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Desertification and Restoration of Grasslands in Inner Mongolia

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Grasslands cover 40% of China's total land area and are the largest ecosystem threatened by desertification. Grassland degradation causes ecosystem instability and harms economic development. Historically, a series of policies led to a rapid shift in land tenure and stewardship practices, resulting in overgrazing and conversion of grassland to cropland. Protection and restoration of grasslands are thus a key component of China's fight against desertification. Current strategies in Inner Mongolia demonstrate the potential of an integrated approach to combating desertification. The Xilinguole pilot project further illustrates this approach, which includes tree planting, grassland closures, resettlement of displaced herders and farmers, and feeding demonstration. To be more effective, it is necessary to modify grassland management practices, create more off-farm jobs, and promote range grazing with a standardized adaptive stocking rate.

Keywords: desertification; ecological resettlement; grassland degradation; grassland restoration; overgrazing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
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