Mongolia NCAP Project
Livestock in Mongolia: Daniel Miller
Climate Change and Sustainable Livelihood of Rural People in Mongolia
Many people in Mongolia depend on keeping livestock for their livelihoods. Estimates indicate that almost four out of ten people in Mongolia hold livestock and in rural areas this figure can be as high as seven out of ten. A large part of the rural population has maintained the traditional lifestyle of moving around with their herds of cattle, goats, sheep, camels and horses.
The high dependency on keeping livestock makes the country and especially the poor rural people highly vulnerable to climate-related hazards. This was shown again in the period 1999 to 2002 when three consecutive dzud years killed nearly 30% of the livestock and many rural households were struggling to survive. Recurring drought events have also led to reduced pasture growth and limited water availability further aggravating the poor living conditions of rural households.
Realizing the sensitivity of the livestock sector to climate-related hazards, many people have started to express their concerns about the potential negative effects of climate change on the already vulnerable rural population and in recent years various studies have been undertaken to further investigate the issue.
The NCAP project in Mongolia, which started in 2005 and ended in 2008 focused its activities on the following areas:
Firstly, the project has taken the support of the NCAP as an opportunity to further the understanding of baseline vulnerabilities in Mongolia. Rather than replicating past efforts, the project team has sought to further build on the existing knowledge and has carried out some more detailed studies in the field of climate science, pasture monitoring, water management and food security with the purpose of developing and formulating more detailed adaptation measures for herding communities in Mongolia.
Secondly, considerable efforts were made to increase public awareness of climate change in Mongolia through the publication of short articles in various newspapers and magazines and the broadcasting of television programs on climate change.
Finally, the project team has collaborated with key politicians and policymakers in Mongolia to further build legal and institutional foundations for implementing climate change adaptation policies in Mongolia and has developed a set of specific and feasible adaptation measures for rural herding communities in Mongolia.
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