Home Yan River Basin, China Identifying strategies: Stakeholder Workshop 1

Identifying strategies: Stakeholder Workshop 1 Print

First Workshop

A report on the results of the workshop "Land degradation and desertification - existing and potential prevention and conservation strategies" held in Ansai county, Shanxi province, China, 15 to 23 March 2008

Authors and moderators: Wen Zhongming, Wang Fei, Jiao Juying, Jiao Feng

Second Workshop

A report on the results of the workshop "Land degradation and desertification - existing and potential prevention and conservation strategies" held in Ansai county, Yan'an City, Shaanxi province, China, 9 to 11 December 2008

Authors and moderators: Wang Fei, Li Jinpeng, Zhang Jinxin, Wang Qunxing, Song Xiaoyan


A second workshop was held later the same year. This time the local and external stakeholders were not separated, thereby allowing mutual learning by both groups. This was a perceived shortcoming of the first workshop.


Workshop objectives:
1. Mutual learning
2. Identification of relevant land degradation problems in the Yanghe River Basin
3. Identification of existing and new soil conservation strategies
4. Selection of 3-5 promising solutions for land degradation for further evaluation and study after the workshop



The main land use types in the area are cropland, orchards, woodland, wild grassland, vegetable growing and fallow land. Much of the sloping area was converted into forest land or grass land due to the "Conversion of Sloping Farmland into Grass and Forest Program". Orchard areas are close to the villages and provided fruits mainly for self-consumption. Forests are generally found on the steeper and moderately steep parts of the landscape. The main types of land degradation include soil erosion, decrease of fertility and fragmentation of land due to erosion.

Since the 1950s, soil and water conservation has been carried out in this region and some progress has been made. The vegetation cover increased and many silt-collection dams have been built. Yet this achievement can not cover the fact that soil erosion is still very serious and land degradation is still a big problem in this region. The main reason for this is that many constraining factors for soil and water conservation still exist. These factors include lack of financial and technical support, and no involvement of local land users in the decision-making process.

Main causes and effects of land degradation identified in the workshop

Disturbances identified in the water cycle Disturbances identified in the biomass cycle
  • Low / irregular rainfall
  • Increased runoff
  • Low water infiltration rate of soil
  • Increase of evaporation
  • Low survival rate of seedlings
  • Poor and low vegetation growth
  • Destruction of vegetation
  • Early withering of trees
  • Removal of biomass


Solutions already applied at the local level
  • building dams (to reduce the transportation of sediments into rivers and collect silt from runoff, producing fertile farmland);
  • constructing terraces;
  • planting trees and grasses in gullies and steep slopes;
  • increase the planting of green manure vegetation to produce more organic matter for soil improvement;
  • planting hedgerows;
  • rotate grass with crops to prevent soil degradation;
  • planting cash trees and grass to increase economic income.


Strategies to be evaluated
1. Planting trees

2. Building dam
3. Building terraced field
4. Closure against grazing
5. Interplanting


Draft outline of strategy for sustainable land management in this region

1) Convert steep slope farmland to forest and grass: this is fundamental to control soil and water loss and improve the quality of land.
2) Construct terraces in gentle slopes: terraces can increase the land productivity, thus reduce the requirement of total land area for food production. Meanwhile terraces can change the hydrological process of slope land and reduce the runoff.
3) Plant cash trees in gentle and south facing slopes
4) Strengthen the construction of irrigation works and improve their management in order to ensure stable yields despite drought.
5) Implement scientific farming practices, including the application of optimum amounts of fertilizer and the use of crop rotation methods.
6) Transform mono-crop systems into a mixed system of crops and grass.


More details ... download the full reports and see results and general conclusions from other study sites

iconWP3.1 Stakeholder Workshop 1: China (1st report) 473.42 kB

 iconWP3.1 Stakeholder Workshop 1: China (2nd report) 580.91 kB
»Identifying strategies: Stakeholder Workshop 1 methodology and summary results from all study sites




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