Pasture user groups({AG)are a primary unit of herders’ collective institutionalization  at grassroots level.   A specific number of herder households which share common interests and which  know each other well  are organized into an institution to collectively use and protect pastures and coordinate  the management of pasture lands in a way that adjusts to climate and nature changes.   With a view of conducting organized and sustainable activities, PUGs in the project target soums delineated the boundaries of pasture units they share and developed annual pasture land use plans based on the mapping  of pasture uses.  These hand mapped annual plans serve the basis for soum pasture management plan and get integrated in overall soum land management plan which is submitted to and approved by soum Citizen Representative Chair. In the meantime, PUGs started monitoring the results of their collective work and pasture monitoring.   
By December 2010, 23000 herder households from 45 soums in 9 aimags joined into pasture user groups and collectively engage in proper use and protection of pasture lands, dealing with challenges and  problems and raising income sources.
 
PUG photo
 
Having identified the officialization of pasture user groups within the existing legislative environment, a four partite agreement has been signed by leader of PUG, soum governor, bag governor and soum PUG. The status  and enforcement of the agreement is periodically informed  to bag public meeting and soum citizen’s representative council.  The agreement states about boundaries of pasture lands used by PUGs, number of herder housholds and their livestock population and agreement period. To date, 15% of all target soums or 8 soums have a four partite agreement signed.

1.    Herders of PUGs shall arrive at place and hour fixed by PUG leaders. They will discuss how pasture lands can be co-used and managed, what pressing issues face and how they can be solved. The discussion also focuses on whether the issues can be solved by PUGs.
 
2.    Issues to discuss shall focus on the following.
  • Pastures for rotation and resting, timing and distribution
  • Pasture improvement/combating harmful insects, rehabilitating, resting, rotating and reserving pasture lands/
  • Pasture infrastructure  /increase in water access and improvement in road and communication access/
  • Increase in hay and forages/hay, manual fodder, mineral salt, legume planting/
 
3.    Using 1:100 000 scale soum map prepared by soum land officer, draw pasture lands with concrete boundaries and landscapes. This hand mapping will serve a basic material for annual soum land management plan.

4.    After discussing and agreeing on what activities to conduct,  herders will mark them  in their hand maps of pasture lands. The maps include the following information:
 
  1. Location and movement sites by herder households
  2. Schedule for resting overgrazed pasture lands and combating harmful rodents and insects
  3. Schedule for monthly rotation of season-wise pasture such as summer and autumn and otor movements,
  4. Schedule for distant and near reserve pastures, pastures for offsprings and hay field use
  5. Well, water points, roads, bridges, livestock fence, washing lot  to repair or newly to built and other activities will be market in color and explanations will be provided/“User friendly recommendation for herders “Pasture Management” was shared with herders in 2007./
5.    After finalizing hand mapping, all members will sign it to endorse the planned activities.
2.    As well, herders are advised to discuss and agree what responsibility should be borne by those who fail to implement the plan endorsed by all members.
 

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