Theme 6: Pastoralism--Oral Sessions

Description

Grasslands across Inner Mongolia and Mongolia, with their long history of nomadic livestock grazing, are very important natural resources for animal husbandry and environmental services. The main types of grasslands are meadow steppe (forest steppe), typical steppe (steppe) and desert steppe. Most of the grasslands are degraded due to over-grazing, which reduces animal production and the values of environmental services. Overgrazing decreases plant production, species biodiversity, ecosystem stability, soil fertility & structure, and lowers animal productivity leading to reduced household incomes. In pastoral areas across Inner Mongolia and Mongolia, degraded grasslands can be rehabilitated by better managing stocking rates. Our surveys, experiments and farm demonstrations have found that, in degraded grasslands, lower stocking rates had benefits for animal production, net incomes and environmental services. To implement these improvements across Inner Mongolia and Mongolia will be challenging to avoid deleterious trade-offs with livelihoods as it will require changes in herder practices. Further research and demonstration are required to develop locally relevant systems.

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The State of Grasslands across Inner Mongolia and Mongolia

Grasslands across Inner Mongolia and Mongolia, with their long history of nomadic livestock grazing, are very important natural resources for animal husbandry and environmental services. The main types of grasslands are meadow steppe (forest steppe), typical steppe (steppe) and desert steppe. Most of the grasslands are degraded due to over-grazing, which reduces animal production and the values of environmental services. Overgrazing decreases plant production, species biodiversity, ecosystem stability, soil fertility & structure, and lowers animal productivity leading to reduced household incomes. In pastoral areas across Inner Mongolia and Mongolia, degraded grasslands can be rehabilitated by better managing stocking rates. Our surveys, experiments and farm demonstrations have found that, in degraded grasslands, lower stocking rates had benefits for animal production, net incomes and environmental services. To implement these improvements across Inner Mongolia and Mongolia will be challenging to avoid deleterious trade-offs with livelihoods as it will require changes in herder practices. Further research and demonstration are required to develop locally relevant systems.