Two Mongolian boys smiling.
Two boys on the Mongolian grasslands. © Tuguldur Enkhtsetseg/The Nature Conservancy

Stories in Mongolia

Celebrating 15 Years of Conservation in Mongolia

TNC began working in Mongolia in 2008 with the goal of protecting the vast, unspoiled landscape of the grasslands for nature and people.

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We’ve done amazing work in these 15 years and surpassed our goals, but there is much more to do.

Mongolia faces unprecedented challenges. A flagging economy and growing outside demand for the nation’s mineral wealth has increased interest in mining, and a new government is poised to issue exploration licenses across a remarkable 20 percent of the country.

Overgrazing is degrading grasslands as herders struggle to make a living while meeting growing demands for livestock products. And climate change is exacerbating drought and extreme cold weather events, which further stress ecosystems and can be deadly to wildlife and livestock.

Despite these challenges, we are confident we will have impact and positive progress toward protecting one of the most amazing countries on Earth. To do so, we are increasing the scope and scale of our work. One of these new projects is focusing on the interaction between herders and snow leopards.

TNC continues to work with the Mongolian government to help protect and sustainably manage 120 million acres, or 30 percent of the country by 2030. We are working with communities to help them gain secure access to their grazing lands, implement sustainable practices and improve their incomes from food and fiber production (e.g., yak and camel wool). And we are working with partners to ensure development happens in the right way and in the right places, demonstrating how our Development by Design approach can benefit people, nature and business.

Since TNC began working in Mongolia in 2008, with our partners we have:

  • Completed Ecoregional Assessments mapping important areas to protect across Mongolia.
  • Supported national and local governments in establishing new protected areas in the Eastern Steppe grasslands. Around 45 percent of the Steppe, or 32 million acres, is now under some form of protection.
  • Demonstrated sustainable grassland management practices at Toson Hulstai Nature Reserve, gaining the participation of the 200 families while increasing important wildlife populations.
  • Trained hundreds of managers and herders in our science-based Conservation Action Plan methodology to help them improve management of their local protected areas.
  • Helped the government pass a law requiring companies to avoid, minimize or offset development impacts.

Help us continue our work in Mongolia and beyond.