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Submitted by Batkhishig B. on
I do greatly appreciate for creating such space for forum and dialogue concerning Dzud-related issues in Mongolia. We have obtained sufficient lessons and experiences from 2000-2002 Dzud. It was well documented in some of the reports of the Government of Mongolia, donor agencies and NGOs. In addition, several scholar's articles were written that talk about outcomes of the 2000 Dzud. It would help any relief and development agencies to look back and get well informed from the past experiences to reveal efficient ways of relief and rehabilitation activities. Secondly, 2010 Dzud will bring its novel consequences to the pastoral ecosystem in Mongolia. So we all have to prepared, but not be surprised! It will be too optimistic to expect that herders as well as arid and semi-arid rangeland ecosystem will demonstrate the same desired characteristics and functions after 2010 Dzud. The stresses (socio-economic, political and natural) that the herders and rangelands experienced for the last two decades increased the vulnerability and reduced resilience of social-ecological systems in rural Mongolia. Therefore, any short-or long-term strategies need to recognize that once the productivity of the pastoral systems, both in non-equilibrium and equilibrium, is lost it would be almost impossible to reverse or repair its productivity. In addition, once the coping capacity and relevant practices and kowledge are lost among herders and rural communities, it will be almost impossible to recover. Finally, it is vital to assess what are the adaptive capacity and practices we have in different regions and places that might help us to overcome the stress with minimum loss and without losing existing memory and competative advantages. Donor agencies along with the Government are responsible to identify and priortize not exogenous, but endogenous ways of coping and dealing with shocks and extend necessary assistance in this matter. Any development agenda related to the livestock sector in Mongolia, will have to assess the degree to which the pastoral system is capable to self-organize as a result of combined effects of socio-economic (e.g. market liberalization), ecological (Climate Change, Dzud 2010) and political changes that we face at the moment. Batkhishig Baival, PhD Candidate in Rangeland Ecosystem Science