Desertiifctaion is not the Destiny of Mongolia
Desertification is degradation of arid, semi-arid, dry sub humid regions, and a result of climatic and human actions
Mongolia has successfully moved from a transition country to a democratic nation searching for its position in a globalized world. High economic growth rates, budget surpluses over the last years, high prices for Mongolia’s main export products, copper, gold and cashmere, support this view. However, fluctuations in the world market prices for minerals, overgrazing and the spreading of the deserts drastically reveal Mongolia’s vulnerability to external factors and may easily reverse the trend.
The government and its external partners need to increase the country’s resilience towards environmental and external shocks and with coping mechanisms for societal and climatic changes. Land degradation and desertification threaten to destroy not only the country’s environmental assets, but even its nomadic culture.
About 90 percent of the total territory belongs to arid and semi-arid zones prone to desertification and 65 percent of which is classified as high risk areas for desertification. Drought has also increased significantly in Mongolia for the last 60 years. Due to climate changes and human actions, more than 70 percent of the Mongolia’s pastureland is degraded in some form.
Desertification and land degradation in Mongolia are serious environmental problems that threaten to destroy the country’s productive capacity, environmental assets and even its nomadic culture. Mongolian economy as well as its people is dependent on the country’s natural resources. Hence, desertification threatens the well-being of Mongolia’s rural population of which about 40 percent live in poverty.
Therefore, combating desertification has become a key development priority for Mongolia. To support Government’s development priorities, SDC launched the Coping with Desertification Project (CODEP) to provide technical and financial assistance.
To help improving the capacity of the relevant Mongolian stakeholders to address the challenges of desertification in an effective way and to promote sustainable livelihoods in arid and semi-arid areas.
Related links on desertification and land degradation: