Land Degradation Offset and Mitigation in Western Mongolia



Project start date:

May 2015

Estimated end date:

December 2020

Focus area:

  • eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions
  • Project office:

    UNDP in Mongolia

    Implementing partner:

    Ministry Of Nature And Environ

    Full project information  

    Funding Support by

    Donor name

  • United Nations Development Pro
  • Global Environment Fund Truste
  • Amount contributed


    Delivery in previous fiscal year

    2020 $1,418

    2019 $116,426

    2018 $346,337

    2017 $550,955

    2016 $300,048

    2015 $4,501

    Mining in Mongolia


    Over 7.8% of Mongolia's territory has been affected by desertification and land degradation. Desertification is mainly caused by improper management of natural resources and is likely to worsen with climate change.

    Land degradation has become a concerning issues, intensifying desertification, deteriorating nature and affecting biodiversity and ecosystem integrity. Main economic sectors including agriculture and manufacturing, as well as the achivement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are negatively affected by the decline in land restoration and rehabilitation, capacity and productivity.


    Areas highly affected by desertification (orange)


    The lack of policy and coordination in pastureland use combined with irresponsible and illegal mining are contributing to the already significant land degradation.

    Mongolia's rapid economic growth is a direct result of mining development. As of 2014, there were a total of 2768 mining exploration and exploitation licenses delivered which covers 7.5% of the country's territory. Irresponsible mining is not only posing risks to land, soil, water and and biodiversity but is also affecting ecosystem intergrity and the livelihood of herders dependent on nomadic husbandry.

    Project goal

    “Conservation of ecosystem integrity and resilience, biodiversity and livelihoods in Western Mongolia’s productive landscapes”


    “To reduce negative impacts of mining on rangelands in the western mountain and steppe region by incorporating mitigation hierarchy and offset for land degradation into the landscape level planning and management”

    Component 1: Emplacement of the land degradation offset and mitigation hierarchy framework and capacity.

    Component 2: Application of mitigation hierarchy and land degradation offset mechanism.

    Project outcomes

    Outcome 1: Land degradation mitigation and offset framework operationalised, through eco-regional land use planning and capacity development

    • Land degradation mitigation and offset procedures and guidelines developed, integrated in the mining concession planning and licensing system and operationalized;
    • Participatory and science-based eco-regional assessment conducted in western Mongolia and applied to provincial (landscape-level) land use planning;
    •  Capacity of key stakeholders developed to apply mitigation and offsetting at the national, aimag and soum levels, and public awareness raised;


    • Relevant provision of law to incorporate offsetting in land use plans at the nationa, aimag and soum levels;
    • Guideline for the implementation of offsettig and mitigation hierarchy through SLM;
    • 10% increase in area of priority conservation areas identified for protection by eco-regional assessment and expansion of new national and local protected area;
    • 25% increase in capacity scorecard;

    Outcome 2: Land degradation mitigation and offsets applied through SLM within selected landscapes

    • Integrated land management plans operationalised in selected landscapes with full participation of key stakeholders;  
    • Land degradation mitigation and offsets piloted in selected landscapes;
    • Capacity of local stakeholders developed through demonstration and application of innovative SLM approaches;


    • At least 100,000ha of area of pastoral production system and natural habitats applying integrated planning, management and offsetting. With at least one offset agreement signed;
    • 50% increase on the 2015 EMP budgets of partner mining companies in the pilot landscapes;
    • 50% or more pilot site herder families households applying innovative SLM technologies;
    • 30% of the total grazing/forested area or degraded springs and wells in the pilot landscapes have been subject to innovative SLM interventions.

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