The quality and health standards of livestock products introduced by the new standards have improved and herders' incomes have increased. This is one of the most important economic benefits of pasture management.
The National Federation of Pasture User Groups (NFPUG), a member of ILC Asia and the National Engagement Strategy in Mongolia, has established a ‘Responsible Nomads’ standard and introduced it in 15 soums (districts) across the country. L. Gantsogt, a consultant at NFPUG, said that it will be possible to expand the standardisation of the sustainability and responsibility of raw materials from herders so that customers are aware of the origins of livestock products, such as cashmere, dairy products, and meat.
As a result, the hygiene and quality of livestock products have improved and herders' incomes have increased. This is one of the most important economic benefits of pasture management. NFPUG also established a national animal health tracking system at the country's General Veterinary Authority, which includes a comprehensive set of indicators such as pasture conditions, livestock health, and the quality of raw materials for livestock products.
According to the National Pastureland Status Report, about 70 percent of the country's pastureland has been degraded to some extent, due to overgrazing, the lack of a regulatory framework to control livestock numbers, and exacerbated by extreme climatic events. However, according to the Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology, Environmental Research and Information, about 70% of the remaining pastureland will have sufficient capacity for the coming winter and spring.
Herders who have joined together to share common pastures are working to preserve and rehabilitate degraded pastures by allowing them to rotate and use their pastures on a regular basis in order to regenerate the land. Pasture user groups established in 184 soums of 18 aimags (sub-districts) have entered into long-term pasture use agreements, of which more than 1,000 have been registered in the unified land cadastre system.
According to the results of the photo monitoring in 2020, which assessed the implementation of the pasture use agreement, 20.6 million hectares of degraded pastureland have been successfully rehabilitated by adjusting the use load and regime. Herders map out their pasture use year after year, use it accordingly, and develop short- and long-term plans to adjust the number of livestock to capacity.
The introduction of the "Responsible Nomads" standards not only becomes a great tool to restore pasture degradation in the long run but also bolsters the competitiveness of Mongolian livestock products in the global market that prioritises responsible production.