Mongolia's Land Regulatory System: A Quest for Transparency and Efficiency
In a bid to address long-standing challenges related to corruption, bureaucracy, and lack of clear guidelines for land use, Mongolia is gearing up to revamp its land regulatory system.
With a whopping 70% of the country's land dedicated to livestock grazing, reforms in this area carry significant political weight, as they directly impact the lives of herders in rural areas, a critical voting bloc for politicians seeking reelection in 2024.
The proposed reforms aim to modernize Mongolia's land regulatory system through digitalization, streamlining land acquisition and permit issuance through an electronic system.
This move is expected to make land management more transparent and effective.
Additionally, the reforms seek to create a centralized and professionalized system for land allocation through the creation of a Land Professional Organization. The organization would be responsible for managing the allocation of land through open auctions and project selection principles.
However, the reforms have encountered opposition from various groups, with some expressing concern about land acquisition by foreigners and the potential for exploitation. Others have criticized the proposed 5-year tenure for privileged farming households, stating that it is too short to generate meaningful results.
Similarly, the privatization of pastures has also generated controversy, with critics worried about the impact on herdsmen in drought-affected areas.
As Mongolia prepares to navigate these reforms, it is crucial to strike a balance between protecting the environment and local communities, while also promoting economic growth and investment. By doing so, Mongolia can achieve its goal of creating a transparent and efficient land regulatory system that benefits all stakeholders.
Amar Adiya is Editor-in-Chief of Mongolia Weekly, an English newsletter on political analysis and business intelligence every week. He is also a regional director at Washington-based strategic advisory firm BowerGroupAsia and helps Fortune 500 companies understand and shape policies in the Asia Pacific region.