The size of Alaska, Mongolia is a land of many resources. Its Eastern Steppe holds the largest intact temperate grasslands in the world—more than 10 times the size of the Serengeti. These grasslands, along with the Gobi Desert, Altai Mountains and northern taiga forests, support many unique species, such as the argali mountain sheep, saiga antelope, khulan wild ass and snow leopard. In addition, approximately 30 percent of Mongolia’s citizens and their livestock rely on these lands for their food and their livelihoods.
But Mongolia is now experiencing increasing pressure on its resources. Massive stores of minerals and oil are attracting the attention of the world’s largest mining companies, driven by a high demand for those resources from nearby countries, including China. If unchecked and poorly planned, expanded mining development will fragment Mongolia’s landscapes, impede wildlife movement, pollute critical water sources and undermine herders’ traditional ways of life.
To address these challenges, the Conservancy is using our long history of land conservation expertise to inform our work in Mongolia. We are working 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 all our 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.
Where We Work
Our ecoregional assessment covers the entire country and has identified the most critical areas for conservation. Our current projects in Mongolia include:
- Toson Hulstai in the Eastern Steppe
- Kherlen Toono Nature Reserve
- Altai mountain ranges of Bumbat Khairkan and Sutai Khairkhan
- Area around Delgermoron river