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Library Traditional livelihoods and mining in Mongolia's changing climate: exploring the potential of cross-sectoral partnerships in achieving sustainability

Traditional livelihoods and mining in Mongolia's changing climate: exploring the potential of cross-sectoral partnerships in achieving sustainability

Traditional livelihoods and mining in Mongolia's changing climate: exploring the potential of cross-sectoral partnerships in achieving sustainability

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Date of publication
December 2015
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The growing scale of resource development activities accentuates the complexity underlying the sustainability of traditional livelihoods in Mongolia. At the same time, Mongolia experiences growing vulnerability to climatic variability and change, expressed in the form of intense desertification, water stress, and extreme dzuds. This paper is based on APN-funded capacity building workshops that focused on understanding a) how climatic changes impact herding and mining—although in varied forms, and b) how each sector may leverage its resources to devise action, strategies and tools that may help build capacities and boost resilience towards changing climatic conditions. Workshop discussions highlighted that traditional livelihoods remain under multiple threats from climatic variability and change; and institutionalised mechanisms of creating cross-sectoral partnerships - such as a network hub of key stakeholder groups - is fundamental in ensuring climate-resilient coexistence between mining and herding sectors.Highlights:this project was a first of its kind to discuss the complex links between livelihoods, the mining sector and climate change and natural disasters in Mongoliaa key focus of the project was brainstorming the idea of establishing a network hub of key actors that would value the strengths of individual sector groups and allow partnerships by identifying issues of common concerna clear highlight of the project is the greater appreciation of traditional herding knowledge and its indispensable role in natural disaster management and reliefmining industry in Mongolia is open to discussion centred around climate change and discussing its future implications on the sector. This is particularly noteworthy in light of a more reserved take on global warming internationally across the sectorAs a result of the finding of this study, policy recommendations are presented for five key areas:green development: the significance of green development at the local level is fundamental to guide changes in behaviour across Mongolia with regard to climate change, disaster management and resilience building. Workshop participants strongly advocated for stakeholder involvement in the development of a climate change policy framework at the local leveldisaster management: central government needs to build a better knowledge base on what forms a disaster, and disaster management and prevention plans, both for pre- and post-disasters. Investment in terms of obtaining best practices from national and international sources may help the process with better managing and addressing disastersmining and impacts of climate change: the mining sector in Mongolia is open to discussing potential impacts of climate change, climate variability and natural disasters on the mining sector. The sector is willing to embrace action to address climatic perturbations as there is an acceptance of a strong business case for the mining industry to take note of changing environmental conditions across Mongoliagreater recognition of traditional herding knowledge: Mongolia should further invest in studies that reaffirm the importance of herder movement, and its role in disaster management and maintaining pasture quality. Additionally, a systematic policy refocus to move attention from herd quantity to quality is essential in the country’s current policy landscape. Improved government funding may allow studies on genetic herd improvements and the importance of focusing on a balance herd compositionknowledge hub: an established avenue for stakeholder groups to come together, discuss common concerns, debate options and identify pathways forward is vital to Mongolia’s future sustainability. Until such time when legislative requirements call for cross-sectoral cooperation, a knowledge hub may help institutionalise the practice of nudging sectors that may have been in conflict thus far to cooperate and use consensus—not conflict—to ascertain solutions to common challenges

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