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“Green Gold” Project, Phase I, 2004-2008

To strengthen the self-reliance of poor and vulnerable herders to improve their livelihoods through more productive and sustainable use of pastures in Mongolia.

To contribute to a more productive and sustainable use of pastures in Mongolia


Outcome 1.  Appropriate technologies for pasture improvement and forage production tested and adopted by herders
Result: Phase 1 which tested technologies for rehabilitation of degraded pasture lands in Mongolia stimulated the pasture studies and research to activate and come to new approaches and standards. The results of the tests applied during Phase 1 serve almost the only source for quality and systematic studies and research in pasture management.
The milestone result of the tests is that the tests demonstrated  and witnessed  the more reliability of preventive measures against pasture degradation rather than rehabilitative measures which are usually complicated, costly and risky. Having exposed to the results of these field tests, herders are increasingly recognizing the importance of rotating and resting pastures.

Outcome 2. A co-management approach for managing pastures involving herders, local government and other stakeholders introduced and adopted by stakeholders in selected project sites.
Result: One of the pivotal causes for pasture degradation is uncontrolled use and overgrazing of pasture lands, common property since the transition stage. Lack of legal regulation or environment, budget and work force makes a key problem in pasture use.
According to the international practice, uncontrolled use of common resources(forest, pasture, air, water and fish) is leading to depletion. Total privatization is one method which can  arrest the depletion of resources caused by irresponsible use, however, this method is not appropriate for Mongolia. Green Gold Programme aims to promote a pasture co-management approach  through territory based and collective engagement of herders. A nucleus or key to success in this approach is establishment of Pasture User Groups (PUGs). PUGs can exist within boundaries which do not contradict with traditional herding and movements of herders. Herder households in the same boundary are organized in the same PUG. PUGs are striven to introduce and adopt pasture management technologies and other organizational means such as seasonal rotation, resting and movement.  Pasture land management plan drafted by PUGs serves a basis for soum pasture land management plan and is subject to approval by soum citizen representative chair. PUGs are independent entities, however, their function relies a lot on the support from local governments.
Phase 1 established and supported the activities of  PUGs demonstrating that herders can participate in drafting and implementing a sustainable pasture land management plan and these  self management institutions of herders are potential to grow and expand when a specific legal environmental is available.

Outcome 3. An enabling legal environment for pasture co-management tested and demonstrated.
Result:  Activities by PUGs, herders’ self government institutions, are limited by a lack of pasture law and uncertainty in existing legal statements concerning the power and  authority, commitment and monitoring in use of pasture lands.It takes time to create enabling legal environment when the government is in shortage of fund and resources. In response, Green Gold Programme in cooperation with Environment, Food and Agricultural Standing Committee of Parliament, MoFALI, ALAGAC and aimag governments, supported the nationwide debates and discussions of pasture legislative environment and drafted a pasture law.
A methodology for soum annual land management plan was developed jointly with ALAGAC, UNDP and Policy Research Center. This methodology which  has been officially put into effect  by ALAGAC has become a national standard for herder communities to pursue in their pasture lands planning and management. A solid ground has been paved into pasture land planning by joint efforts of herders and local governments following the advance and progress by.

Project sites covered by Phase I:

·         Soums which tested and adopted pasture improvement technologies and approaches:
·         Ikh Tamir soum, Arhangai aimag
·         Shaamar soum, Selenge aimag
·         Argalant soum, Tuv aimag
·         Bornuur soum, Tuv aimag
·         Bayanchandmani soum, Tuv aimag

Soums which tested and introduced herders’ self governing institutions (Pasture User Groups) and pasture co-management approach:

·         Ikh Tamir soum, Arhangai aimag,
·         Ulziit soum, Dundgovi aimag,
·         Tsengel soum, Bayan-Ulgii aimag,
·         Telmen soum, Zavkhan aimag,
·         Undurshireet soum, Tuv aimag.

Implemented by:
“Green Gold” Project Support Unit

Total budget:
4.5 millionCHF (Swiss Francs)

Funded by:
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

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