Mongolian nomads travel to Spain to join protest over diminishing grazing lands

Herdsmen from Mongolia marched
with nomads from throughout the world to protest growing barriers which
impede their ability to maintain their nomadic way of life. 

The Mongolians joined herdsmen
from Spain as they led a procession of sheep through the streets of
downtown Madrid, in what has become an annual protest. 

The protest marked the beginning
of the World Gathering of Nomads and Transhumance Herders in Spain.
Herdsmen from 32 nations have come together to discuss the many issues
they face as they try to preserve their way of life.  

It is estimated that as many
as 250 million nomads make their living as herdsmen. 

Speaking to London’s Telegraph,
event organizer Fernando Garcia Dory said, "We refuse to allow
the encroachment of the modern world to threaten our existence."  

"It is a wonderful opportunity
to come together in a show of solidarity," said Mohamed Ewangaye,
40, a Saharan Touareg, as he drove his camels through Plaza Puerta del

"We all share the same
problems and are fighting for our way of life to be recognized and protected." 

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Archived Comments
Robert B. Lyons
2007-09-11 10:20:27
The Mongolian government needs to improve the quality of the grazing lands they now have and to create more lands for grazing sheep. Sheep graze very close to the ground, where as cattle do not. Sheep grazing lands need to be rotated to give grass time to recover. I had an opportunity to improve my Uncle\'s grazing lands in Montana many years ago for his herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle. Robert B. Lyons
Anne Henochowicz
2007-09-12 11:19:05
Do nomads in Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East face state encroachment on their land? In Southern (Inner) Mongolia, China, the government blames desertification on \"overherding\" and is \"solving\" this problem by forcing nomads off their land to make way for ranching and farming. I hope representatives from Southern Mongolia attended this protest.