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Submitted by Honheree on
In line with Dennis's comments, having been brought up on a farm we thought ahead for the winter by stocking up with fodder selling off excess livestock, repairing shelters amd maintaining herds to a level the land can sustain. Basic good farming practice. Goats and sheep are unfortunately and especially in marginal desert environments extremely destructive. This is seen in all countries where such conditions exist and lack of forthought, education and greed unfortunately exacerbates the problem. It is clear from traveling throughout Mongolia the majority of the herders do not prepare their herds for winter. No fodder, just stone winter gers and small crowded shelters with no fodder. Animals are let out each day to feed or die. In addition there has been an increase in herds without care or thought of the consequences, even though, there is obvious overgrazing and dzuds are known to occur on a +/- 10 year cycle. The quality of Mongolian cashmere has also dropped due to over populating the herds without care in breeding. This latter issue is slowly being addressed I understand. What is needed unfortunately are farming laws and regulations to limit herd sizes on public land to levels that the land can sustain, and not be deteriorated by overgrazing. One merely needs to drive throughout Mongolia in the summer to see the result of lack of control on the land. - So, in summary to counteract greed and overgrazing on public land...laws and regulations on herd size for different terranes - Education on a soum by soum school basis including sustainable animal husbandry practices at school levels as many kids end up herding, when they leave school. If not educated in good herding/breeding practices at an early age they will never receive such education - university trained animal husbandry officers in each soum to provide advise, education and control herd sizes. - establish cooperatives to, amongst other things, develop areas for growing fodder for winter feed...NOT to maintain huge herds (as some will try to do) but to help herders in the worst part of the winter All this will require a huge, committed political, financial and public effort, but if not done the disaster facing Mongolia in this 2009/10 winter will be repeated every +/- 10 years.