Herders realize the benefits of collective actions not only in pasture management but also in the marketing of livestock products. Associations of Pasture user Groups of 9 soums of Zavkhanaimag (Zavkhanmandal, Urgamal, Erdenekhairkhan, Yaruu, Santmargats, TsesenUul, Bayankhairkah and Ider) made a contract with local processing companies to supply 150 tons of sheep wool on behalf of 314 herder families. From collective sales the associations made 30 million MNT additional profit and each herder family earned 100000 MNT additional income.
“ZosiinAr” Pasture User Group of herders of Tessoum of Zavkhanaimag was formed in May, 2009. The group has 15 herder households which share the same four season pastures.
For several years, herders have been discussing about degradation of winter reserve pasture behind “ZosiinAr” mountain. Because, some herders families use it all year around without break in summer, autumn and winter.
During first and second PUG meeting majority of herders voted for freeing this winter reserve pasture from animals till 1 November. Some herders were against, but with the strong resistance of the majority all herders agreed to move. PUG Leader took a minute of the meeting about the agreement and have all participants signed on the minute. It was agreed that all herders move out within the same week and made a schedule for everyone to check once in a month if there is any one moved in. It was in June, 2009. After only one year, pasture has showed signs of recovery and herders were pleased and the pasture is under regular resting for whole spring, summer and autumn.
Herder demonstration training that Mongolian Society for Range Management and Green Gold Project organize annually was held this year in IkhTamirsoum of Arkhangaiaimag between 3-5 Sep. This is the 3rdyear that annual demo training is organized to create a platform for project beneficiaries to exchange experiences and learn from each other. This yearin cooperation with the State Central Extension Agency, it focused and tested “Herder to Herder” training modul. Leaders of Pasture User Groups (PUGs) and Leader of Soum Association of Pasture User Groups (APUGs) of Ikhtamirsoum where Green Gold Project has been working in the 5thyear were the major trainers. Each of three selected PUGs and their leaders were assisted by the Green Gold Project staff to set up demo training site at the herder households.
Training topics were:
Restoration of degrading pastures through rotational grazing and resting, green forage planting,
Institutional and governance issues within and among PUGs and APUGs,
Establishing herder business cooperatives to improve marketing of livestock products and making agreements with soum government over the management of PUG pastures.
Training was participated by 250 leaders of PUGs and APUGs of 66 soums.
This year event has tested several new approaches to improve the effectiveness of the training. Participants were divided into 4 aimag teams, and each of the team made presentations on a specific topic they have gained the most experience and best practices:
Zavkhanaimag team made a presentation on Herder Disaster Risk Management and Resilience building,
Khovd team made presentation on PUG based integrated pasture management at entire aimag level,
Bayan-Olgy team shared from their experiences on the reconstruction of pasture infrastructures and
A combined team of Arkhangai, Bayan-khongor, Gobi-Altai, Uvs, Dundgobi and Tuvaimags made presentation on Herder Income and Animal productivity improvement.
On the third day, Mongolian Society for Range Management hold its First Annual Meeting where the Constitution of the Society was discussed and approved by members. The Society was joined by 120 new members.
Ms. D, Bolormaa, APUG Leader from Altaisoum of Bayan-Olgyaimag: I am so impressed what herders from IkhTamirsoum have achieved working together”. I wish herders from my soum follow this example. I am taking home a lot to talk and share with my fellow herders almost for a whole year. I hardly travel out of my soum as it is located afar away, thus meeting so many people at the same time is very interesting. I really enjoyed cultural and sports event during the training”.
The Ministry of Nature and Environment has issued a resolution dated on 20 April, 2011 (Resolution No:114) to adopt one methodology nationwide on pasture land health monitoring. The new methodology incorporates indicators of ecological potentials and has reached the international standard. It is based on the design developed and tested by the Green Gold Project in cooperation with the National Agency for Meteorology and Hydrology, and Environmental Monitoring in the last 5 years. In parallel to this, between 2009-2010, the Green Gold Project has provided basic tool kits as well as skills training to the technicians of 115 soum meteorological and hydrological stations to apply the new methodology. During the first half year of 2011, 4 regional trainings (Northern, Eastern, Western and Central regions) have been organized involving 450 technicians from remaining soums in the application of new methodology. Annual monitoring of pasture land health for 2011 will be carried out using the new methodology.
Trainees were given an official certificate of skills as the Mongolian Society for Range Management has obtained a license from the Ministry of Science and Education and the Ministry of Justice to issue a certificate of skills. Alongside skills training, the Green Gold Project has released manuals on “Pasture land health monitoring“ and “Reference for the main vegetations of Mongolian pasture lands” and the first time ever “Codex of Mongolian pasture plants” for technicians and national data base creation. The Codex is being used widely by researchers and students.