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Dryland zones of western China cover approximately 40 percent of the country, and contain some of the most severely degraded land within the country and in the world. This publication discusses the development of an integrated ecosystem management (IEM) approach in international environmental law and summarizes the legal and policy framework for prevention and control of land degradation at the national level and for six provinces and regions of the western dryland in China. It outlines the evaluation methodology that was applied to examine the existing legal and policy framework and points out specific areas where the legislation and policy for prevention and control of land degradation in dryland China can be improved. It concludes by discussing the continuing use of an IEM approach and the benefits of employing a sound legal framework as part of an overall land degradation control program including law reform, public participation, and enforcement.