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Forest Management In Mongolia – A Review Of Challenges And Lessons Learned With Special Reference To Degradation And Deforestation

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The natural conditions, climate change and socio-economic challenges related to the transformation from a socialistic society towards a market-driven system make the implementation of sustainable land management practices in Mongolia especially complicated. Forests play an important role in land management. In addition to providing resources and ecosystem functions, Mongolian forests protect against land degradation.

We conducted a literature review of the status of forest management in Mongolia and lessons learned, with special consideration to halting deforestation and degradation. We grouped our review into seven challenges relevant to developing regionally adapted forest management systems that both safeguard forest health and consider socio-economic needs. In our review, we found that current forest management in Mongolia is not always sustainable, and that some practices lack scientific grounding. An overwhelming number of sources noticed a decrease in forest area and quality during the last decades, although afforestation initiatives are reported to have increased. We found that they have had, with few exceptions, only limited success. During our review, however, we found a number of case studies that presented or proposed promising approaches to (re-)establishing and managing forests. These studies are further supported by a body of literature that examines how forest administration, and local participation can be modified to better support sustainable forestry. Based on our review, we conclude that it is necessary to integrate capacity development and forest research into holistic initiatives. A special focus should be given to the linkages between vegetation cover and the hydrological regime.

About the Authors

Alexander Gradel
International Forestry Consultancy Gradel, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany;
formerly: Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, Göttingen, Germany

Gerelbaatar Sukhbaatar
Department of Environment and Forest Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, National University of Mongolia, Mongolia;
Institute of Forest Science, National University of Mongolia, Mongolia

Daniel Karthe
Engineering Faculty, German-Mongolian Institute for Resources and Technology, Nalaikh, Mongolia

Hoduck Kang
Department of Biological and Environmental Science, Dongguk University, Biomedi Campus, Republic of Korea


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Gradel A., Sukhbaatar G., Karthe D., Kang H. Forest Management In Mongolia – A Review Of Challenges And Lessons Learned With Special Reference To Degradation And Deforestation. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2019;12(3):133-166.

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