The draft pastureland protection law consultations took place in September-November 2016 covering a total of 1128 participants in 134 soums of 14 aimags representing different social groups and all ecological regions of Mongolia.
Herders in Mongolia are encountered with pressing problems in the area of pastureland use and rank overgrazing (63.8%), lack of water (50.4%), grazing conflicts and disputes (42%) lack of regulation leading to chaotic use (34.9%) as the most pressing.
The majority of consultation participants (80.2%) view that the existing Land Law is not effective in addressing the pressing problems and the new pastureland protection law is essential in addressing them properly (73.5%). Although the problems and potential solutions differ across regions there is overall common agreement that the pastureland legal environment needs to change in order to respond to pressing problems and grassroots demands. There is general tendency that poor herders show greater support for the draft law as they lose most from overgrazing, declining land and animal productivity, natural calamities disasters and receding their grazing rights to expanding rich people and mining activities. Some rich herders take advantage of the existing common use regime for short-term gains to expand their herd size and control of pasture resources and they tend to oppose changes in the legal environment including the draft law. As of 2015, poor herders with less than 200 animals make up almost half of the herders’ population (45.4%) but own only 13.9% of livestock while rich herders with 1000 and more animals making up only 5.4% of the herders’ population own 21.6% of livestock. The study revealed that poor herders with less than 200 animals lose their control of winter spring camps – around one third have no own winter and spring camps. Rich herders tend to have 2-4 camps and further increase their control of most valuable pastoral resources.
As a part of the consultation a study on potential impacts of the draft law was undertaken. It found that most herders expect positive impacts from the draft law approval – reduced pastureland degradation (74.1%), legal solutions to grazing disputes and conflicts (57%) increased focus on livestock quality (56.6%) encouraged ownership mentality towards pastures (55.8%), protection of poor herders grazing rights (49%), protection against losing pastures (43.5%), secure accesses to otor pastures (40%).
A study on traditional rights of women on pasture use was also undertaken. The study reveals that men dominated in making decisions in pasture use (63.5%) followed by shared decision making by both household head/man and wife (28.4%). As for the desirable pattern, the participants give more priority to men making key decisions (50%) and shared decision making (43.7%). Winter and spring possession certificates are mostly registered on the name of household head/man (57.9%), followed by minor shares of household wife (3.1%), both household head and wife (2.4%), parents (2.2%) and children (1.7%) while around one third have no possession certificates. Around one third (33%) consider that women-headed households have equal grazing rights with others. As responded by women-headed households themselves, 64.7% of them view that they have equal rights with others which is more optimistic than the total of participants’ view (33%) suggesting that gender inequality issues in relation to pasture use may not be as serious as it might seem.
Attached is the detailed Final Report that contains the draft law as an attachment.