Forest protection takes center stage in Mongolia

“Forests are essential for our life. We want to regenerate and preserve them for our children, and the next generation after that," Mongolian herder says.

The small village of Tunkhel in the Selenge province of northern Mongolia is a vestige of the bygone Socialist era. During that time, it developed into a hub for timber production. Today, it upholds the reputation with its numerous sawmills juxtaposed between rows of brightly painted wooden houses amid rolling hills and grasslands in the distance. The timber produced here from pine and birch trees, is mostly sold for the construction of homes, fences and furniture to neighboring towns, as well as to the country’s capital of Ulaanbaatar.

Woman in Tunkhel
Woman in Tunkhel

“After the Socialist era ended in the ‘90s and we shifted to a market economy, the environment here became very degraded,” says Dainagul, the manager of Khangai-Burged, a small enterprise specialized in wood production. “There were years of uncontrollable use of forest resources because everyone was cutting down trees. Things finally got better after the government restricted logging to enterprises like ours with a valid permit.”

Mongolia may not be the first country to come to mind when one thinks of forest protection. However, in recent years the issue has shot to the top of the government’s agenda after Mongolia became the first non-tropical country to become a partner of the UN-REDD Programme in 2011.

To read the complete, original story, please visit UN-REDD. 

UN entities involved in this initiative
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Development Programme