literature. Improved water governance is urgently needed to reduce household vulnerability in the Lijiang area. © 2016 International Water Resources Association

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