ULAN BATOR, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- About Seventy percent of Mongolia's pastureland has already degraded due to illegal mining and overgrazing, an official said.
J. Saule, deputy minister for food, agriculture and light industry, unveiled the figure at a recent session of a security and foreign policy panel of the parliament, local media reported Wednesday.
She also said the degradation was line with a huge increase in the number of herders and livestock. There were 90,000 herders and 25 million heads of livestock in 1990 and the current level is at 160,000 herders and 37.2 million heads of livestock. The amount of pastureland has fallen by 9 million hectares in recent years, Saule added.
At the same meeting, an official for water resource said due to climate change, Mongolia suffers a diminishing water resource as a 2011 survey shows that 551 rivers, 483 lakes and 158 springs have dried up.