Navchaa TUGJAMBA, Mongolian National University of Education, Mongolia, Mongolia
Batchuluun YEMBUU, Mongolian National University of Education, Mongolia, Mongolia
Khadbaatar SANDAG, Mongolian National University of Education, Mongolia, Mongolia
Tsogbadral KHURELBAATAR, Mongolian National University of Education, Mongolia, Mongolia
Due to the geographical features with dry and harsh climate, Mongolia is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world. Even though there is plenty of research on the country’s climate change, mostly there are related to the scientific oriented and based on large scale, aggregated data. However, most vulnerable targets by the climate change are the nomadic herders who are main source of the economy of the country. Nomadic Mongolians move in search of the best pastures and campsites and are highly dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. Pastureland ecosystems in the semi desert and desert rgions are increasingly being affected by climate and socio-economical changes, challenging the nomadic livelihood in the country. The findings were based on semi-structured interviews with local herders, key informants, and focus group discussions in Namir river basin in Depression of Great Lakes, Western Mongolia. This study presents how local herders observe, accumulate and develop detailed information about their environment to manage and use pasture land and sustain their livelihoods. The results indicate that climate change has affected water and pasture availability, and the rate of impact has accelerated. This has changed the seasonal movement patterns of nomadic herders and their livelihoods. These changes are influencing their future management of pastureland and their adaptation to climate change at a local and regional level. The paper highlights the urgent needs of conserving traditional knowledge to long-term sustainability for nomadic livelihoods. The empirical findings in this study provide a new understanding of how a local people assume ecosystem services benefit and its changes. The study demonstrates the importance of nomads' perceptions and knowledge in local government decision-making, as they gain important and inherent knowledge about the ecosystem services of pastures and its’ usage.
Keywords: Climate change|River basin|Traditional knowledge|Nomadic herders|Pastureland ecosystem