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Co-management: overcoming the tragedy of the commons

Co-management meeting in Mongolia. Credit: Bioversity International/R.Vernooy
Co-management meeting in Mongolia. Credit: Bioversity International/R.Vernooy

Bioversity International scientist Ronnie Vernooy writes about the co-management of pastoral lands in Mongolia, as a guest author on the Agriculture and Ecosystems Blog of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems.

Bioversity International scientist Ronnie Vernooy writes about the co-management of pastoral lands in Mongolia, as a guest author on the Agriculture and Ecosystems Blog of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems.

Mongolian herders are maintaining the centuries old practice of moving from season to season to find new grasslands for their livestock, the primary source of their nomadic livelihood. Right now it is time to move to their winter camps and enter the most critical period of the year – the months of extremely cold weather.

The challenges of managing the risks that Mongolian nomadic pastoralists face are numerous and complex. Their livelihoods depend on a combination of individually owned livestock and collectively managed grasslands and other natural resources (water, wildlife and forest resources in particular) which remain State owned. Co-management, practiced in Mongolia for about 15 years, is a novel approach to deal with these challenges. Insights gained from the Mongolian co-management experience might be useful for other regions facing similar conditions.

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