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Pastoral Institutions, Land Tenure and Land Policy Reform in Post-Socialist Mongolia

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Mearns, Robin
Date: 1993
Agency: Policy Alternatives for Livestock Development in Mongolia (PALD), Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
Series: PALD Research Report no. 3
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3627
Sector: Grazing
Land Tenure & Use
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): pastoralism
land tenure and use
indigenous institutions
Abstract: "In Mongolia, as in most other pastoral societies, customary land tenure arrangements have evolved at the local level to regulate herders1 access to pasture land. These institutional arrangements are secured through neighbourhood-level groups known generically as neg nutgiinhan ('people of one place'). There are regional variants, differing in scale and usually bounded by topography or limiting ecological factors, including neg jalgynhan ('people of one valley') in the Hangai forest/ mountain steppe zone, or neg usniihan ('people using one water source') in the Gobi desert-steppe zone. Group members are often, but not necessarily, consanguineal or affinal relatives. Like the khot ail (the basic herding camp of several cooperating households), neighbourhood-level customary institutions appear to be re-emerging in contemporary Mongolia in response to the break-up of the pastoral collectives and other economic reforms. This report analyses the characteristics of a sample of local pastoral institutions in two districts representing contrasting ecological zones (Hangai forest/mountain steppe zone, Gobi desert-steppe zone), in terms of size, age composition, membership, wealth differentiation and patterns of pastoral mobility and land tenure."

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