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Compensation and Reward Mechanism for Grassland Ecological Preservation
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Zhen Zhong
Assistant Professor
School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development
Renmin University of China
In 2013, the mechanism continued to be implemented in 13 provinces and autonomous regions, with greater national investments that totaled 15.946 billion yuan across the whole year. It has been the biggest and most widely covered policy program with the largest beneficiaries in Chin’s grassland pastoral areas since the founding of New China. Since the implementation of the policy, all work had been in smooth progress with a series of satisfactory changes achieved in grassland ecology, husbandry production and livelihood of herdsmen.
The restoration of grassland ecological environment was accelerated
Through the implementation of the policy on the mechanism subsidies and rewards for grassland ecological protection, a series of systems for operation, management and protection of grassland were actively promoted, including grassland contracting, balance between forage and livestock, basic grassland protection, and prohibition, suspension or rotation of grazing. In 2013, key natural pastures registered an overland rate of 16.8%, down by 6.2% annually. The grassland vegetation coverage reached 54.2%, up by 0.4 percentage points. The total fresh-grass output of China’s natural grassland reached 1.06 billion tons, up by 0.6%. The 13 provinces implementing the reward and subsidy mechanism produced 770 million tons of fresh-grass, accounting for 73.4 % of the national output.
The mode of production in grassland livestock industry was in faster transformation  
In accordance with the requirement of “prohibiting grazing but not breeding and reducing livestock but not meat”, while improving the grassland ecological environment, pastoral areas strengthened the construction of infrastructures such as artificial grassland and livestock stalls, implemented standardized large-scale cultivation to accelerate the transformation of the production mode in grassland livestock industry. Notable results were achieved thanks to those measures. In 2013, the production of beef, lamb, dairy products and wool in those 13 provinces and 13 provinces and autonomous regions were 3.901 million tons, 2.811 million tons and 25.027 million tons and 425,000 tons, respectively accounting for 57.9%, 68.9% and 68.6% and 90.2% of the national total.
Income for farmers and herdsmen rose at a faster speed  
The coordinated development between production and lives of herdsmen was giving full consideration when the policy of granting subsidies and rewards for grassland ecological protection was being formulated. Almost 90% of the central budgetary fund earmarked for subsidies was directly granted to herdsmen who followed the call for prohibition of grazing and balance between forage and livestock, each of whom was entitled nearly 700 yuan, in a bid to make up for part of their losses by reducing their livestock and increase their policy-based income. Statistics showed that in 2013 the per capita net income of herdsmen in 268 pastoral and semi-pastoral areas across the country was 6,870 yuan, representing an increase of 946 yuan over the previous year or 16% compared to that in previous year.

     Date submitted: Nov. 23, 2015

     Reviewed, edited and uploaded: Nov. 23, 2015


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