A critical review of degradation assumptions applied to Mongolia's Gobi Desert

Addison, J., Friedel, M., Brown, C., Davies, Jocelyn, and Waldron, S. (2012) A critical review of degradation assumptions applied to Mongolia's Gobi Desert. Rangeland Journal, 34 (2). pp. 125-137.

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Several assumptions about the levels and causes of rangeland degradation in Mongolia are widely accepted by a range of stakeholders. These assumptions have become important in terms of guiding strategies and policy directions. This paper provides a critical analysis of five widely-held assumptions about rangeland degradation in Mongolia to the more specific case of the rangelands of the Gobi Desert. These assumptions are: (i) there are too many animals; (ii) the relative increase in goat numbers has led to desertification; (iii) rainfall is declining; (iv) there is declining pasture biomass; and (v) Mongolian rangelands are degraded. Biophysical and social data from the Dundgobi and Omnogobi desert steppe areas suggest not all of these assumptions are supported all of the time, and that the processes upon which these assumptions are based are often more complex or dynamic than is commonly recognised. In designing policy and programs, more attention to these dynamics and complexities is needed.

Item ID: 47857
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1834-7541
Keywords: climate, desertification, goats, Gobi Desert, livestock
Funders: Royal Geographical Society of South Australia, Australian Rangeland Society, Desert Knowledge CRC, Endeavour Research Fellowship, Mongolian Society for Rangeland Management, MercyCorps Mongolia
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2017 03:34
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960910 Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Land and Water Management @ 100%
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