Post-2000 efforts to protect China’s grassland areas are distinct from earlier efforts in that funding for the most recent round of policies and programs is commensurate with the task. Among the most controversial of the current policies is the provision of an annual subsidy ranging from 2 yuan to 20 yuan/mu (1/15 hectare) to herders to not graze livestock contracted by their families for periods from 3-10 years. Many other recent policies, such as fencing programs and hunting and burning bans to protect keystone species are also controversial. Ideally, the policies are intended to protect grassland ecological systems while assuring acceptable revenues to affected families and regions. In truth, results of these efforts have been mixed, but more successful in locations that tailor policies to local conditions. This poster summarizes a May 2014 study of three counties in Gansu on the interactions among pasture protection policies, outcomes and husbandry. The research joins environmental data and livestock counts at the township scale from 2000 to 2012 to depth interviews with herding families and husbandry officials. Joining biophysical analyses of changes in pasture with in-depth interviews, we seek to determine how the husbandry sector and grassland areas have changed under post-2000 policy interventions. In all three counties included in the study, despite severe degradation, pasture cover has improved and CAFO livestock has increased. However herders and local officials also report that some of the new policies and programs have important unanticipated negative impacts on pasture quality, pasture ecology and economic returns from pasture-based husbandry.
WMU ScholarWorks Citation
Veeck, Gregory, "Environmental Change and the Emergence of New Livestock Production Systems in Central Gansu Province, China" (2015). Faculty Research and Creative Activities Award (FRACAA). 55.