Land-use and land-cover changes have important effects on ecology, human systems, the environment, and policy at both global and regional scales. Thus, they are closely related to human activities. The extraction of more details about land-use change and grassland degradation is necessary to achieve future sustainable development in Inner Mongolia. The current study presents the patterns and processes of land-use changes over space and time, while also analyzing grassland degradation that is based on an analysis of land-use changes using a transition matrix, the Markov chain model and Moran’s I index, and a combination of long-time-scale remote sensing data as the data source. The major results indicate the following. (1) In 1990–2015, 13% (123,445 km2
) of the total study area, including eight land-use types, changed. Woodland increased the most and moderate grassland decreased the most. (2) Grassland degradation, which occupied 2.8% of the total area of Inner Mongolia, was the major land-use conversion process before 2000, while, after 2000, 8.7% of the total area was restored; however, grassland degradation may still be the major ecological issue in Inner Mongolia. (3) Environmental protection policies show a close relationship with land-use conversion.
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