Department of Environmental Management

LI, Wenjun

LI, Wenjun

Department: Environmental Management
Research interests: Natural resource management
Tel/fax: 86-10-62758250


Ph.D., Nature Resource Management, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1997
M.S., Environmental Management, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, TsingHua University, 1994
B.S., Environmental Engineering, Nanchang University of Aeronautical Technology, 1988


2006, Professor of environmental management, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University
2000, Associate Professor of environmental management, Center for Environmental Sciences, Peking University
1997, Assistant Professor of environmental management, Center for Environmental Sciences, Peking University


Undergraduate course: Environmental protection and sustainable development (2002–present); Environmental management (2006–present); Seminar on Environmental Challenges in Developing China, for undergraduate students of Stanford University (Beida Campus) (2004-2006)
Graduate course: Natural resource management (2002–present); Environmental information system (1998–2002)



Rangeland management and ecological policy research; Protected area management.


1. Fan, M.M., Li, W.J., Zhang, C.C. and Li, L.H. 2013. Imapcts of nomad sedentarizatio on social and ecological systems at multiple scales in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regions, China. AMBIO. [Online]: DOI 10.1007/s13280-013-0445-z
2. Zhang, C.C., Li, W.J. and Fan, M.M. 2013. Adaptation of herders to droughts and privatization of rangeland-use rights in arid Alxa Left Banner of Inner Mongolia. Journal of Environmental Manegement. 126;182-190.
3. Li, Y.B., W.J. Li, C.C. Zhang and M.M. 2013. Current status and recent trends in financing China’s nature reserves. Biological Conservation. 158: 296-300.
4. Li, W. and Y. Li. 2012. Managing Rangeland as a Complex System: How Government Interventions Decouple Social Systems from Ecological Systems. Ecology and Society 17 (1): 9. 
5. Li, W., and L. Huntsinger. 2011. China’s grassland contract policy and its impacts on herder ability to benefit in Inner Mongolia: tragic feedbacks. Ecology and Society 16(2): 1.
6. Xie, Y. and Li, W.J. Why do herders insist on Otor? Maintaining mobility in Inner Mongolia. Nomadic People, 2008, 12(2):35-52. 
7. Li, W.J., Ali, S. and Zhang, Q. Property rights and grassland degradation: a study of the Xilingol Pasture, Inner Mongolia, China.  Journal of Environmental Management. 2007, 85: 461-470. 
8. Li, W-J., Zhang, Q., Liu C. and Xue Q. Tourism Impacts on Natural Resources: a Positive Case from China. Environmental Management. 2006, 38(4): 572-579. 
9. Bijoor, N., Li, W-J., Zhang, Q. and Huang, G. Small-scale co-management for the sustainable use of Xilingol Biosphere Reserve, Inner Mongolia. AMBIO. 2006, 35(1): 25-29.
10. Li, W-J. Community decisionmaking participation in development. Annals of Tourism Research. 2006, 33(1):132-143


1. Li, W.J. and Zhang, Q. Understading Grassland Dilemma: Exploring Problems on Utilization and Management of Grassland in Arid and Semi-arid Areas. Beijing: Economics Press. 2009. (In Chinese)
2. 2. Li, W. Tourism, Local community and natural resources: tourism impact assessment and tourism management alnalysis in the Jiuzhaigou Biosphere Reserve, China. In: Hill, J and Gale, T (eds), Ecotourism and Environmental Sustainability. 2009. Bristol: Ashgate Publishing Limited. Chapter 5 (pp73--88).


1. The US Department of State, Fulbright Program, 2006.
2. UNEP Watson International Scholars of the Environment, 2002
3. UNESCO MAB Young Scientists Awards,2000
4.Deputy co-chair, eco-tourism professinoal commitee of China's Ecology Association, 2009-Present
5. Member of editorial board, Pastoralism: Research, Policy and Practice
6. Deputy secretary, China Committee of UNESCO MAB Programme, 9/2000-12/2007.



Her research interstes are in natural resource management broadly and she has been devoted to exploring the root cause of rangeland degradation. She adopted non-equilibrium ecosystem perspectives to demonstrate that the precipitation level and its extreme fluctuations are the primary factors affecting grassland productivity in Inner Mongolia, while the impacts of overgrazing is less obvious in large scale. Her research theoretically clarifies the reasons why past rangeland management policies of China couldn’t effect permanent cure for the rangeland root issues.

Through the perspectives of “ability to benefit”, her empirical studies enrich theoretical knowledge on traditional property rights, and substantiate the point that Grassland Household Contract System does not fit to the non-equilibrium ecological characteristics of the arid and semi-arid rangelands. She further articulates the understanding that inappropriate institutional arrangement is the actual cause of rangeland degradation. She argues that flexible and diversified property right arrangements are necessary in pastoral regions.

Based on the perspectives of complex common pool resource management and social-ecological resilience, the social and ecological systems are understood as integrated system, and the application of coupled and embeddedness in the field of social-ecological resilience to generate new perspectives. Her research findings demonstrate that inappropriate external resource input and interventions such as “intensive livestock feeding system” dis-embed the originally coupled social ecological system, and become the causes of ecological degradation and reduction of herder livelihood.