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Tibet takes steps to contain grassland degradation

By Source:Xinhua 2016-11-29

Tibet's grassland degradation trend is becoming more contained and shows recovery thanks to effective protection, according to Tibet Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Department.

The situation was severe in Tibet's prefectures of Nagqu and Ngari in the early 2000s, and the main causes were said to be weather and overgrazing, according to the department.

The region conducted its first grassland survey between 1984 and 1991, the results showed the degradation situation was unclear at the time, the department said.

The acreage of grasslands during the first survey was 82 million hectares, and its second survey between 2011 and 2012 found the region's grassland acreage was 88 million hectares.

"The main causes of grassland degradation include lack of rainfall, and man-made reasons such as over grazing," said Cai Bin, a leader of the Tibet Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Department.

Cai said many nomadic areas in Tibet's north and west completely rely on raising livestock, because these places lack resources and job opportunities, which has lead to over grazing and grassland degradation.

Major measures taken by the government to fight against degradation include grassland conservation compensation and grassland balancing awards.

Herding is banned in areas with severe degradation, and the compensation of prohibited grassland was raised from 6.5 yuan for every 0.067 hectare in the past five years to 7.5 today.

The grassland balance award has raised to 2.5 yuan for every 0.067 hectare from 1.5 yuan every 0.067 hectare the past five years.

"We also plant grass in some farming areas or semi-pasturing areas, and this way the some nomadic areas without good grass can get a supplement."

Tibet's recent survey on the grasslands show the acreage of the degraded grassland of the region is up to 24 million hectares, accounting for about 27 percent of the region's total grassland area.

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The picture shows the landscape of Tibet. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

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