Modelling the long-term impact on herder incomes and environmental services in an uncertain world

Karl Behrendt, David Kemp, Udval Gombosuren, Gantuya Jargalsaihan, Han Guodong, Zhiguo Li, Li Ping, Lkhagvadorj Dorjburegdaa

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Abstract

Environmental, market and political influences affect herders’ livelihoods with the expectation that they maintain biologically and economically resilient systems. To balance these external influences and the tradeoffs within a grassland system it involves the consideration of interactions between grassland ecology, technology use, environmental externalities, utilisation by grazing animals for food and fibre production, and the long-term profitability of the farming system. Many of these variables are slow-moving and are trade-offs are most efficiently studied with models. The StageTHREE Sustainable Grasslands Model, which utilizes the core functions and dynamics of more mechanistic tools, has been designed to minimize the skill and data required for parameterisation. It allows the key dynamics of the grassland systems to be incorporated along with the stochasticity of the system, in terms of both the uncertainty of the production and market environment. This enables an investigation into the sustainability and environmental impacts of alternative livestock management practices, so that these can be evaluated in relation to policy options. This paper presents an insight into the integration of herder level bioeconomic modelling for the analysis of grassland policy impacts in Mongolia and China. The research highlights that policy settings that reduce stocking rates can improve the environmental services from grasslands, and in most cases, also improve herder livelihoods and resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the XXIV International Grasslands / XI Rangelands Congress
Subtitle of host publicationSustainable Use of Grassland and Rangeland Resources for Improved Livelihoods
Place of PublicationNairobi, Kenya
PublisherKenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2021

Grant Number

  • ADP/2012/107

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