Confirmation seminar: Understanding the impact of the regional social-ecological system on human longevity in China

Aging is a global challenge due to its substantial socio-economic implications. China, as the largest developing country with the largest elderly population in the world, will be experiencing more pressure against the aging society in the coming decades.  Regional longevity level has been evolving since ancient periods. It is influenced by a multitude of factors including social, economic, environmental and genetic factors. Most recent studies examine the associations between regional longevity and one or two selected principal factors for a short time frame (i.e. one year). These studies come from geography, medicine, gerontology, and environmental sciences.  We argue that the regional longevity is a result of the integration of natural, social, and economic factors at a system level (e.g. a river basin) and it changes with changes of these factors and their combinations in a long time frame. Therefore, this study aims to understand the social-economic and natural factors impact on the regional longevity in Guangxi, China from different spatial scales and time scales. It will select three case study regarding Guangxi on a provincial scale, Hechi city in Guangxi on a city scale and Panyang River Basin in Hechi city on a small basin scale. The specific objectives of this study are: (1) to identify the potential social-economic factors influencing the structure of the old-age population in Guangxi with the statistical data in 2010; (2) to analyse how the physical, geographical, environmental, climactic factors impact on the regional longevity in Hechi, Guangxi and explore the environmental traits of the centenarians cluster areas during 1980-2015; The heavy metals in air, soil, water, agricultural products will be analysed, beside the factors which have been used in Objective 1; (3) to understand what and how environmental and social-economic factors at a system level contributed to regional longevity in a longer timeframe in the Panyang River Basin; the historical documents on the population structure and social-economic factors will be collected and analysed.  The isotope analysis of sediment in the Panyang River Basin will be conducted to determine the sources and age of the heavy metals. The expected output from this study is the determination of what is a ‘good’ socio-ecological system for the regional longevity. The new understanding from this study will contribute to addressing the challenges of ageing society in China.

  • Date: Wednesday 4 October, 2017
  • Time: 2:30
  • Location: Room 519, Chamberlain Building
  • Advisory Team: Yongping Wei
  • Candidate: Qucheng Deng