Will Mongolia’s Herders Disappear within 10 Years?

Document Type : Review and Short Length Article


Global Green Growth Institute, Mongolia


The challenges related to the preservation of Mongolia’s pastureland, its quality and condition are key concerns for the livestock sector. However, scientists, researchers and government agencies tend to focus solely on rangeland ecology and livestock. All too often, herders are overlooked and omitted from the discourse. This is the main reason I want to talk about people of the Mongolian grassland and Social justice issues in rangelands.
      Mongolia’s herders are the keepers of culture and tradition, passing on their knowledge and wisdom from generation to generation. However, the number of herders has been decreasing each year while the number of livestock has been rapidly growing. By the end of 2015, there were 50 million livestock nationally and just 145,200 herder households. In 2010, herder households numbered 223.000. Sixty percent of herder households have fewer than 200 head of livestock, with only 3 percent of wealthier herders owning more than 1000. According to economists, 200 livestock per household is below the living standard and is insufficient to sustain people’s lives. This means that 60 percent of herders, or 87,000 people, are vulnerable to losing their livestock- their key source of income and household security- in natural disasters.


Main Subjects

Personal observations of more than 10 years working with rural communities (face to face meetings, survey and workshops etc.).
Bakei, A., Chimed-Ochir, B., 2012. “Herder Households’Livelihoods: Affecting Factors and Solutions”, Academy of Agriculture Science, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Mongolian statistic books 2010-2015, Statistic office, Mongolia.
Volume 7, Issue 2 - Serial Number 2
April 2017
Pages 195-197
  • Receive Date: 05 October 2016
  • Revise Date: 12 October 2016
  • Accept Date: 28 October 2016
  • First Publish Date: 01 April 2017