Preserving the capacities of nature in protected areas

Project description

Title: Supporting Protected Areas for the Conservation of Ecosystem Services – SPACES
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-financed by: Europian Union (EU)
Country: Mongolia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Environment and Tourism
Overall term: 2019 to 2024

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Context

Mongolia’s biological diversity forms the basis for the country’s economy and culture. To conserve biodiversity, large areas of the country have been placed under protection. However, climate change and the exploitation of natural resources are still threatening the biodiversity and ecosystems there.

A large proportion of the rural population lives in buffer zones surrounding protected areas. Poverty is one driver of natural resource overexploitation in the country – but damage to protected areas also has a detrimental effect on the population’s livelihoods.

Objective

The framework conditions for the long-term development of protected areas in Mongolia are improved.

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Approach

The project advises the Ministry of Environment and Tourism on the legal framework for nature reserves. In this way, it promotes the financial self-determination of the protected area administrations, allowing them to operate more independently and invest their own income into managing the protected areas.

The project also promotes coordinated action by protected areas and interest groups in order to harness potential for large-scale landscape protection.

Aiming to offer the population alternatives to the past overexploitation, the project supports eco-friendly tourism and advises on the sustainable management of natural resources.

Since 2021, the project has been promoting innovative landscape management and the transition from demand-oriented to environmentally friendly forest use in cooperation with the European Union and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, as well as with France and the Czech Republic.

To accompany this, it is working on developing an environmental communication strategy and implementing it to some extent. Media campaigns and educational measures impart knowledge and a positive attitude to the population, visitors to the protected areas, as well as experts.

With all these measures, the project creates the prerequisites for environmentally responsible protected area management while conserving biodiversity and safeguarding livelihoods.

Last update: August 2021

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