Fostering the sustainable livelihoods of herders in Mongolia via collective action [Mongolia]

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Reporting Entity: Mongolia

Clarify if the technology described in the template, or a part of it, is covered by property rights: Yes

Comments: The copyright is protected by Mongolia Copyright Law. The right holder is Herders' Association of Mongolia.

Completeness: 86%

General Information

General Information

Title of best practice:

Fostering the sustainable livelihoods of herders in Mongolia via collective action



Reporting Entity:


Property Rights

Clarify if the technology described in the template, or a part of it, is covered by property rights:


Please provide relevant information on the holder of the rights:

The copyright is protected by Mongolia Copyright Law. The right holder is Herders' Association of Mongolia.


Prevailing land use in the specified location

  • Cropland
  • Grazing land

Contribution to Desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) measures

  • Prevention
  • Adaptation

Linkages with the other best practice themes

  • Capacity-building and awareness-raising
  • DLDD and SLM monitoring and assessment/research
  • Knowledge management and decision support
  • Participation, collaboration and networking


Section 1. Context of the best practice: frame conditions (natural and human environment)

Short description of the best practice

The best practice is addressed how to generate sustainable livelihoods in the Mongolian herder economy. Sustainable rural livelihoods depend on the sustainability
of economic, social, environmental and institutional factors and investigates whether technical solutions exist to reduce pasture degradation and desertification, such as
restoring proper seasonal movements, resting and other improvements to pastures, can make underused pastureland available via investments in roads and water points,
haymaking and fencing, etc. These techniques and practices are described in detail, and many are shown to contribute positively to pasture health and productivity.|


Zavkhan aimag, Arkhangai aimag, Tov aimag, Selenge aimag, Dundgobi aimag, Dornod aimag, Dornogobi aimag|

If the location has well defined boundaries, specify its extension in hectares:


Estimated population living in the location:


Brief description of the natural environment within the specified location.

The 9 aimags located in different regions of Mongolia. The climate in these aimags is continental climate with long, cold winters and short summers, during which most precipitation falls. The country averages 257 cloudless days a year, and it is usually at the center of a region of high atmospheric pressure. Precipitation is highest in the north, which averages 20 to 35 centimeters per year, and lowest in the south, which receives 10 to 20 centimeters. |
The topography of Mongolia consists mainly of a plateau with the elevation ranging from 914 and 1524 m (about 3000 and 5000 ft) broken by mountain ranges in the north and west. The Altai Mountains in the southwest rise to heights above 4267 m (14,000 ft). The Gobi covers a wide arid tract in the central and southeastern areas. The most important rivers are the Selenge Mörön and its tributary, the Orhon Gol, in the north. Large lakes include the Har Us, Hyargas, Uvs, and Hövsgöl.
Soil in Mongolia has been divided into the following:
   1. Black soil is found in Khangai, Khentii, Khovsgol provinces, Mongol Altai and Ih Hyangan Mountain ranges, and the in the Orhon, Selenge, Onon and Ulz river valleys which are in the forest steppe region.
   2. Brown soil is in the forest steppe and steppe region |

Prevailing socio-economic conditions of those living in the location and/or nearby

Mongolian Land Law adopted in 2002 and Constitution (1992) recognises the state ownership of pastures, forests, and subsoil and water resources, thus making private ownership of these resources impossible.The Law on Land provides rights for ownership, possession, use and limited use. Possession rights may be held by citizens, economic entities and organisations for up to 60 years, with the right to extension for additional periods of 40 years. |
Average income in these aimags is $150 per person.
Main income source is livestock breeding and small crop and vegetable growing.

On the basis of which criteria and/or indicator(s) (not related to The Strategy) the proposed practice and corresponding technology has been considered as 'best'?

The approach could play very important role to combat desertification in Mongolia. So the approach considered as the best.

Section 2. Problems addressed (direct and indirect causes) and objectives of the best practice

Main problems addressed by the best practice

The herdsman's understanding about the importance of use of the approach-collective actions.

Outline specific land degradation problems addressed by the best practice

The transition to the market economy led to a sharp rise in the number of herders, as well as animals. It leads to overgrazing and Land degradation. The traditional methods to use the pastureland sustainably had lost during the transition period. This is the problems addressed by the practice. |

Specify the objectives of the best practice

1. To assist the herder groups in their establishment and further growing
2. To assist local administrations to provide services to the herder groups.

Section 3. Activities

Brief description of main activities, by objective

Activities are mostly undertaken by Pasture-User Groups with support from their local governments. The project assisted to the local Governments for providing the services.
The project "Green gold" assisted the herders in the areas of the project. During the project implementing period there were established 189 pasture user groups.

Short description and technical specifications of the technology

The establishment and consolidating of Pasture-User groups were carried out with the assistance of local Governments. Establishment of new herder groups and provide trainings for them. The national institutions conducted research activities, studies, and trainings whenever the expertise existed “in-house”, instead on relying systematically on external specialists.|

Section 4. Institutions/actors involved (collaboration, participation, role of stakeholders)

Name and address of the institution developing the technology

Mongolian Society for Range Management|Ikh toiruu-49,
Bayanzurkh district, 12th microdistrict
Ulaanbatar, Mongolia
Phone: +976 11 70151458
E-mail: dorligsuren@greengold.mn

Was the technology developed in partnership?


List the partners:

Green gold project, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation|

Specify the framework within which the technology was promoted

  • National initiative – non-government-led

Was the participation of local stakeholders, including CSOs, fostered in the development of the technology?


List local stakeholders involved:

1. Herders and pasture user groups
2. Local governments

For the stakeholders listed above, specify their role in the design, introduction, use and maintenance of the technology, if any.

1. The herders groups were involved in test and use of the approaches.
2. Local Governments considered the approaches as a tool to solve the problems and played role to encourage the introducing of the collective actions of the herders' groups.

Was the population living in the location and/or nearby involved in the development of the technology?


By means of what?
  • Participatory approaches


Section 5. Contribution to impact

Describe on-site impacts (the major two impacts by category)

The income of herders had increased.
Herders started to cooperate in preparing of fodders, harvesting of grasses, protecting of natural springs etc|
Local Governments services to the herder groups had improved.

Describe the major two off-site (i.e. not occurring in the location but in the surrounding areas) impacts

The local Governments in neighboring aimags started ti interest the establishment of pasture user groups.
Herders in neighboring soums were interested and motivated to establish herders' groups and cooperate.

Impact on biodiversity and climate change

Explain the reasons:

It is bit early to talk about the impacts on climate change mitigation.
It is bit early to talk about the impacts on biodiversity.
As result of the climate change the herders face natural disasters such as hard winter or hot summer which influence on their living. So they need to cooperate and make joints actions.

Has a cost-benefit analysis been carried out?

Has a cost-benefit analysis been carried out?


Section 6. Adoption and replicability

Was the technology disseminated/introduced to other locations?

Was the technology disseminated/introduced to other locations?



The approach was placed on the web site of MONCAT for public information

Can you identify the three main conditions that led to the success of the presented best practice/technology?

Due to climate change the herders face challenges i.e severe winter, hot summer. This condition led to the sucessful implementation of the approach.|
As result of the cooperation the herders' income will be increased


In your opinion, the best practice/technology you have proposed can be replicated, although with some level of adaptation, elsewhere?


Section 7. Lessons learned

Related to human resources

In order to successfully introduce the best practice well trained specialists.

Related to financial aspects

In order to facilitate the establishment of the herder groups there should be some kind of funds.

Links and modules

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