The grassland coverage in Tibet Autonomous Region has been increasing, said the regional agricultural department. The natural grassland coverage rate in 2017 was around 45.2 percent, up 2.5 percentage points from the figure in 2010, the regional agricultural and herding department said…Full Article: Xinhua Dec 2017

Key Points

  • China has banned herding on 8.6 million hectares of grassland in Tibet, or roughly 10% of its total grassland area.
  • From 2010 to 2017, according to the deputy director regional agricultural and herding department, the number of cattle in Tibet decreased from 23 million to 18 million heads.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In November 2017, China’s Minister of Agriculture was fragile and under threat from pests, fires, and illegal business projects. At the time, China had approximately 400 million hectares of grasslands. During the same month, China banned herding in three major nature reserves on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, including Hoh Xil or Kekexili in Qinghai.
  • 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 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.
  • 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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