Feasibility Study on Pasture Use fee - Proposed Methodology
Pastures in Mongolia are used free of any fees. The policy may seem favorable for herders at first, but in fact it encourages the misuse of pastures, thus contradicts the long term interest for securing herders’ livelihoods by ensuring sustainable livestock sector development.
Natural causes such as global warming & dryness and human factors like unsustainable use lead to pasture degradation. Long-term adaptation programs are needed to minimize the impact of naturally caused pasture degradation. However, unsustainable use of pastureland has to be stopped immediately to contribute to improved effectiveness of the long-term adaptation programs.
The most common type of unsustainable pastureland use in Mongolia is overstocking or increasing animal numbers beyond pasture carrying capacities. This leads to pastureland degradation due to animal pressures beyond vegetation recovery and absence of seasonal rotations. In addition, overstocking eats up otor reserve areas leading to increased losses in emergencies.
Herders use pastures and the resources on them, such as water and salt licks, free of any charge and without any accountability mechanisms for overgrazing and degradation. In this system, herders rationally choose maximizing animal numbers as the dominant economic behavior. Herders do not bother themselves with alternative methods promoted by the government and donor programs. "I’ll take anything if programs give it to me for free, and as everybody helps us, there’s no need for demanding dzud preparedness” – this is the dominant herder’s mentality. In other words, the current way of livestock herding is so cheap that it discourages herders from being interested in alternative ways of running livestock, and participating in government and donor programs aimed at animal health, pastureland and risk management, and animal and livestock product quality.