Posts Tagged ‘pastoralist’


  • Cattle struggle to graze amid the dzud-like conditions of rural Mongolia
MANILA, PHILIPPINES  – Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Robert Schoellhammer and the Minister of Finance of Mongolia Bolor Bayarbaatar today signed a $2 million grant agreement as part of a United Nations-led emergency response for herders and their families afflicted by a protracted climate disaster in Mongolia, known as a “dzud.”“A livelihood and food crisis has been evolving in many parts of the country due to the dzud, under which an unusually dry summer is followed by a heavy winter snow and plummeting temperatures,” said Robert Schoellhammer, ADB Country Director in Mongolia. “Millions of animals that are unable to graze properly face starvation, jeopardizing the livelihoods and even lives of the herders who depend on them for income and food.”

According to the National Emergency Management Authority, snow this winter covered 90% of Mongolia’s total territory. The government said that at the end of March, about one third of Mongolia’s 339 districts were still in severe dzud or near-dzud conditions.

The number of animals that died as a result of the heavy snow and cold weather reached 669,000 by the end of March, the government said. The UN feared the number of dead animals could reach 1.2 million during the spring, when—on past experience—weak and starved animals could die in large numbers. From 1999, Mongolia was hit by dzuds for 3 years in a row, resulting in a reported loss of 11 million animals. This year, herders are culling their livestock, rather than letting them die of starvation, leading to an oversupply of meat and skins on the market and sending prices plummeting.

The UN estimates that more than 225,000 people or 41% of the total herder population are now feeling the impact of adverse weather conditions, including more than 28,000 children under the age of 5. It has indicated that $14.3 million is required for immediate assistance for the most vulnerable herder households.

Under these circumstances, the government requested the grant assistance from ADB’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, which was established in 2009 to provide resources to developing member countries for the restoration of life-preserving services to communities affected by a natural disaster.

ADB’s grant complements some $2.4 million being provided by the UN and will help address the most urgent needs of the vulnerable and affected populations, including food, hay, forage, medical supplies, and fuel.

In Mongolia, ADB approvals amounted to $297.5 million in 2015, including 4 sovereign loans for $275 million, 2 project grants for 6 million, and 17 technical assistance grants for $16.5 million.


Read Full Post »

The ILC Asia regional facilitator participated in this regional consultation organized by UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (APRC) in Bangkok on 9-10 June. The meeting brought together key actors and experts from across the region to discuss and validate key issues and entry points on women’s access to land and property from an access to justice perspective, including to draft a common framework for future programming and action.



The ILC Secretariat had been involved in the preparation of the event, mainly by providing inputs on topics and potential participants from our network. ILC members intervened on a range of topics from Privatization and Enclosure of the Commons – CIFOR/SAINS (Indonesia), Statutory Laws and implementation – Landesa (India/Global) and Huairou Commission (Global), Corruption and Elite Capture – ALRD (Bangladesh), Indigenous Women – AIPP (Asia regional), and Common Property and Pastoral Land – MARAG (India).

Contact: Erpan Faryadi (e.faryadi@landcoalition.info)

Read Full Post »

Source: ILC

Pastoralism, extensive livestock production in the rangelands, is one of the most sustainable food systems on the planet, covering at least 25% of world’s land. Therefore ensuring sustainability of pastoralism is a crucial element towards achieving food security, poverty reduction, ecological health, and greater equality amongst people.

Given the naturally adaptive and resilient management system, pastoralism has for the past millennia been key to maintaining the functioning of rangeland ecosystems, but even with its numerous economic, social and ecological benefits, pastoralism has for long been portrayed as simple and archaic, uneconomical, and a threat to the environment. An alternative perception is, however growing. More than two decades of research has provided evidence for the opposite perspective: pastoralism is economically rational and viable and it is a vital tool for ecosystem management in drylands.

Intensive livestock production systems, while productive in terms of milk and meat, can degrade the environment through high levels of carbon and methane emissions, water pollution and degradation of ecosystems. By comparison pastoral systems are the most productive use of rangelands and provide a large number of additional ecosystem services; from conservation of biodiversity to protection of watersheds and sequestration of carbon. Pastoral systems are more resilient to climate change than sedentary agricultural systems in dry and fragile ecosystems.

Pastoralism is a universal issue despite the differences in challenges faced by pastoralists in developed and developing countries. Land grabbing, climate change, pastoralist empowerment, and demographic and economic changes are the major emerging issues facing pastoralism around the world.

The Post2015 Agenda provides an opportunity to work globally towards building enabling conditions for capturing the opportunities of pastoralism for sustainable development.

The enabling conditions that are needed include:

  1. Provision of basic services—including health, education and security—that are appropriate to the production systems of pastoralists;
  2. Recognition of land access and natural resource use and management rights;
  3. Equitable value chains and market access including enhancing of local and national markets;
  4. Empowerment of pastoralist institutions and systems and specific research and education programs;
  5. Enabling fiscal policies and international fair trade;
  6. Awareness raising of consumers and producers of the differences between grass fed grazing animals and stabled animals.

These six pillars can underpin a green economy, where production and ecosystems naturally can align with Earth’s safe operating space and human well-being. Sustainable pastoralism is too big of an opportunity to not consider in the post 2015 Agenda.

The above mentioned agencies, would therefore like to make the following recommendation to the UNPFII for inclusion in its 2014 report:

Encouraging UNEP, IUCN, WAMIP, IFAD, FAO and ILC and any other relevant and interested partners to bring sustainable pastoralism into the Post2015 Agenda which will provide the opportunity to work globally towards building the enabling conditions for capturing the opportunities of sustainable development for pastoralists.


Read Full Post »

January 2014

ILC member in Mongolia, presents a policy brief on co-management of pastureland in Mongolia following implementation of this form of land use management in 54 communities in different regions of Mongolia. This form of co-management is being actively considered by the Mongolian government for guaranteeing land use rights of the tens of thousands of herder communities’ in Mongolia, and at the same time preventing land degradation.

Read in English: Policy Brief: Co-management of Pastureland in Mongolia

Read in Монгол хэл (click images)

Page 1

Page 1

pasture page2

Read Full Post »

Source: MARAG

August 2013

The Independence Day on 15th August this year was a dual celebration for the people of 44 villages of Mandal Becharaji Special Investment Region (MB SIR). On the eve of Independence Day the Government of Gujarat notified withdrawal of 36 villages from MB SIR. This came after 100 days of intense protests against the MB SIR. Earlier on May 14 this year, the government issued a notice in regional newspapers announcing land acquisition from 44 villages for MB-SIR. It proposed to acquire nearly 50,880 ha of agriculture land from 44 villages of Surendranagar, Ahmedabad and Mehsana districts of Gujarat. If implemented, it would have displaced 75,000 cattle; and the Pastoral people who depend on community grazing land would have been the worst affected. At least 15 per cent land planned for MB-SIR was the common grazing land of the Pastoralists. SIR is essentially an industrial hub and scaled-down urban centre.

The lives of people in these 44 villages have depended on the LAND for generations for farming and pastures. The value of LAND goes beyond economic gains. The culture, religion, social ties, the entire way of life revolved around land. That is why the first reaction of most people in these 44 villages was DENIAL; they could not believe the fact that their land could be taken away. The local youth group Azad Vikas Sangathan (Azad Vikas Sangathan was facilitated by MARAG, an NGO based in Gujarat) was instrumental in building the movement whose strength was its inclusiveness and that it was self-contained. Over a period of 100 days, over 36 big and small events took place to protest against SIR; remarkably no resources were raised from outside. The movement was based on the principles of Non-Violence; there were village meetings, foot marches, bike rallies, tractor rallies, demonstration in the State capital, and letters to chief minister campaign – the whole thing with resources raised from within. The energy in these villages was astonishingly intense and dynamic. Even the school going children could recount the provisions under SIR and its negative implications.

The women played a vital role in the movement. There were so many women who took stage and microphone for the first time in their lives to protest against SIR. Some of these women were offered to join political parties during the movement which demonstrates the success of the movement and power of women.

The Movement was not centric on one LEADER. The leaders provided guidance and overall direction. At the onset it was recognised that movement could fail or break owing to baits by the vested commercial and Government lobby. However not only the movement survived but achieved the rare historical victory. The Democratic decision making ensured ownership, accountability, openness and transparency.

The Government of Gujarat has proposed to set up 13 special investment regions (SIRs) in the state. There is a huge battle ahead and this small victory has given HOPE and CONFIDENCE that only People Sovereignty can ensure Food Security”.

Read Full Post »

MARAG, India

June 2013

The Maldhari in Gujarat State are the unheard and the unseen in the development agenda at state and national levels. They have no representation in policy decision-making processes despite those decisions having a fundamental impact on their lives and livelihoods. Their voices are not heard and their needs are not attended to. The Pastoral Peoples’ Parliament seeks to change this. The Pastoral Parliament is the brainchild of MARAG (Maldhari Rural Action Group) a local NGO based in Ahmedabad, India and an active ILC member. MARAG has supported the process of establishing the Parliament in its initial stages and is now playing a mentoring role”.

Further information is found in the Rangelands Bulletin (no.3) – pg. 9 Pastoral Peoples’ Parliament, MARAG, India; pg. 11 Opportunities for New Land Laws to support community-based pasture and NRM in Mongolia

Read Full Post »

On 29 October 2012, Mongolia-based member JASIL, with support from ILC and in collaboration with Research Center for Animal Husbandry, organized a national stakeholders meeting on the co-management of pasture and natural resources at the Continental Hotel in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia.  Thirty-six participants, representing parliament, the Ministries, donor agencies, NGOs, and research institutions, shared experiences and best practices for co-managing natural resources in Mongolia.  In particular, a Mongolia Land Forum was initiated as a lobbying body for the draft Pasture Law and to encourage Mongolian organizations to engage with ILC.

According to Dr. Hijaba Ykhanbai, Executive Director of JASIL, while pasture is a common resource, current policies in Mongolia are not fully supportive for independent local groups. Pasture degradation is an issue with in light of climate change and the zhud (a Mongolia word for a cold and snowy winter period, particularly following summer drought). Therefore, collective action for co-management (CM) is needed. Experiences and lessons learned by many stakeholders & institutions are needed for formulating a clear policy and legal framework. But it needs cooperation of the government, NGOs, and the public. CM builds better linkages and trust between the local people and government administrative organizations under the Governments’ decentralization policy. CM will be a vital tool to reflect local) people’s opinions in policy papers and the drafting of laws. Communities differ depending on ecosystems, sustainable livelihood opportunities, local cultures and customs. CM of natural resources is likely to be effective when people living in one locality are joined altogether in the CM arrangement. Furthermore, the legal basis for CM for pasture land is not clear. The proposed Pasture Law was first drafted in 2005, but until now, it has not yet been passed.

ILC has provided support to JASIL and their partners lobby for the passing of the draft Pasture Law. Researchers, activists, NGOs, and government representatives will be involved in a working group, who will carry out lobbying activities in parliament, develop a policy brief on the law, mentor herders on the specifics of the law, and implement an information dissemination campaign via TV, posters, and social media to raise awareness about the issue.

Read Full Post »