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The Reform of Land and Administration Units: Strategy of Socio-Economic Development

Damba Bazargur

According to the new constitution of Mongolia: administrative units are capital city, district, aimag, soum and bag. Therefore, the capital city of Ulaanbaatar consists of nine districts, 21 aimags, 329 soum, 1599 bags and each of them have their own territory and land. Current administrative unit is divided by exceedingly small units of 1959 based on concepts of land allocation to agriculture units and state farms. Many small soums were abolished right after their establishment, or newly founded, and this indicates that administrative units are poorly defined and are non scientific features. For example: since 1959, 78 soums newly established, 106 soum centers moved and 42 soums abolished.

The ecological property lands of pasture livestock is insufficient for 120 soums by one or two seasonal lands and in some soums are insufficient for three seasonal grazing lands. To improve the reform of land and administrative unit of Mongolia should be based on the advantages of development. The development advantages of Mongolia are:

  • Seventy percent of population is educated
  • Mongolia is bounded by huge market capacity of Russia and China

The development disadvantages of Mongolia:

  • Nomadic pasture animal husbandry is the main sector of socio-economy and its’ still not transformed to settlement.
  • Proper density of population (axiom of development; more than 10 people per 1/km2) is not completed.

The gap is increasing between rural and urban populations, nomadic herders lost their own beliefs for the future and there exists a “Confusion of culture” and its’ result is the appearance of alcoholism, criminal activities and loss of the ability to manage animal husbandry. But the main crisis is the herders’ “great movement”. Due to the sudden natural disasters and weakness of active herding, the possibility to develop pasture animal husbandry is diminishing.

Due to government policy consequences, there has been an abandonment of herder’s needs and lifestyles, and this is damaging for the socio-economic development of Mongolia. Mongolian herders’ immigration to populated or settled areas to join relatives averaging 70,000 individuals during the “great movement” of 1991-1993; constantly (averagely 40,000 people) until 1994-2001 and the intensity of the “great movement” is increasing again since 2002 (averaging 60,000 people).

This “revolution of culture and civilization” is beginning to intensify, the transforming the nomads from a nomadic culture to a settled culture. This “revolution of culture and civilization” is in its final phase, it is an irreversible rule of nature, and therefore, is right. It’s proven that to transform from nomadic culture to settled culture nomads are settling in villages along the settlements and along roads (axis).

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