Sichuan covers a total area of 485,000 square kilometers, accounting for 5.1% of China’s total territory, ranking the fifth in the country. However, Sichuan has a large population and its per capita land area is lower than the national average, thus facing prominent conflict between people and land.
Sichuan has a complex and varied topography, featured by numerous mountains and plateaus. There are four geomorphic types, which are mountainous areas, hilly areas, plains and plateaus, accounting for 77.1%, 12.9%, 5.3% and 4.7% respectively of Sichuan’s total area. Sichuan’s soil is divided into 25 soil groups and 66 soil subgroups, accounting for 43.48% and 32.60% respectively of the nation’s total, as well as 137 soil genera and 380 soil species.
Given the land natural conditions, social and economic utilization as well as other factors, Sichuan’s land resources can be classified into 8 first-class land use types, 45 second-class land use types and 62 third-class land use types. Except for rubber plantations, all the first-class and second-class land use types in other provinces can be found in Sichuan, which is quite typical in the country. Forestry and animal husbandry are the main forms of land use, and the land for forestry and animal husbandry is mainly confined to the mountainous areas around the basins and the western mountains and plateaus, accounting for 69.2% of Sichuan’s total land area; farmland is mostly in the eastern basin areas and low mountainous and hilly areas, accounting for over 85% of Sichuan’s total farmland; garden land is mainly in the basins, hilly areas, and southwestern mountainous areas, accounting for over 70% of Sichuan’s total garden land; and land for transportation, residential use and industry and mining is mainly in the plains and hilly areas where the economy is more developed.