Grassland Eco-Compensation in China: What Can and Cannot Be Monitored?
Grassland covers about 40% of the PRC and is its largest terrestrial ecosystem. Since 2011, the government-financed “subsidy and reward program for grassland ecological protection” has been enforced. It is the country’s most important grassland eco-compensation program. In his presentation, Dr. Hu, from Tsinghua University’s China Institute of Rural Study, systematically elaborated the ecological effect, conditionality, and supervision of grassland eco-compensation. Implementation of grassland eco-compensation has resulted in improvements in national grassland ecological environment, but has yet to deliver significant results in terms of addressing grassland overgrazing and reducing livestock. Supervision of grassland eco-compensation is assessed to be weak because of the continued poor compliance of herdsmen with the conditionality of prohibited and balanced grazing policy. To improve grassland eco-compensation supervision, reasonable rates of compensation should be set and default costs should be increased.