A basic for existence of any country and nationality is territory. As much as an interest to improve life by putting their land into economic circulation is increased, proper utilization of land resources under public utilization becomes prior issue to be resolved.
Range land, which is majority of our total territory has been used according to traditional nomadic mode and it is clear that this utilization mode will be continuously used further. It is very important for further development of Mongolia if the range land concept is developed and implemented that is economically beneficial, ecologically safe, which is based on territory which provides social advancement and community which won’t damage the traditional technology for nomadic animal husbandry in globalization society and in the economic system.
Livestock herding in Mongolia still accounts for 20.6% of GNP and almost 40% of employment. It is practiced in a variety of systems ranging from nomadic livestock herding inthe desert zone to semi-nomadic herding in the more fertile forest steppe. After the transition from a centralized socialist regime to a market economy, livestock was privatized and the number of herder families rose sharply, with herding having a safety net function. As a consequence of the transition, social and livestock services deteriorated. The herding system also changed from state-controlled pasture management to open access, with herders free to move anywhere and use pasture freely. During the next decade-and-a-half, livestock numbers increased sharply, with a sharp decline as a result of dzud winters between 2000 and 2002. The open-access system combined with high livestock numbers has resulted in significant deterioration of pastureland, making the present herding system no longer sustainable.
Mongolian pastoral livestock husbandry is a foundation of providing population with food, industry with raw materials and people with job. It also increases export income and serves as a base for Mongolian national traditional civilization and culture.
Livestock sector alone comprices 21 percent of GDP, 80 percent of total agricultural production and provides one thirds of total working forces. If we include all the value adding stages like from raw material sales, its transportation, storages and processing then livestock sector provides job place for the almost half of Mongolian population and its certainly major source of livelihood. The pasture land is the basis of this pastoral livestck husbandry. Annually we use freely forage of natural pasture land valued at 3.5 – 4 billion MNT. Proper use of this rich, renewable resouces will serve as a basis for sustainable socio-economic development of Mongolia.
However, we still have not yet solved the two, interlated key issues like secure of rangelands and herders’ self-governing institution. As a result, appropriate relations between pasture land, livestock and herders as the main components of pastoral livestock husbandry have been lost. In 1960-1990, 130 thousand herders took care for 24-26 million head of livestock on 125-130 million ha of pasture land. However, as of 2008, 360 thousand herders look after 43.3 million head of livestock on 113 million ha of pasture land. For the last 40 years area of pasture land decreased by 15 per cent, pasture yield by about 30 per cent (L.Natsagdorj, 2006) andspecies composition – by two folds (D.Аvaadorj, 2006).However, for the last 20 years number of livestock increased by 1.7 times and that of herders by 2.7 times. It leads to ecological deterioration, degadation of pasture land and desertification. It is clear that the decrease of annual precipitation for the last 60 years by 8.7-12.5 per cent compared to the multi-years’ average and increase of annual air temperature by 2.1 per cent also influensed on this process (Institute of Hydrology and Methorology).
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Author; GERLEE Shuuduv, bearing the family name LIGDEG