Project final report

Strengthening incentives for improved grassland management in China and Mongolia - Final report

Date released
23 December 2021
Publication Code

Colin Brown (ed) Co-authors: Jeff Bennett, David Kemp, Jane Addison, Karl Behrendt, Zhang Jing, Scott Waldron, Qiao Guanghua, Han Guodong, Li Ping, Hou Xiangyang, Yin Yanting, Li Zhiguo,Wang Zhongwu, Zhao Mengli, Zhang Bao, Lkhagvadorj Dorjburegdaa, Udval Gombosuren, Enkh-Orchlon Lkhagvadorj, Duinkherjav Bukhbat, Gantuya Jargalsaikhan, Gantulga Jargalsaihan, Davaasambuu Lkhagvasuren, Gankhuyg Luvsan


This project aimed to improve grassland management practices and pastoral livestock systems in China and Mongolia through research into the incentives driving these systems and the design of incentive-based policies.

With over 520 million ha of inter-connected grasslands that support the livelihoods of more than 5 million low-income pastoral households in China and Mongolia, these grasslands provide various ecosystem services; from improving air and water quality to acting as a carbon sink.

Growing concerns over the condition of these grasslands have prompted the Chinese government to invest in grassland-management programmes and grassland incentive payment schemes. In Mongolia, policy-makers, concerned about the resilience of herders and grasslands to adverse climatic events, seek information on the management systems and the impact of alternative policy and institutional settings needed to sustain grasslands and pastoral livelihoods. The similarities and contrasts between the two countries provide a larger context in which to test ideas and principles for managing grasslands and improving pastoral livelihoods that have wider application throughout east and central Asia.

Project outcomes

  • Built greater capacity to undertake grassland research in China, Mongolia and Australia as a result of the collaboration among grassland scientists from diverse disciplinary backgrounds in all three countries.
  • Strengthened inter-disciplinary skills and capacity in China and Mongolia, and links between biophysical and economic capacity.
  • Provided input towards advancing ecosystems service research and its application to some of China’s most important natural resource-management issues.
  • Brought socioeconomic benefits for communities through identification of improved livestock/grazing systems and market channels.
  • Generated indirect trade and other benefits to Australia.
  • Improved grasslands and livestock and grazing systems positively impacted on the environment and other ecosystem services, including those related to wind and soil erosion, water resources, biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions.

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