Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2019, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (6): 598-604.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.06.004

• Ecological Carrying Capacity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Ecological Carrying Capacity of Grasslands and Animal Husbandry Sustainability in Central Asia

ZOU Xiuping1, SONG Dunjiang1, CHEN Shaofeng1,2,*()   

  1. 1. Institutes of Science and Development, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
    2. School of Public Policy and Management, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-08-23 Accepted:2019-09-23 Online:2019-11-30 Published:2019-12-09
  • Contact: CHEN Shaofeng
  • Supported by:
    The Second Comprehensive Scientific Investigation of Tibet Plateau—Regional Function Types and Zoning Plans(2019QZKK0406);The Research on Resource Bottleneck and Security Guarantees for One-hundred strategic Targets(Y9X0722601)


Grassland ecosystems are one of the most important terrestrial ecosystems on the earth. Central Asia has the largest contiguous grazing area in the world and good conditions for the development of animal husbandry. However, in the past 30 years, the grassland ecosystem in Central Asia has experienced significant degradation, and the livestock industry has also experienced an overall decline to the point that livestock products are now dependent on imports. The ecological footprint method was used to analyze the change trend and characteristics of grassland ecological carrying capacity and ecological occupation in Central Asia. The grassland ecological capacity in Central Asia was found to be much higher than the global level, and great potential still remains for further development and utilization. The international trade of livestock products in Central Asian countries showed a deficit, and the net import of livestock products increased year by year. Net imports reached 9.5% in 1992-2016, and the dependence on foreign countries increased significantly, which is not conducive to the sustainable development of animal husbandry in Central Asia. In the future, the counties of Central Asia should optimize the aspects of policy, management and technology to improve the productivity of grassland animal husbandry, strengthen grassland ecological protection, and realize the coordinated and sustainable development of their grassland ecological economic systems.

Key words: Central Asia, grassland resources, ecological footprint, animal husbandry