A Pasture User Group Leader is reporting from Numrug Soum of Zavkhan aimag: It has passed one year since the Pasture User Group “Nuur Delgerekh” in Numrug soum of Zavkhan aimag (See Picture 1) has been formed in August, 2009 and held its first all herder meeting. Mr M Batmunkh has been nominated as a Leader of the Group

The experiences from neighboring Telmen soum of Zavkhan aimag where herders have been organized into Pasture User Groups for 4 years and showing visible results of the   advantages of collective efforts of herders in regulating the use of their common pasturelands and cooperate on activities that demand more labor and financial resources have been very useful to encourage herders to join the PUG.
After formation of the PUG, the first activity members have implemented together was the creation of  PUG “Herder Matching Fund” where each of member of herder families contribute 30 CHF and Green Gold Project contributes the equal share, 30 CHF. As of today, the fund has 1400 CHF and is mainly used by members for a short term loan to buy staple goods and animal forage and hay.
The second activity, PUG members have worked jointly was agreeing on the schedule of rotational grazing and resting that all members to follow. Total pasture land of the PUG is 6970ha and 3000ha of it is used as summer and autumn pastures. It has been agreed by all members that summer and autumn pastures will be under regular resting on a rotational basis between June and October. The PUG members have managed to have an approval of soum authority to access to soum reserve pasture area if winter gets difficult.
Zavkhan aimag is known for its harsh winter, and in the recent 5 years, there has been consequently an emergency situation over wintering.  This situation is exasperated by remoteness of the aimag to access to main state reserve forage and added by   transportation cost, the price of forage and hay at the site often become unaffordable for an ordinary herder family.
Therefore, there in an increasing interest among herders to create a reserve of their own and at the local level. The “Nuur Delgerekh” PUG herders have decided to plant green forage to establish their own forage fund. With the support of the Green Gold Project in the form of forage seeds and some basic equipment worth 1800 CHF, herders have planted in 40 ha green forage.
The PUG members was also assisted by SDC “Disaster Mitigation Project” the cash totaling 600 CHF, which they have also used in forage planting.
Out of total harvest, the PUG has created the forage fund with 2000 bales of green forage and allocated to all member herders 30 tons of green forage to use as an additional fodder for animals in winter. The surplus amount is being sold to other herders and herders in neighboring soums and it is estimated that the PUG will make a net profit of 3000 CHF which they would like to keep it in the Matching Fund.