Theme 7: Capacity--Oral Sessions

Description

Mongolia's rangeland is one of the largest remaining contiguous ecosystems encompassing 2.6% of the global grasslands, and almost three-fourths of the country's territory provides essential ecosystem services (ESS) for over 3 million Mongolians and 71 million livestock. The well-being of 171,605 pastoral households directly depends on the rangelands receiving provisional services in the forms of nutrition, material use and energy, regulatory services, and cultural services. This study explored herders' perceptions of these ESS, their evaluation for ESS values, and observations of ESS change for the last decade. The study found that Mongolian herders have more benefits from provisional ESS (on average, 10 out of 18 identified), including nutritional and material use (four out of six and nine respectively), and energy services (two types out of three). An average herder household said to receive eight types of regulatory services out of 10, including environment regulation, storage/sequestration, erosion control, disease, and pest control, flood and wind protection, water cycle, soil formation and climate regulation, and six cultural services out of seven such as experiential and intellectual interactions with nature, historical and cultural heritage, both symbolic and religious-spiritual customs and nomadic identity and pride. The herders most valued the provisioning services, followed by regulatory services, and reported a "declining trend in provisioning ESS for the past decade, while, in their views, non-provisioning services remained "the same." Herders' reported about the exploitation of local ecosystems by external companies without sharing benefits with pastoral communities and contributing to the ESS restoration and maintenance, which was the expression of the common rangeland marginalization narrative. The study recommends necessary policies and actions to ensure equitable benefit distribution derived from rangelands to support adaptive capacity and well-being of pastoral communities, essentially acknowledge the importance of non-provisional ESS across various levels.

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Mongolian Herders’ Evaluation of Rangeland Ecosystems Services, Values, and Changes over the Past Decade

Mongolia's rangeland is one of the largest remaining contiguous ecosystems encompassing 2.6% of the global grasslands, and almost three-fourths of the country's territory provides essential ecosystem services (ESS) for over 3 million Mongolians and 71 million livestock. The well-being of 171,605 pastoral households directly depends on the rangelands receiving provisional services in the forms of nutrition, material use and energy, regulatory services, and cultural services. This study explored herders' perceptions of these ESS, their evaluation for ESS values, and observations of ESS change for the last decade. The study found that Mongolian herders have more benefits from provisional ESS (on average, 10 out of 18 identified), including nutritional and material use (four out of six and nine respectively), and energy services (two types out of three). An average herder household said to receive eight types of regulatory services out of 10, including environment regulation, storage/sequestration, erosion control, disease, and pest control, flood and wind protection, water cycle, soil formation and climate regulation, and six cultural services out of seven such as experiential and intellectual interactions with nature, historical and cultural heritage, both symbolic and religious-spiritual customs and nomadic identity and pride. The herders most valued the provisioning services, followed by regulatory services, and reported a "declining trend in provisioning ESS for the past decade, while, in their views, non-provisioning services remained "the same." Herders' reported about the exploitation of local ecosystems by external companies without sharing benefits with pastoral communities and contributing to the ESS restoration and maintenance, which was the expression of the common rangeland marginalization narrative. The study recommends necessary policies and actions to ensure equitable benefit distribution derived from rangelands to support adaptive capacity and well-being of pastoral communities, essentially acknowledge the importance of non-provisional ESS across various levels.