Posts Tagged ‘Mongolia’


A Climate Disaster in Mongolia

Photo Essay | 14 April 2016

Mongolia is being hit by a serious livelihood and food crisis arising from a slow-burning but deadly climate disaster unique to the country known as a “dzud.” The dzud consists of a summer drought followed by a heavy winter snow and especially cold temperatures during winter and spring.

According to the National Emergency Management Authority, snow this winter covered 90% of the country, while temperatures plummeted to -50°C. This created devastating grazing conditions for herders and their livestock, already reeling from a summer drought in 2015 that resulted in a 40% reduction in wheat harvests and grazing pasture in some areas.

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  • Cattle struggle to graze amid the dzud-like conditions of rural Mongolia
MANILA, PHILIPPINES  – Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Robert Schoellhammer and the Minister of Finance of Mongolia Bolor Bayarbaatar today signed a $2 million grant agreement as part of a United Nations-led emergency response for herders and their families afflicted by a protracted climate disaster in Mongolia, known as a “dzud.”“A livelihood and food crisis has been evolving in many parts of the country due to the dzud, under which an unusually dry summer is followed by a heavy winter snow and plummeting temperatures,” said Robert Schoellhammer, ADB Country Director in Mongolia. “Millions of animals that are unable to graze properly face starvation, jeopardizing the livelihoods and even lives of the herders who depend on them for income and food.”

According to the National Emergency Management Authority, snow this winter covered 90% of Mongolia’s total territory. The government said that at the end of March, about one third of Mongolia’s 339 districts were still in severe dzud or near-dzud conditions.

The number of animals that died as a result of the heavy snow and cold weather reached 669,000 by the end of March, the government said. The UN feared the number of dead animals could reach 1.2 million during the spring, when—on past experience—weak and starved animals could die in large numbers. From 1999, Mongolia was hit by dzuds for 3 years in a row, resulting in a reported loss of 11 million animals. This year, herders are culling their livestock, rather than letting them die of starvation, leading to an oversupply of meat and skins on the market and sending prices plummeting.

The UN estimates that more than 225,000 people or 41% of the total herder population are now feeling the impact of adverse weather conditions, including more than 28,000 children under the age of 5. It has indicated that $14.3 million is required for immediate assistance for the most vulnerable herder households.

Under these circumstances, the government requested the grant assistance from ADB’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, which was established in 2009 to provide resources to developing member countries for the restoration of life-preserving services to communities affected by a natural disaster.

ADB’s grant complements some $2.4 million being provided by the UN and will help address the most urgent needs of the vulnerable and affected populations, including food, hay, forage, medical supplies, and fuel.

In Mongolia, ADB approvals amounted to $297.5 million in 2015, including 4 sovereign loans for $275 million, 2 project grants for 6 million, and 17 technical assistance grants for $16.5 million.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh

Leadership Institute in Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR): Phase 1, was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 23-30 March 2014. I was able to participate in this event with the support of International Land Coalition (ILC) and the Programme on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (PWESCR). PWESCR is an international advocacy and educational initiative in the area of women and their economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR). From its base in India, PWESCR works to promote the human rights of women, addressing women’s poverty, health standards, and right to food, education, water, land and work. PWESCR is currently focused in South Asia.

Personally, the specialized training on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (WESCR) was an important dimension to consider in my work on rights of pastoral communities to common lands and resources in Mongolia. I got a lot of fresh ideas and insights from the Dhaka Phase of the Institute. The main topics, which were addressed during the course was understanding the Social Construction of Gender and Patriarchy,  Global Social and Poverty Structural Analysis,  Women- Livelihoods  and Unpaid Work, concepts of Human Rights and UN human rights systems,  Understanding the  International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), equality and nondiscrimination and  Policy frameworks for WESCR and human rights.

Some of the new ideas which are relevant to my work were related to the UN activity framework to implement ICESCR, CEDAW and other conventions, and how national governments and NGO’s, CBO’s can support for the implementation of gender equity and strengthening women’s rights by training, advocacy and NGO Shadow Reporting. There was a lot of exchange among the participants and the feminist organizations and activists of Bangladesh. I was impressed by the enthusiasm and anecdotes of many women’s right defenders in this country.

As a participant, I had also prepared an action-plan for a project  on Training and Awareness- building on recognizing Land Use rights of  four women groups in herder’s communities, which  JASIL will implement during the next 6 months period. The main objectives of our  action project are to:

  • Develop a plan for a training and awareness building
  • Implement plan on training / awareness-raising on how to enable women’s rights on land  use in four  selected communities in different ecosystems of Mongolia

 Through the implementation of this plan, I will focus how to improve and legally recognize the traditional land use rights of herder women, enable their  rights  through  equal participation in the co-management of pastureland and natural resources, decision making  at community level, and “valuing” the herder women’s unpaid work in Mongolia. JASIL will also support and conduct training of land use rights of women and men in our communities, with case study questionnaires to assess the unpaid work of rural women. I will also actively involve to the national level advocacy on women’s economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR)  in this regard. Lastly,  I would like also to share my learning from this program and planning to conduct a short training session (in cooperation with some other participants of this program)   on Women’s economic, social and cultural rights (WECSR) for other ILC Asia members.


Photo: Participants of the 4th Learning Institute for PWESCR, Phase 1, Dhaka, 23 -30 March 2014

Photo: Participants of the 4th Learning Institute for PWESCR, Phase 1, Dhaka, 23 -30 March 2014




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January 2014

ILC member in Mongolia, presents a policy brief on co-management of pastureland in Mongolia following implementation of this form of land use management in 54 communities in different regions of Mongolia. This form of co-management is being actively considered by the Mongolian government for guaranteeing land use rights of the tens of thousands of herder communities’ in Mongolia, and at the same time preventing land degradation.

Read in English: Policy Brief: Co-management of Pastureland in Mongolia

Read in Монгол хэл (click images)

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Nov 2013

New Zealand

UntitledDr.Hijaba Ykhanbai, Director of  JASIL, Mongolia attended the  25th Session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC), held in Rotorua, New Zealand, from 5 to 8 November 2013, and made a presentation in the Side Event on: “Implementing Non-Legal Binding  Instruments for All Types of Forests: Experiences from Asian countries”. His presentation highlighted the importance of Forest Instruments for Community Based Forest Resources Management in pastoral communities in Mongolia. He also stressed the importance of the participation of local communities for the development and assessment of national policies and measures on forest management, and proposed recognition of traditional forest and land use rights of communities, which are acceptable by the different countries in the region.   

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September 2013

The ILC Asia Regional Assembly and Knowledge Exchange Day was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia from 7 -9 September 2013. Thirty-five (35) civil society organizations (CSOs), representing more than 10 countries in Asia, along with representatives the government of Mongolia participated in the event.

Find detailled information on the event: ILC Asia Regional Assembly and Knowledge Exchange 2013 – Mongolia

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Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

7 September 2013

On 7 September, ILC Asia members exchanged information with Mongolian government officials and civil society organizations on pastoral issues to be included in the new draft law to be debated in the autumn session of the Parliament

 The ILC Asia Knowledge Exchange Day took place on 7 September 2013. In the morning half, discussions took place between ILC Asia members and representatives from the Government of Mongolia and civil society organizations on how to address the issue of collective management of pastoral land, especially taking into consideration on how customary practices of traditional nomadic pastoralists can be made into law. This topic will be debated in the 2013 autumn session of the Parliament as part of a larger discussion on the draft Land Law. A key point emphasized by ILC members during this discussion was that civil society, particularly people’s organizations and groups needs to be continuously engaged in the formulation and implementation process in order to determine that the proposed law is actually benefitting the people it proposes to serve.


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