Spatio-Temporal Grassland Development in Inner Mongolia after Implementation of the First Comprehensive Nation-Wide Grassland Conservation Program | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
January 2021
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© 2021 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

Protection of the grassland’s ecological environment and improvement of people’s livelihoods are major tasks for the management of pastoral areas in Inner Mongolia. The comprehensive program for grassland conservation in China, the Subsidy and Incentive System for Grassland Conservation (SISGC), was launched in 2011. To comprehend the effects of this major step towards sustainable grassland development, this study focuses on the spatio-temporal development of grasslands in Inner Mongolia since 2011. Through the combination of MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) satellite data with up to date meteorological data, we used the indicators of Fractional Vegetation Cover (FVC) and Net Primary Productivity (NPP) to analyze qualitative and quantitative grassland changes. A classification system on the pixel level, reflecting change trends and fluctuations of both FVC and NPP, was applied to monitor and analyze the grassland development from 2011 to 2019. In particular, the spatial transfer matrix of the recent two years (2018 to 2019) was analyzed to reveal the latest potential issues and random impact factors. The results show a positive overall but spatially unbalanced effect of SISGC, with a prominent positive impact in the semi-desert grassland area. The potential threats from both social and natural aspects as well as the importance of a forecast system for local stakeholders in the pastoral area are discussed.

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Xue, Zhichao
Kappas, Martin
Wyss, Daniel


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