Monitoring aeolian desertification process in Hulunbir grassland during 1975-2006, Northern China

Guo, J. A., et al., 2010. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

Original research (primary data)
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The Hulunbir grassland experienced aeolian desertification expansion during 1975-2000, but local rehabilitation during 2000-2006. Northern China suffered severe aeolian desertification during the past 50 years. Hulunbir grassland, the best stockbreeding base in Northern China, was also affected by aeolian desertification. To evaluate the evolution and status of aeolian desertification, as well as its causes, satellite images (acquired in 1975, 1984, 2000, and 2006) and meteorological and socioeconomic data were interpreted and analyzed. The results show there was 2,345.7, 2,899.8, 4,053.9, and 3,859.6 km(2) of aeolian desertified land in 1975, 1984, 2000, and 2006, respectively. The spatial pattern dynamic had three stages: stability during 1975-1984, fast expansion during 1984-2000, and spatial transfer during 2000-2006. The dynamic degree of aeolian desertification is negatively related to its severity. Comprehensive analysis shows that the human factor is the primary cause of aeolian desertification in Hulunbir grassland. Although aeolian desertified land got partly rehabilitated, constant increase of extremely severe aeolian desertified land implied that current measures were not effective enough on aeolian desertification control. Alleviation of grassland pressure may be an effective method.

Case studies

Basic information

  • Case ID: INT-129-1
  • Intervention type: Combination
  • Intervention description:

    ae- olian desertified grassland was enclosed by fences and prohibited from being disturbed by livestock in order to allow it to rehabilitate naturally

  • Landscape/sea scape ecosystem management: No
  • Climate change impacts Effect of Nbs on CCI Effect measures
    Desertification  Mixed results Area of desertified land classified as either light, moderate, or severe desertification (determined by assessing remote sensing images)
  • Approach implemented in the field: Yes
  • Specific location:

    Hulunbuir Steppe

  • Country: China
  • Habitat/Biome type: Temperate grasslands |
  • Issue specific term: Not applicable


  • Notes on intervention effectivness: Effectiveness assess by looking at changes over time from remote sensing images Mixed because although successful rehabilitation in the project sites, decreased available grazing land therefore land not protected had more livestock on it and became even more degraded --> i.e. transfered problem from one site to the other
  • Is the assessment original?: Yes
  • Broadtype of intervention considered: Not applicable
  • Compare effectivness?: No
  • Compared to the non-NBS approach: Not applicable
  • Report greenhouse gas mitigation?: No
  • Impacts on GHG: Not applicable
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on natural ecosystems: No
  • Impacts for the ecosystem: Not reported
  • Ecosystem measures:
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on people: No
  • Impacts for people: Not reported
  • People measures:
  • Considers economic costs: No
  • Economic appraisal conducted: No
  • Economic appraisal described:
  • Economic costs of alternative considered: No
  • Compared to an alternative: Not reported

Evaluation methodology

  • Type of data: Quantitative
  • Is it experimental: No
  • Experimental evalution done: Not applicable
  • Non-experimental evalution done: Empirical case study
  • Study is systematic: