Despite progress in the protection of grasslands in China, the ecosystem remains fragile, said Agricultural Minister Han Changfu on Wednesday [1 November 2017]. Chinese grasslands cover an area of nearly 400 million hectares, about 40 percent of the total territory, and have suffered pest and rat attacks, fires and drought, among other damage, Han said in a report submitted for review to the bi-monthly legislative session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, which runs until Saturday…Full Article: Xinhua Nov 2017

Key Point

  • In 2016, according to a report submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, fires destroyed ~37,000 hectares of grassland, while an additional 9,160 ha was destroyed by illegal land projects. Over the past few years, rats have damaged 26.7 million ha while insect pests damaged 13.3 million ha.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In July 2017, China announced it would invest USD 3.7 billion to transition farmland into grassland and forests. The land reclamation project would encompass 14 provinces, including Xinjiang Region. In addition, the funds would be used to complete the reclamation of 820,000 ha, 740,000 ha of which will be return to forests.
  • In 2014, China carried out land reclamation work that sought to transition approximately 2.83 million hectares of farmland to forests and grassland by 2020.
  • In 2013, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, more than 18,700 illegal activities related to China’s grassland were investigated. These included seven cases which involved individuals who were illegally planting trees on grassland for sale in Jilin Province and Xinjiang Region.
  • In November 2012, China’s Qinghai Province hired 9,400 herders as part-time guards to protect grasslands from illegal activities

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