FAO-supported consultations on the draft of pastureland law were organized by CPR in July-August 2018 covering 601 participants in 12 soums of 12 aimags representing different social groups and all ecological regions of Mongolia. The participants included 515 herders and 86 soum/aimag government officials.
Herders in Mongolia are encountered with pressing problems in the area of pastureland use and rank overgrazing (71.5%), damages to pasture by rodents and insects (43.0%), increased grazing conflicts and disputes (42.5%) lack of water (36.3%), increased in-migration worsening the availability of pasture (30.6%) as the most pressing.
The majority of consultation participants (78.9%) view that the existing Land Law is not effective at all or only partially effective in addressing the pressing problems and the new pastureland protection law is essential in addressing them properly (77.9%).
Compared to 2016 consultation results, the share of participants who see the current land law is effective and partially effective has dropped by 3 and 9.8 percentage points respectively, while the share of those who see the current law is ineffective has risen by 7.5 percentage points. Furthermore, the share of answers “new pastureland law is required” has increased by 4.4% percentage points and the share of answers “new pastureland law is not required” has dropped by 1.5 percentage points. This clearly shows the strengthened position that the current land law is ineffective in addressing pressing challenges and the new pastureland law is essential.
While 2016 consultations have revealed general tendency for poor herders showing 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, the 2018 consultations reveal that middle income and wealthy herders show increased support for the draft law as they understand their old strategy to maximize the herd size has exhausted its potentials.
Thus, 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.
The study revealed increasing inequality among herders in controlling animals and pastures. The poor herders with less than 200 animals lose their control of winter spring camps – around one third have no own winter and spring camps, whereas rich herders have 2-4 camps.
As a part of the consultation a study on potential impacts of the draft law was undertaken. It has found that most herders expect positive impacts from the draft law approval – improved pastureland productivity (57.3%), increased focus on livestock quality (49.9%), improved livestock productivity (48.2%) and strengthened capacities against dzud and drought risks (37.1%).
The consultation participants have also commented and provided their views on 9 debated regulations of the draft law. The proposed changes to these regulations have got 43.37-63.47% support from the participants. The draft law was updated based on the comments and recommendations from the local consultations as well as MOFALI Working Group meetings.