Grass Grid Sand Barrier-implemented jointly by governments and farmer households [China]

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Reporting Entity: China

Clarify if the technology described in the template, or a part of it, is covered by property rights: Não

Completeness: 94%

General Information

General Information

Title of best practice:

Grass Grid Sand Barrier-implemented jointly by governments and farmer households



Reporting Entity:


Property Rights

Clarify if the technology described in the template, or a part of it, is covered by property rights:



Prevailing land use in the specified location

  • Cropland
  • Grazing land
  • Uproductive land

Contribution to Desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) measures

  • Prevention
  • Mitigation
  • Rehabilitation

Contribution to the strategic objectives

  • To improve the living conditions of affected populations
  • To improve the conditions of affected ecosystems
  • To generate global benefits through effective implementation of the Convention

Linkages with the other best practice themes

  • Capacity-building and awareness-raising
  • Funding and resource mobilization
  • Participation, collaboration and networking


Section 1. Context of the best practice: frame conditions (natural and human environment)

Short description of the best practice

Under unified organization of local government, farmers and herdsman set grid or row barriers made up of wheat straw or maize stalks in movable sandlot in spring or autumn. Upon completion of the barrier, shrub trees and grass are planted in the grid for re-vegetation. Entry of outsiders and livestock to the project site are banned. The enclosure may be relieved in June to October to allow pasturing according to vegetation restoration condition. Three years after barrier constructed, the planted materials may perish into manure and vegetation is formed and plays a good sand fixation effect.
Central government and local government provide financial subsidies for the activities; farmers participate in the projects process and are subsidized for labor input in establishing, maintenance and management of the land.


Naiman Banner, Inner Mongolia|

If the location has well defined boundaries, specify its extension in hectares:


Estimated population living in the location:


Brief description of the natural environment within the specified location.

soil suffers severe desertification,
Soil fertility: very low
Soil texture: coarse sandy
Surface stoniness:  low
Topsoil organic matter: low (<1%)
Soil drainage: good
Soil erodibility: high
Soil depth: 0-20cm
Gentle hill, Sand dune
Hill slopes to foot slopes with slope degree from 2-5|
Annual mean temperature: 6.4 degree centigrade,
Annual mean precipitation: 362mm
Growing season: 150 days in succession, from April to September|

Prevailing socio-economic conditions of those living in the location and/or nearby

annual average rural income 3492 CNY per capita in 2007
cropping, grazing and off-farm income|
Land ownership:State or collective, Land tenure: state or collective|

On the basis of which criteria and/or indicator(s) (not related to The Strategy) the proposed practice and corresponding technology has been considered as 'best'?

Ecological effectiveness: Quick and effective in fixation of the big shifting sand dunes.
Partnership building for ecological improvement: Governmental input from both central and local shares financial resources burden of local in ecological improvement, divided ecological improvement responsibilities to all possible benificeries both local and large public beyond.  
low cost of farmer, free labour input and adequete barrier material such as wheat straw, maize stalk.

Section 2. Problems addressed (direct and indirect causes) and objectives of the best practice

Main problems addressed by the best practice

- Serious land sandification and pasture degradation on-going;
- Sand dune encroachment to farmland, pasture, traffics and houses and emergence of ecological refugees
-farmers’ technical knowledge of installing sand barrier is insufficient;
- inadequate financial support for ecological impovement;

Outline specific land degradation problems addressed by the best practice

Drifting sand dune development, sandy desertification, wind erosion of grazing and cropping, |

Specify the objectives of the best practice

- restrain dune movement and improve ecological quality;
- form steady project financing source;
- raise awareness of communities in the field of ecological protection;
- Raise the capability of community in sand control and prevention

Section 3. Activities

Brief description of main activities, by objective

1)Meeting with farmers to locate proje餐厅 site and mobilize local participation;
2)Project design and training farmers by forestry bureau
3)Building barriers  
4) Maintenance and protection
5) Research by the work station of forestry on the effectiveness of the barriers to improve the technique
- Raise the capability of community in sand control and prevention
Training and field technical guidance
-form steady project financing source;
Setting cost sharing system: 73% from Banner government, 20% from central government input through Three-North Shelterbelt Programme (Phase IV)to cover cost of seedlings, straws, transportation and maintenance, 7% provided by land users in kind of labour. |
- raise awareness of communities in the field of ecological protection;
Farmers meeting organized by the township government Training for local farmers by forest bureau

Short description and technical specifications of the technology

The technical steps encompass: 1) set grid or row barriers made up of wheat straw or maize stalks in movable sandlot in spring or autumn.  Linear barrier should be configured perpendicular to the wind direction in the sandlots where reciprocating wind or singular direction wind is prevailing; 2) upon completion of the barrier, plant trees and grass in the grid: yellow willow (Salix gordeivii) 0.3m×1.5m in spacing.  The cuttings should be prepared be-fore March and stored in sand, and planted immediately after being prepared in au-tumn.  The size of cuttings is at 40cm in length. Remove dry sand and dig a hole in a depth levelling with the surface, then cuttings are planted; and 3) due protection shall be conducted after barrier is set and trees are planted to ban the entry of outsiders and livestock.  Coppicing of the yellow willow is conducted five years later. The project site enclosure may be relieved in June thru October to allow pasturing according to vegetation restoration condition. |
Grid barrier suit large area of movable dunes with uncertain wind directions with  the size in 1.5x1.5m grid and 20cm outcropping above ground. Yellow willow (Salix gordeivii) 0.3m×1.5m in spacing

Section 4. Institutions/actors involved (collaboration, participation, role of stakeholders)

Name and address of the institution developing the technology

The techniques have been widely used for several decades in various forms.
It is invented by the Shapotou Experimental Station of the Chinese Academy of Science.
The case in Naiman banner is compiled by Mr. LI Chunying and Tian Lu, Forestry Department of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
|No 23, Xinjian Dong str. Huhot city, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China

Was the technology developed in partnership?


List the partners:

Central government key program, local county government, forestry bureau, township government and local farmers|

Specify the framework within which the technology was promoted

  • Local initiative
  • National initiative – government-led
  • Programme/project-based initiative

Was the participation of local stakeholders, including CSOs, fostered in the development of the technology?


List local stakeholders involved:

Forestry Bureau
Local forestry service stattion,
village Committee,

For the stakeholders listed above, specify their role in the design, introduction, use and maintenance of the technology, if any.

Forestry Bureau: Planning, designing and formulation operation manual, technical Training for farmers,
Forestry Service Station: Field technical guidance, specific study on effectiveness of the barrier and its improvement
Township government and village committee: mobilizing farmers participation and organizing implementation, consulting farmers for project site selection, barrier establishment and maintenance
Farmers: participation in planning and design of the implementation, labor input, maintenance and follow-up sustainable use of shrubs.

Was the population living in the location and/or nearby involved in the development of the technology?


By means of what?
  • Consultation
  • Participatory approaches


Section 5. Contribution to impact

Describe on-site impacts (the major two impacts by category)

Has increased farmers awareness of and participation in local ecological improvement.
Sand dune fixation locks encroachment of drafting sand to grassland and helps restoration of vegetation.
In crease of vegetation provide habitats for wild brids, insects and rodent animals. Biodiversity is improved. |
It has reduced wind erosion and dust particles in air, improved ecological condition.|
Local farmers get payment for saling of straw and maintainance of the project area.
Restored  vegetation coverage has increased bio-carbon stored in shrubs and grass  and made contribution to green house gas emission reduction.
has improved vegetation provides good basis for livestock devlopment.
has improved ecological condition enable a steady farming condition and better living condition of local residents.

Describe the major two off-site (i.e. not occurring in the location but in the surrounding areas) impacts

Fixation of sand reduce physical contribution to dust and sand storm affecting northern China and beyond.
Provide stop stone for migratory birds.

Impact on biodiversity and climate change

Explain the reasons:

Increase of the biomess of vegetation increases carbon storage in plants above ground and under the ground.
Reduced wind erosion reduces the soil organic carbon loss in process of land degradation
The restored vegentation provide habitat for wild animals and plants.

Has a cost-benefit analysis been carried out?

Has a cost-benefit analysis been carried out?



Analysis according to the land users:
It is a quik, effective  and low cost technique to fix sand dune and restore vegetation with central and local goovernmental input.

Section 6. Adoption and replicability

Was the technology disseminated/introduced to other locations?

Was the technology disseminated/introduced to other locations?



Ningxia and Inner Mongolian

Were incentives to facilitate the take up of the technology provided?

Were incentives to facilitate the take up of the technology provided?


Specify which type of incentives:
  • Financial incentives (for example, preferential rates, State aid, subsidies, cash grants, loan guarantees, etc)
  • Fiscal incentives (for example, exemption from or reduction of taxes, duties, fees, etc)

Can you identify the three main conditions that led to the success of the presented best practice/technology?

Barrier material is local produced and adequate. Weather is favorable to cuttings of Salix to generating roots.
Financial resources sharing among central,local governments and farmers and clear responsibility allocattion of forestry department and township government. |
Highly motivated local governments, farmers organized into well structured cooperatives|


In your opinion, the best practice/technology you have proposed can be replicated, although with some level of adaptation, elsewhere?


Section 7. Lessons learned

Related to human resources

High labour intensity practices limited extention in less populated area. Introduce machanical method could facilitate dessemination.

Related to financial aspects

No direct economic returns of the technology in short term, governmental input is the key for the parctices in place. In long term, revegetated land management could combined with sustainable pruning harvesting shrub twig and its processing.|

Related to technical aspects

Quick, easy and high effectivness for sand fixation, combined with cuttings planting is even better.|

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