The future of Mongolian nomadic lifestyle under debate! Same situation of other nomadic societies in the world

The report is self explainatory. The situation of other Nomadic societis is almost the same.

Listen and download: Dr Caroline Upton talks on the issues facing Mongolian nomadic herdershttp://soundcloud.com/university-of-leicester/the-future-of-mongolian/s-aYEoy

 Geographers from the University of Leicester are involved in research on pastoralism, environment and livelihoods at a critical juncture in decision making over the future of Mongolia’s rural areas.Image

 The two year study, Community, Place and Pastoralism: Nature and Society in Post-Soviet Central Asia, funded by the Leverhulme Trust and involving work in both Mongolia and Kazakhstan, led to a meeting in Ulaanbaatar in September 2012, organised by the University of Leicester team and their Mongolian colleagues. At this meeting herders were able to discuss key land and livelihood issues directly with ministers, donors and government advisors.

 Dr Upton, the Principal Investigator for the project, said: “Mongolian herders are facing multiple pressures on their livelihoods, traditionally based on nomadic pastoralism, from climate change, mining, desertification and new policies on land. Through our project, national decision makers were brought together with affected parties and local stakeholders to debate some of the vital issues pertaining to nomadic culture, livelihoods and identity in modern Mongolia. They were also able to draw lessons from the Kazakh context, based on our project results.”

 Dr Moore, the project Research Associate, who spent 5 months conducting fieldwork in Mongolia, said: “The herders that I met were deeply aware of climatic and environmental change in their pastures that are affecting their lifestyle. They often have to move further and more often to find good grazing for their goats, sheep, horses and camels. Therefore many are concerned that any moves towards privatisation of pasture will reduce their ability to maintain their livelihoods and nomadic culture.”

 In recent years, Mongolian herders have been encouraged through government policy and donor interventions to form herder groups. These groups are designed to collaborate in pasture management, labour sharing and environmental conservation, as well as marketing of their livestock products, thus improving local livelihoods and resilience.

 A long-debated draft pastureland law, to be considered by the new Mongolian government in the next session of parliament, seeks to strengthen rights to key seasonal pastures for families and herders groups. Although this law focuses on possession rather than ownership rights, for some herders it has raised fears over the ultimate privatisation of pastureland and reduction in the ability to move, particularly in times of need.

 Government policy is also promoting intensification of livestock production. Thus, there are tensions between mobile and more sedentary livestock production in rural areas and questions are raised over the place of nomadic culture and identity in modern Mongolia.

 Dr Upton said: “This is a critical moment in decision making about the future of Mongolia’s rural areas. Enhanced rights of herders’ groups to key seasonal pastures have the potential to make positive contributions to local livelihoods and to conservation. Increases in mining activity also make the recognition of land rights especially important, so that herders’ voices may be heard in defending and seeking compensation for land loss and displacement.

 “However, centuries old traditions of mobility, flexibility and reciprocity should not be lost. As other pastoral cultures have found, ‘modernity’ does not necessarily equate with sedentarisation or privatisation. Nomadic heritages and practices retain great value”.

 The Leverhulme team are finalising detailed reports and articles to share with herders, international donors, and government policy makers, as part of their contribution to these vital, ongoing debates. Results of the work have also been presented at this years’ Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers) annual conference in Edinburgh.

 

The Donkey~ Also a Good Riding Animal

The Donkey~ Also a Good Riding Animal

This donkey belong to Shingharri breed from Daman area of Kohe Suleiman. This breed of donkey is unique of its kind. Very well adapted to mountainous ecosystem and carry up to 120 Kg for more than 25 KM. Also a good riding and docile animal.

The Donkey~ Also a Good Riding Animal

This donkey belong to Shingharri breed from Daman area of Kohe Suleiman. This breed of donkey is unique of its kind. Very well adapted to mountainous ecosystem and carry up to 120 Kg for more than 25 KM. Also a good riding and docile animal.

Lessons learnt from droughts in North-eastern Balochistan

We are the custodian of the livestock breeds, so we tried our best as our ancestors did to save it at any cost.

The first possible solution for the problem to save livestock in hard years we found is culling of the larger herd/flocks. To sell out the sick, old, weak and unproductive animals in the start of the dry period is an important tool to fight against the drought. Spend the money gained through the sale of the culled animals on the feeding and health of the animals.

We learnt that we must divide the livestock specie wise, i.e. sending the goat flocks to the high mountains along with the donkeys and young vigorous family members. There was still vegetation in the mountains but there was scarcity of water. The young men can convey water on the donkey back to the goat in remote as the indigenous goat consumes lesser amount of water. Movement of the camel to the remote is also the solution for saving camel. The camel can consume woody vegetation in the remote highlands and can resist water scarcity.

We learnt that camel is the main solution for the drought period. Camel can reach to the remote water point after a long period of grazing. The remote vegetation can be judiciously consume by camel in winter as camel need water once in a week in winter. The camel is also fit for traveling and transportation of family luggage in the inaccessible areas of the mountainous ecology of our region.

Animal health cure is also very important in the dry years, as the weak and emaciated animals are more prone to disease.

Customary Laws of Pashtun Pastoralists in North-eastern Balochistan

The land inhabited by Pashtun pastoral people in northeastern Balochistan is owned by communities. Only the roadsides, railway lines and the state areas near the towns and cities belong to the state. There is no conserved area by the Government in the Pashtun lands of Balochistan. Every community and has his own area, which is comprised both of mountainous and plain lands.NOMAD_AFG

After the crop harvest, during the monsoon rains, the pastoral people move towards high mountains and graze the remote and high peaks of the mountains. This type of movement saves their livestock from foot and mouth disease also. The piedmonts and the plain lands are conserved and nobody is allowed to graze animal there, the conservation is called as Pargorr. The temporary and short settlement in the mountains is called as Gholai. They come down to the plain lands crossing the piedmonts and settle for the period of autumn here. The conservation of plain lands for autumn is called as smaller Pargorr. In winter they travel again to the piedmonts area of the mountains and stay there for longer period. This settlement is known as a permanent settlement and called as Pakha Mena. They spent winter here. The topography of piedmonts saves them from the effect of fast wind in the region.

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Shinwari sheep drinking water from a pond

The pastoral people of all the community’s tribes respect the customary laws. The people of other community can come to graze in the area of some other community, but the willingness of the owner community is necessary. Sometimes outsider tribes come without permission along with their animals and create problems. The elders of the tribes call Jirga and settle the issue. These types of situation usually create when there is dryness in the area of other tribe and nothing available for grazing. Usually, pastoral people help each other and if permission has opted then there is no trouble. But there is one important customary law that there is no restriction for the camel. Camel can be grazed anywhere and any time of the year.Kakeri sheep

The afghan nomads have no rights of settlement. They can cross the areas and can stay for 3 days in one community area. The nomads also called as Pawinda have their station (Gholai) where they can stay for three days. Each tribe of Pawinda has their own fix route. Sometimes they can stay more than 3 days at one station if there is rain or snow and their tent is wet. According to customary laws, they are bound to abide by the laws, otherwise, the local administration is being involved and they are pushed to move forward. Some communities allow Pawinda for the whole period of winter in specifically reserved areas and charge them according to the number and species of the animal and the charge is called as Tharni.

Every tribe of Pawinda has his own tribe and it is well established.

Dotani route is Thoi of Waziristan, but this route is in trouble and the tribe is now passing through Zhob valley. This state of the situation has created problems among the pastoral communities and Pawinda. According to the local customary law, they have no right to pass through this area. Also, Dotani tribe has a very large size of animal flocks and herds.

Suleimankhail tribe crosses the famous Gomal pass and enter in Indus delta near Bhakkar of Punjab province. Safi and Akakhail and part of Jiggie tribe have the route in the Kakar land of Zhob and Qillasaifulla. Shinwari, Andar and Kharoti have the route to pass in the Kakar land of Loralai and Qillasaifulla and reach to Anambar area of Duki Loralai in winter and stay there for whole winter and pay Tharni to Loni tribe. Some clan of Shinwari and Kharoti tribes reach to Kethran area and pay Tharni for winter settlement.

Taraki and part of Suleimankhail tribe cross Bolan and reach to the Pat or Kachi basin of Southern Balochistan and some cross the area and reach to Sind province. The customary laws are oral laws and respected by the Government. These laws were formulated in Shahi Jirga of Balochistan and were respected by the British government.

Khurasani or Khorasani Goat Breed

Khorasani or Khurasani goat is one of the most important goat genetics of the historical Arya Warsha

Khurasani goat is one of the most important breeds of the historical land of Arya Warsha. This breed of goat is well adapted to the climatic conditions of the region and support the food security with its specialized milk and meat. The goat keepers make Kurath from the milk when it is abundantly available in favorable season.

Khorasani/Khurasani goat being reared by some families for milk. Photo credit: Ellen Geerlings

Habitat

The historic lands of Khurasan/Khorasan (now in Pak and Afghanistan), Toba Kakar range, Suleiman mountains region of Zhob and Sherani districts, Killa Saifullah, Loralai, Ziarat, Chaghai and Pishin districts are the main niche of the breed. This habitat is the famous and historical land of ARYA WARSHA. The breed is equally raised by nomadic, semi-nomadic, agro-pastoral tribes of Pashtoon people. The Baloch tribes of Chaghai-Kharan desert also raise this breed. The nomads with Khurasani breed move from Khurasan in autumn and may reach to Indus delta and some tribes reach to Chaghai-Kharan desert. The breed is trans-boundary. This breed is mainly a nomadic breed.

This photo was shot in Loralai, a goat grazer is milking Khurasani goat for making tea.

Phenotypic characteristics

The phenotypic characteristics of the Khurasani breed are black long hair coat, turned back horns and fine second hair coat in winter. The breed is predominantly black in color with a red face but some other color is also found occasionally. The males have beard also.

Vegetation of the Region

Acacia modesta, Caragana ambigua, Bararr, Gurgulla, Sarwane, Showan, Wanna, Barrai, Ghalmi, Shorai, Lani, Azghai, Sassi, Ghaz, Korai, Sperbutai, Oma, Murgha, Tarkha and Zizyphus.

Population of Khorasani Goat

The population of the goat is hard to predict, because of the widely scattered and mobile nature of the Khorasani goat as it is reared both by the transshipmentry and nomadic people. . It is estimated about 2.7 million. The trend is increasing.

The goat produce Pashmina in winter. Some NGOs are helping people to comb and harvest the pashmina. Photo credit: Ellen Geerlings

Special traits

  • The animal of this breed is highly intelligent, making it safe
  • The Khorasani goat is loving to her soul and take care of herself, can find vegetation and water
  • Always lead other livestock towards water and vegetation
  • Close to wild ancestors and highly resistant to diseases
  • Can travel long
They have great diversity among the breed. Khurasani breed of goat. Photo credit: Ellen Geerlings

Hope options

Goat is a more effective tool against drought as the breed can better thrive on the drought and climate resilient vegetation (bushes and shrubs) of the region.

Economic importance

The male animals are the major source of earning. The animal is smaller in size and cannot attain as higher prices as Kohe-Suleimani goat. Moreover, it is good in milk production, and milk is used for by-products like ghee and Kurath. The goat also produces pashmina, but the importance of pashmina is not yet being realized. The hair is used for making ropes and tents.

Musakhaili Sheep Breed

Habitat: Found in Musakhail district of northeastern Balochistan and the main tribe of the breed is Musakhail as indicated by the name. Moreover, the breed is also raised by Marghzani, Zamri and Issot and Jaffar tribes of Musakhail district.

Phenotypic characteristics: The breed is larger in size compared to Bybrik sheep breed. The tail is wide and a bit long (called as hanging tail), therefore, accumulate more fats. The head of the sheep is larger and wider. The wool is shorter in length like that of Bybrik. This breed is more attractive for the trader because of its meat demand.

The distinctive characteristics of the breed are long hair in the base of the horn. Spotted ears, black spots on wool and skin on the rump area, are the prominent feature of the breed.

Vegetation: Vegetation highly like by Musakhaili sheep is comprised of Khuriasa, Ozi, Viza, Paha, Saba, Zangi, Barawa and Barvaza etc. The vegetation is different in different season and topography.

Population: The population size of the breed is almost 2.9 million and the trend is increasing.dsc00154

Special Traits:

  • Can climb on high mountains and consume the inaccessible vegetation
  • Get more weight in short duration and fill the tail with fats very fastly, hence can resist the dry period
  • Good response to stall feeding and grains offer
  • The wool is thin in density (Khalaswargi) and is good to resist high temperature
  • Consume bushy vegetation when there is scarcity of grasses

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    The meat drying process (landi) 

Economic Importance: The breed is not only raise for family subsistence. The breed has very high economic returns by selling male animals at the age of 8 months. The animal has high trader preference and mostly reaches to the market of Iran and even Middle East. The local consumers like the meat and use this breed for the persenda making (Landi)Persenda~Dry Meat Cousine of Pashtun Afghan, The crop reaches early in the market because of the early breeding season. The milk of the breed is not use for family needs but allow to the lambs. The wool has no higher economic importance and is mainly send to the market of Punjab province and is usually use in the carpet industry.