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Complexity of Mongolian stakeholders’ dzud preparation and response


This paper explores the ways that Mongolian pastoral-nomadic herders and supporting aid organizations anticipate, interpret, and respond to dzud, a form of winter storm that prevents livestock grazing and often results in large-scale herd deaths. Analysis is drawn from organizational reports, government speeches, and mass media that have been collected to give a complex, multi-faceted understanding of the collection, distribution, and interpretation of data pertaining to the social and scientific construction of this natural hazard. Using critical discourse analysis, this study asks how herder perspectives and needs have been incorporated into reports and action plans of international development organizations. The collected documents provide insight into the ways that knowledge is constructed, disseminated and valued among policy makers, development planners and herders. Additionally, the findings indicate disagreement between stakeholders as to when to declare a national emergency, and how to best help herders respond to the increasing frequency of dzud. While some organizations rely on traditional recovery mechanisms, others have turned to technological solutions, all aiming to assist herders in adequately responding to and recovering from one dzud before another occurs. From the analysis of policy proposals, this study aims to understand and inform the ways that international development programs, government officials, and herders work to preserve pasturelands and herding lifestyles threatened by dzud.

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Hahn, A. Complexity of Mongolian stakeholders’ dzud preparation and response. Nat Hazards 92 (Suppl 1), 127–143 (2018).

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  • Mongolia
  • Nomadic-pastoralist
  • Dzud
  • Climate change
  • Emergency response