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Journal of the Australian Rangeland Society

Rangeland degradation and restoration management in China

J. G. Han A , Y. J. Zhang A E , C. J. Wang B , W. M. Bai C , Y. R. Wang D , G. D. Han B and L. H. Li C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Key Laboratory of Vegetation Restoration and Reconstruction, Department of Grassland Science, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100094, China.

B College of Ecology and Environment, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Huhhot 010019, Inner Mongolia, China.

C Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China.

D College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730030, Gansu, China.

E Corresponding author. Email:

The Rangeland Journal 30(2) 233-239
Submitted: 22 February 2008  Accepted: 15 May 2008   Published: 3 June 2008


Rangelands of China have for centuries provided forage for livestock but now their role in water, soil, and biodiversity conservation is being recognised by Governments and people. However, much of the rangelands has recently degraded and desertification is now a widespread problem. The cause of the degradation is over-grazing and over-cultivation. Climate change is exacerbating the problem. The Chinese Governments have begun to address these severe problems through policy adjustments and projects. In parallel, some research and development is taking place. There are major impediments to addressing the problem; the importance of rangelands to China and its people are generally underestimated, legislative protection is incomplete and often ineffective, little attention is paid to scientific knowledge for development of management of natural resources, there is insufficient technological support, and Governments are not able to invest sufficiently to effectively restore and develop rangeland natural resources. However, with this background we propose how the problems might be more effectively addressed in the future.

Additional keywords: desertification, development, environment, grasslands.


We are grateful to several people who assisted in preparing this review. Hai Wang located much of the reference material. Marshall Haferkemp, Kenneth Hodgkinson, and Glenn Shewmaker edited drafts of the paper. Three anonymous reviewers reported on the paper and their insights are appreciated. This work was financially supported by the ‘973’ project (Project No. 2007CB106805) and the grassland ecosystem restoration technology project (Project No. 2006BAD16B01).


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