12 June 2019, Ulaanbaatar – While in recent years, sustainable cashmere has increasingly captured national and international stakeholders’ attention, pockets of multi-dimensional challenges remain.  Mongolia faces the twin challenge of environment and social, as its economy continues to recover and grow.

These were among the key takeaways from Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration for Systemic Change – The Case of Sustainable Cashmere in Mongolia, held today in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The collaboration gathered together a dynamic mix of 100 representatives from the government, development partners, industry associations, national and international supply chain firms, media and academia.

“As the cashmere sector stands as a strategic sector for economic diversification, there is an increasing discussion that the promotion of cashmere harvested and produced in an environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive and responsible manner will help Mongolia to wrestle with the country’s challenges,” said Ms. Beate Trankmann, UNDP Resident Representative in Mongolia, in her opening remark.

She added, “The space that UNDP is creating today is for all of us to acknowledge our efforts, exchange ideas to build on them, and brainstorm for feasible collective actions that will facilitate a development of a roadmap for further consultation among all of us. The identification and development of collective action should be guided by the principles of inclusiveness, transparency, and a pursuit of collective goals. This will allow all of us to start engaging with each other based on a clear rule of engagement in advancing the sustainable cashmere value chain.”

The Multi-Stakeholder collaboration sought to help advance positioning Mongolia as a leading producer of sustainable cashmere by accelerating current efforts and support the Government of Mongolia in the implementation of its Cashmere programme from a sustainability perspective.

At the opening, Ms. J.Saule, Vice Minister of MOFALI highlighted Mongolia’s efforts in moving up the cashmere value chain and increasing capacities for value addition in country rather than exporting little processed cashmere.

She noted the progress and achievements the Government of Mongolia has made in positioning cashmere sector as a strategic sector in attaining inclusive and sustainable economic growth. He said, “The aspiration enshrined in the National Cashmere Programme demonstrates that Mongolian cashmere sector should be equally competitive in offering consistent demand for herders and connecting them to national and international buyers alike. The idea is to move from quantity to quality in goat numbers allowing herders to sustain livelihoods through price premium for sustainability and creating demand for sustainably sourced fibre in both European/ Western markets and China.”

One of the highlights of the event was to draft a proposal for structured national dialogue and to come up with a collective action on sustainable cashmere in Mongolia for further consultations and elaborations  among participants which was led by UNDP’s Global Commodity Programme. While doing so the participants sat down with national representatives to hear their challenges and insights on a range of issues, including competition from neighboring markets, environmental challenges, sustainable livelihoods for herders and entrepreneurs, and building capacity of the local work force. The discussions provided rare opportunities for policymakers and stakeholders to engage directly with the national community to gain a better understanding of the realities they are facing.

The event also provided an opportunity to identify best mechanisms available through exchange of best practices, further collaboration, and recommendations from national and international experts.

 

For more information, contact:

Bulgan Bayasgalant, Communications Analyst, UNDP
Email: Bulganchimeg.bayasgalant@undp.org
Mob: +976 99119317

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