Nomadic Herders’ consults with the Mongolian Ministries
Svein Mathiesen and Bjorn Alfthan have headed south from Yakutsk and Yakutia over the past weekend in order to continue building the GEF project proposal in Mongolia, one of the two countries involved, with Russia, in the Nomadic Herders GEF project.
After 30 hours on the Trans-Siberian train from Irkutsk to Ulaan Bataar, they met up in sunny (and comparatively warm) Ulaan Bataar with the local coordinating team for Nomadic Herders, Solongo Tsegevmid and Tsogtsaikhan Purev, in order to make consult with the relevant Ministries in Ulaan Bataar, and to visit Tsaganuur and the surrounding taiga to consult with the Dukha reindeer herders in this project.
On the morning of Thursday 28th, the team met with Mr. B. Tulga, Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Green Development, and Mr. A. Enkhbat, the GEF Operation Focal Point within the Government of Mongolia. It was a fruitful discussion! The Vice-Minister outlined his thoughts, wishes and priorities regarding the GEF project, citing a few concerns, including investigating the status of wild reindeer populations within the target area; working closely with the newsly-established Protected Area administration, and engaging with tourism operators in the region for the benefit of the herders’ themselves. A key theme recurrent in the conversation was a need to improve the livelihoods of the Dukha reindeer herders whilst conserving the environment, including by increasing the number of reindeer.
The team continued the consultations in early afternoon, meeting with Mr. E. Zorigt, Environmental Policy Advisor to the President. The team was happy to learn that the President had visited the taiga and stayed overnight with herders in late December 2012.
The Advisor outlined the President’s wishes to improve the livelihoods of the herders, including for the project to focus on creating small, sustainable businesses for the herders, and focusing on climate change affects within the region.
On Saturday 1st March, the team will be travelling to Tsaganuur and the taiga in order to undertake consultations with the herders about the project.