The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Specification of Sustainability Mechanism in Mongolian Pastoral System

Joint Research Coordinator KONAGAYA Yuki

Reserch Theme List


Pastoralism as it has developed on the Mongolian plateau was criticized during the twentieth century as being generally a low-productivity, backward form of lifestyle. However, in today’s world where global-scale environmental issues are an intense topic of discussion, pastoralism has begun to be praised for its high degree of sustainability, and generally has also begun to be understood in terms of coexistence with nature. We cannot say that we have had any real elucidation of the historical sustainability of pastoralism or its actual mechanisms for sustainability. That being so, this joint research project aims to focus on the basic unit of pastoral society, namely the camp collective, and take as its starting point its degree of flexibility in response to changes in the natural environment in terms of spatial migration and social mobility. Specifically, we hope to devise appropriate methodology for investigating mechanisms for sustainable pastoralism.
The highlights of our results and the results of individual research on the shift to market economics (“The Day that Pastoralism Changes the Mongol Economy,” October 2002, Shuppan Bunka Sha Corporation) together are being published as our joint research “Establishing an Environment-protective Economy on the Mongol Plateau.”