|LHASA, Dec. 26, 2017 -- The grassland coverage in Tibet Autonomous Region has been increasing, said the regional agricultural department.
The natural grassland coverage rate in 2017 was around 45.2 percent, up 2.5 percentage points from the figure in 2010, the regional agricultural and herding department said.
Herding has been banned on 8.6 million hectares of grassland in Tibet, about 10 percent of the total area of natural grassland in the region. The ban was introduced to tackle problems of degradation and grassland retreat.
Last year, a total of 3.2 billion yuan (about 480 million U.S. dollars) was used to pay local herders to protect the grassland and limit herding. This year, the central government allocated 3.26 billion yuan to compensate the herders.
The number of cattle is limited to 18 million, down from 23 million in 2010, said Xiao Changwei, deputy director of the department.