The recent policy trend in Inner Mongolia toward privatized household enclosures, on what was until recently regarded as common grazing land, is increasing social inequalities and contributing to the decline of the natural resource-base. The move towards household enclosures incorporates the neoliberal influenced discourse on conventional grassland science incorporating carrying capacity and succession theories. In addition, parallel moves by the state towards modernity and development more generally have down played the cultural knowledge base of these pastoral minorities. The paper discusses some preliminary results from a community-based grassland management project in Inner Mongolia and recent anthropological research in the region. This shows that a more serious concern should be given to incorporating multiple stakeholder perspectives and that a more critical position is required in order to understand the impact of enclosures in non-equilibrium contexts. In line with these findings, it is suggested that adapted community-based grazing practices and vernacular Agro-Ecological knowledge should be included in the formulation of new grassland management policy. This suggest that those involved in development interventions should work with supra-local supportive state mechanisms to incorporate the local community more fully in policy planning -- an approach that emphasizes local experiences, viewpoints, and sentiments in the management of common property resources. In this way, social factors in ecosystem dynamics will gain deserved attention in policy-making and new synergies formed among various stakeholders.
Negotiating the Grassland: The Policy of Pasture Enclosures and Contested Resource Use in Inner Mongolia
James L. Taylor; Negotiating the Grassland: The Policy of Pasture Enclosures and Contested Resource Use in Inner Mongolia. Human Organization 1 December 2006; 65 (4): 374–386. doi: https://doi.org/10.17730/humo.65.4.43nlykfuchg1cbk8
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