First of it's kind project restoring Nomadic practices to enable ecosystem recovery and carbon uptake
area of project
Nomads familes engaged
Over the last generation, Mongolian Nomads have had to cope with many political and cultural changes. For nomadic communities and herders, their traditional way of life has been disturbed and much of their ancestral knowledge has been eroded.
Many nomads have adopted a more sedentary lifestyle – moving only once or twice a year, compared with four to five times in previous generations. This has led to overgrazing and degradation of the pastures and ecosystems. This results in CO2 being released from the ecosystems and soils.
Following three years of research, funded by the Darwin Initiative, a new Nomad driven project has been developed under the Plan Vivo Standard, through a partnership between the University of Leicester and the Mongolian Society for Range Management. It is the first of its kind in Mongolia, creating performance based payments to herder families based on changes they are able to make which impact positively on the earths carbon levels. Much of this is about restoring the traditional nomadic way of life to reduce over grazing pressure on sensitive ecosystems.
The project is operating in 3 regions of Mongolia. Tov Aimag, Arkanghai Aimag and Bayankhongor Soum.
CO2 benefit is created by restoration of the grassland ecosystems and the subsequent uptake of carbon into the vegetation and soils.
People are organised into 3 traditional extended family groups called Heseg. By pooling resources and skills, the hesegs are able to sell finished products rather than raw materials, and fetch higher prices. Nomads are empowered by the value placed on their traditional way of life.
Local herders are being financially compensated for protecting their local environment simply by adhering to traditional nomadic principles. Payments are improving livelihoods and food security, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable in the Hesegs.
The Heseg undertake biodiversity surveys across their lands. Herders are licencing the cutting of trees to protect the Saxual Forests on the edge of the Gobi Desert and working together to stop illegal hunting. Herders are also planting indigenous trees to reduce demands on existing woodland and enhance soil carbon levels