Restoring degraded grasslands in rural Mongolia

Mongolia — Dundgov, Bayanhongor and Arkhangai provinces
Assisted natural regeneration
tonne / mo


In simple terms, this project helps lushes pastures do their thing by sequestering carbon into the soil, shrub and grass lands, through appropriate cultivation and animal grazing methods. This also encourages soil and plant regeneration to maximise the amount of carbon that is removed from the atmosphere and therefore help reduce the negative effects of climate change. The project does all this, whilst also supporting 140 nomadic herder households through financial support, training and education. Other positives about this project include, rehabilitation of wild species such as the Mongolian Gazelle, Ibex, Red Deer, Marmot and grassland habitats and key forest vegetation areas like Saxaul forests.

Key benefits

⛰ Sequestering carbon through pasture lands using better livestock management

👨‍👨‍👧‍👦Supporting 140 nomadic herders

🦌 Preserving species like Gazelle, Ibex and Marmot

🌱 Reducing erosion of soil and vegetation

🔖 Legally binding agreements to conversation land and habitat

Assisted natural regeneration
Community Support
Mongolia — Dundgov, Bayanhongor and Arkhangai provinces
Size (km)
770 km2
Size (ha)
77,000 ha
Project owner(s)
Mongolian Society for Range Management (MSRM)
Project coordinators
Mongolian Society for Range Management (MSRM)
Plan Vivo
Markit Environmental Registry
University of Leicester
Key supporters
University of Leicester, Darwin Initiative
Technical document
Download here

Project story

This project covers three ecologically significant pasture land (steppe), mountain and desert steppe environments in Mongolia. The projects overall aim is to enhance biodiversity conservation led by the communities of nomadic peoples who live in these rural areas. Herders undertake activities designed to sequester carbon in grasslands through improved grazing practices with their livestock. Using livestock to their advantage, these nomadic herders are helping to combat degradation of these ecosystems, protecting globally important biodiversity heritage and in return are being compensated for their efforts, which helps improves the livelihood, wellbeing and education in their communities.

The project was created with help from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom and managed by the Mongolian Society for Range Management (MSRM), which is focused on supporting these herder groups. MSRM is a nationally recognised NGO with a substantial track record in community and herder group support and engagement. They are the directly responsible for overall project coordination and administration. The project has been developed under the Plan Vivo Standard and is based on an earlier Darwin Initiative funded project.

A combined area of this land covers approximately 77,000 hectares (or 770km2). As a conservative estimate, based on site specific field data and on carbon modelling, indicate that some whopping 132,000 tCO2 will be sequestered across these regions through these practices over a 5 year period.

This is a first of its kind in Mongolia — as an innovative method of carbon sequestration and the focus on being community-driven and giving nomadic herders a voice. There are some 140 herder households collaborating together on this. These are the Hongor Ovoo herder group, Ikh Tamir soum (district), Arkhangai aimag (region); Ikh Am herder group, Undurshireet soum, Tov aimag; and Dulaan Khairkhan herder group, Bogd soum, Bayankhongor aimag. To name a few.

There are already agreements in place with local authorities, which gives participating herder groups recognised tenure rights over their seasonal pastures. User rights to key natural resources, particularly grasslands and water resources are already established through customary norms and are supported by specific legal provision such as the 2002 Land Law. Fair and equitable agreements and project management plans have been put in place to give access to support even the poorest and most vulnerable peoples within the participating groups.

This project provide financial support for nomadic communities so that herders can have fewer livestock to be able to live and are encouraged to move more often as they once did with smaller herds. This gives pastures the opportunity to recover and become more resilient by reducing soil erosion and creates less competition for the natural wildlife.

In other words, by supporting this project helps lushes pastures do their natural thing by sequestering carbon into the soil, shrub and grass lands, whilst also supporting herders in preserving and protecting this beautiful environmental through traditional nomadic practices.

No items found.
Social benefits
  • Financial support from carbon credits for the 140 nomadic herders
  • Focus on traditional practices and traditions for herding and livelihoodCollaborative production and marketing of local brand milk products and yak wool products
  • Enhanced local household income through the sale of wild fruit and nuts
  • Community members are trained in animal survey techniques by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL)
  • Help fund the digging of hand wells to enhance water supply in under-used pasture areas
Ecological benefits
  • Enhancing the natural grasslands through better land management and reducing erosion
  • Through appropriate fodder/forage cultivation and grazing management, the project will encourage soil regeneration. This process will remove carbon from the atmosphere and therefore help reduce the negative effects of climate change
  • Tree nurseries established to provide native tree species for reforestation activities
  • Conducting manned surveys and camera trap surveys to monitor and protect threatened target species such as red deer, argali, marmot and Mongolian gazelle
  • Targeted provision of hay in areas where wild animals lack adequate fodder to reduce shrub and grass grazing
Project location

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