China to compensate Xinjiang herdsmen for grazing ban

14:07, June 20, 2011      

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A grasslands ecological protection subsidies and awards mechanism was launched in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on June 16. In the next five years, the central government will allocate nearly 10 billion yuan in subsidies and awards to some 1.2 million herdsmen in the region.

According to information from the mechanism launching ceremony, Xinjiang will impose a grazing ban on 101,000 square kilometers of grasslands starting this year, including nearly 79,000 square kilometers of seriously degraded desert grasslands and alpine grasslands, some 1,000 square kilometers of major water conservation areas and grassland nature reserves and more than 21,000 square kilometers of grasslands recovered from 2007 to 2010.

As the amount of subsidies varies according to the type of grasslands, local herdsmen will receive a subsidy of 8,250 yuan for each square kilometer of desert grasslands and recovered grasslands, and a subsidy of 75,000 yuan for each square kilometer of major water conservation areas and grassland nature reserves.

Meanwhile, Xinjiang's more than 359,000 square kilometers of grasslands will enjoy 2,250 yuan per square kilometer of subsidies each year according to the government approved base. In addition, the government will also provide 15,000 yuan per square kilometer of fine breed subsidies each year for seeding grass, and provide each herdsman household 500 yuan of production material subsidies. Cows, sheep, yaks and goats will also be included in the range of livestock subsidies.

Xinjiang has more than 573,000 square kilometers of natural grasslands, including 480,000 square kilometers of usable grassland. In recent years, the degradation and desertification of Xinjiang's grassland is in a serious condition under the influence of factors such as natural climatic conditions, over-grazing, excessive reclamation and excavation, as well as the traditional way of production and lifestyle. As a result, Xinjiang's grass production declined and the ecological environment continues to deteriorate.

Qian Zhi, vice governor of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, said that the implementation of the grassland ecological protection subsidy and reward mechanism will have a significant impact for reversing the trend of grassland ecological environment deterioration in Xinjiang, promoting the development of pastoral areas and animal husbandry, and benefiting farmers of various ethnic groups.

The State Council decided to implement the grassland ecological protection subsidy and reward mechanism for five years in eight main prairie areas such as Xinjiang in 2010. The central government will arrange 13.4 billion yuan of subsidies each year for the implementation of the grasslands grazing ban, providing rewards for the balance between grassland and livestock and providing production subsidies for the manual forage production in pasturing areas and the livestock breed improvement.

By People's Daily Online

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