China’s Shanxi province strengthens grassland protection

Shanxi is a province in North China with a large area of grasslands. According to the census on grassland resources in the 1980s, the province’s natural grassland area is 45,520 square kilometers, accounting for 29 percent of the province’s total area.

Grasslands in Shanxi are mainly distributed in the marginal areas of the Taihang and Lyuliang mountains and the central basin. There are six major types of grassland in Shanxi, including mountain meadows, mountain shrubs, and mountain grasslands.

Grasses in the province are rich and diverse, and many species have high scientific, academic and economic development value.

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Shanxi province, China

North China’s Shanxi province has issued a circular for strengthening the protection and restoration of grasslands. 

The circular requires technological support and enhanced governance capabilities to improve grassland environments and functionality.

Basic grasslands that maintain national ecological security, protect key ecological function areas, and ensure the healthy development of grassland animal husbandry will be the focus of protection. 

A grassland law enforcement accountability system and joint grassland enforcement mechanism will be established and improved, and a damage compensation system for grasslands will be strictly implemented.

According to the circular, the province will implement major ecological restoration projects such as the protection and restoration of subalpine meadows, the improvement of degraded grasslands, and artificial grass planting.

In severely overgrazed areas, measures such as grazing bans, organic dry land farming, soil loosening and fertilization, and pest control will be adopted to promote the restoration of grassland vegetation.

Shanxi will also accelerate the transformation of traditional grassland animal husbandry methods, optimize resource allocation, and develop a modern grassland industry.

SOURCE: China Daily, 2021-11-22.

The Malun Grassland on the top of Guancen Mountain in Ningwu county, Shanxi province, is a typical alpine meadow and one of the largest in North China. [Photo by Cao Jianguo/for]

Background information: Sustainable Forest-Grassland Management in the Middle Reaches of the Yellow River Basin

 Shanxi Province is a uniquely important area for the protection of the Yellow River. The
Lvliang Mountain range in Shanxi Province, located in the Loess Plateau, is part of the national
key ecological barriers.

Desertification accounts for 28% of the land area in the northern part of the province. About 13.8% of the sediment transported through the Yellow River is produced in the province. The poor ecological environment has a profound effect on people’s livelihoods. Many Shanxi counties in the Yellow River Basin are among the least developed in the province.

A Blue Book of the Yellow River Basin jointly published by researchers from riparian provinces has systematically reviewed the challenges and opportunities facing ecological protection and high-qualitydevelopment in the basin. Ecological protection is a prerequisite, and a key driver for rural vitalization and rebalancing urban-rural inequalities.

Accordingly, the Shanxi Forestry and Grassland Bureau (SFGB) published a guidance note on ecological restoration and management for Shanxi’s grasslands.

SOURCE: People’s Republic of China: Strengthening Capacity, Institutions, and Policies for Enabling High-Quality Green Development in the Yellow River Ecological Corridor, Project Number: 54026-012. August 2021.

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