Echoing Steppe

Echoing Steppe website      

The mission of the Steppe Conservancy is to preserve the biodiversity of Northern China by protecting the topsoil, grass, and animals as well as the indigenous communities of the Northern Steppes.

The essential concepts and data analysis of Inner Mongolia's Steppes


      Level, grassy treeless plain, especially in SE Europe and Central Asia.( from <Oxford Advanced Dictionary of Current English>)

We organized experts to inspect the diversity of typical steppe plants at Eastern Uzemchin County (Wuzhumuqin Qi in Chinese) (2005)

The current situation of Inner Mongolia's Steppes

Inner Mongolia comprises an area of 1,120,000km2 and supports a population of around 23 million.  Of these, around 10 million are engaged in agriculture, including 3 of the 4 million Mongolians present. These farmers have thus transformed former steppes into farmland.  Agriculture has become the main mode of production only in the last one hundred years, rapidly replacing herding.   

The transformation of Inner Mongolia Steppes into agricultural land has rapidly degraded the quality of the land, leading to widespread desertification.  Nonetheless, some media and government officials in charge of managing the grasslands claim there are 860,000 km2 natural grasslands in Inner Mongolia. 

According to one government official, almost the entire area of Inner Mongolia other than Alsha Aimag county (270,000 km2) is still "natural grassland”.  Is it possible that Inner Mongolia still has 860,000km2 of grasslands?



      The historical experience already proved that nomadic style is the best mode of producing which can protect the environment in very harsh environment grassland areas. Agriculture is the mode of producing that ruins the grassland most rapidly, but over many years, many peoples have been disregarded this basic experience from Mongolian, and then a large amount of grassland has been reclaimed, which leading to the irreversible degradation of the grassland and todays deserts and sand-dust storms.

      1Nomadic producing mode and life style can minish the stress
   on the grassland,  but not in the case of resident style.

     2Nomadic style can fertilize the grassland evenly, but not in
   the case of resident style.

     3Nomadic style doesn’t destroy the structure of soil, doesn’t
   make land naked and make land deserting, but not in case of
   agriculture, especially during windy spring, there is no crops
   covering the surface of the land, so it is easy to cause and
   increase secondary sand dust.

     4Nomadic style can save water resources, but not in the case
   of agriculture.

     Industry development ruined the grassland
vegetation. Especially the predatory
developments led to the drought of grasslands and
vanishing of wetlands. The rivers interception by
wulagai in Chinese Reservoir impacts
directly the existence of the national important

Olagaiwulagai in Chinese Reservoir:
Vanishing of wetlands ( 1300 km2, the National important wetland )

Since 2000, “Echoing Steppe” website began to pay attention to the ecosystem of the remaining grassland and the protection of the traditional nomadic culture. We wish that we can protect the remaining grassland through laws, and provide a frame of reference for the works of prevention and cure of the deserting .

We wish that through the laws popularization in Mongolian language and establishment of internet information stations, herders can know the ‘collective land ownership’ endowed by laws, know the approachs to apply for the certificates, so they can protect their own homesteads, the nomadic culture and the right to choose their own life style through the lawsand then the contrived invasions and occupations of the grasslands are expected to be stayed, poverty and ecosystem worsen as a result of grassland degradation can be avoided.

During 2001-2006we planed and published Mongolian language laws books for 9 volumes, 50,000 books totally, and we organized volunteers and have already dispersed over 30,000 books among herders of Uzemchin and Hulunbeir grasslands  (Wuzhumuqin and  Hulunbeier in Chinese).


internet information stations for Herders at Eastern Uzemchin county (wuzhumuqin Qi in Chinese) were established with the help of our committee, and one term of computer and internet training course which 16 herders and gachan darog (gacha zhang in Chinese)attended was held successfully(Nov. 2005).


Futures jobs---laws popularization and the validation of land ownership:

The Constitution ordains that China implements public ownership of means of production, that is, ownership by the whole people and by collective.

The lands in rural areas is owned by collectives, except the lands owned by the state.

To provide supports for herders to apply the ‘Collective Land Ownership Certificate’, so far herders of Eastern Uzemchin County  ( Wuzhumuqin qi in Chinese) have applied and obtained 10 certificates.

Right guarding through the laws. 

As herders of Mandal Bulag (man du bao la ge in Chinese)checked the amount of acres of their pasture according to their Collective Land Ownership Certificate, they found that 900,000 MU( Chinese unit of area, 1 acre = 6.070 mu) of their pasture had already been leased to several ecdemic companies by the unknown illegally.

We even found that this 900,000 mu ( 60,000 sq km ) of collective grassland have already been marked out to other organizations in the map published by China Cartographic Publishing House (SinoMaps Press)(2005 version).

Question live: 

Whom the Steppe is belonged to?

Who moved my Topsoil and grass?