Vast stretches of lands meant for grazing are degrading. This is why the Mongolian Ministry of Industry and Agriculture has come up with a plan (called the Green Gold Project) that has positive effects on food safety.
Although there were initial difficulties in reaching the nomadic shepherds and convincing them to seek solutions, the plan has been successfully implemented. The political decisions that were taken address several points: first, the introduction of a plan for grazing lands, which identifies the areas at risk for desertification; this is accompanied by the obligation to block the free circulation of livestock during certain periods of the year. In addition, an important measure was included to reduce the number of animals in the herds. To complete the initiative, the government decided to provide financial assistance to families who participate in the plan. This was made necessary by bitterly cold winters in recent years that caused the death of many animals, along with significant losses for the livestock farmers.
The results can be summarized as follows: better management of the herds has led to economic increases for the shepherds. A rise in productivity for the livestock farmers has made them all the more determined to participate in the program. In the almost seven years since the program began, over 3 million hectares have been returned to grazing use. One of the most successful outcomes includes the creation of 66 associations organised by the shepherds (PUGs), which have gained increasing recognition from the government and allow the beneficiaries of government subsidies to be accurately identified. The plan also foresees monitoring of the lands in line with international indicators and standards.