Managing People, Livestock and Grasslands in Pastoral Areas
Chapter 4: Managing Grassland Policies
4. Managing Grassland Policies China has taken a multi-faceted approach to the grasslands challenge including building grassland institutions (as described in Chapter 3) along with other measures related to industry structures, markets, livestock and feed policies, settlement and structural adjustment policies (as will be investigated in Chapters 5 to 8). However recent years have witnessed an increased emphasis on grassland-speciﬁc measures as reﬂected in an extraordinary number of plans, edicts, laws, regulations, standards and programs related to grasslands. Collectively they are referred to as ‘policies’ in this chapter and they establish the framework under which grasslands management occurs. The plethora of grassland policies and the dynamic changes taking place warrant critical assessment. First the past legal and policy framework for grasslands was underdeveloped and contained some inherent ﬂaws. Second the number and scope of the measures and the apparent institutional weight behind them does not always, or indeed usually, equate to impact on the ground. A major challenge for policy in China then may not be about developing new policies but in making existing policies work. Third even though the plethora of policies appears on the surface to be uncoordinated in intent and sequencing there is some overriding logic by which to interpret the policies.1 Understanding these connections and the not-easily-observable systematic nature of the entire suite of policies is crucial if these policies are to be reformed. The challenges that confront policy makers should not be underestimated. The sheer diversity of the grasslands and pastoral region entails...
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