XXI International Grassland Congress   
VIII International Rangeland Congress   



The essential concepts and data analysis of Inner Mongolia's Steppes          

- Chen Ji-qun  ( Volume II... Theme C2...   P949)




Echoing Steppe website     www.cyngo.net  
Environmental NGO---Friend of Nature 
E-mail:  Jiqunchen2002@yahoo.com

Keywords: Steppe conservancy; Inner Mongolia Steppes; Wetland

The mission of the Steppe Conservancy is to preserve the biodiversity of Northern China by protecting the topsoil, grass, and animals as well as the indigenous communities of the Northern Steppes.

   Steppe: Level, grassy treeless plain, especially in SE Europe and Central Asia( from <Oxford Advanced Dictionary of Current English>). We organized experts to inspect the diversity of typical steppe plants at Eastern Uzemchin County (Wuzhumuqin Qi in Chinese) (2005) .The current situation of Inner Mongolia's Steppes. Inner Mongolia comprises an area of 1,120,000 km2 and supports a population of around 23 million.  Of these, around 10 million are engaged in agriculture, including 90% of the 3 million Mongolians present. These farmers have thus transformed former steppes into farmland.  Agriculture has become the main mode of production only in the last one hundred years, rapidly replacing herding.

    The transformation of Inner Mongolia Steppes into agricultural land has rapidly degraded the quality of the land, leading to widespread desertification.  Nonetheless, some media and government officials in charge of managing the grasslands claim there are 860,000 km2 natural grasslands in Inner Mongolia. According to one government official, almost the entire area of Inner Mongolia other than Alsha Aimag county (270,000 km2) is still "natural grassland?  Is it possible that Inner Mongolia still has 860,000 km2 of grasslands?

     The historical experience already proved that nomadic style is the best mode of producing which can protect the environment in very harsh environment grassland areas. Agriculture is the mode of producing that ruins the grassland most rapidly, but over many years, many peoples have been disregarded this basic experience from Mongolian, and then a large amount of grassland has been reclaimed, which leading to the irreversible degradation of the grassland and today deserts and sand-dust storms. 1Nomadic producing mode and life style can minish the stress on the grassland,  but not in the case of resident style. 2Nomadic style can fertilize the grassland evenly, but not in   the case of resident style. 3Nomadic style doesn't destroy the structure of soil, doesn't make land naked and make land deserting, but not in case of agriculture, especially during windy spring, there is no crops covering the surface of the land, so it is easy to cause and increase secondary sand dust.  4Nomadic style can save water resources, but not in the case of agriculture.

     Industry development ruined the grassland vegetation. Especially the predatory developments led to the drought of grasslands and vanishing of wetlands. The rivers interception by  Olagaiwulagai in Chinese Reservoir impacts directly the existence of the national important wetland.