I lead the Mongolian Rangelands and Resilience (MOR2) project in Mongolia, where our team studies nomadic pastoralists and rangeland ecology. The main goal of this project is to understand whether or not community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) organizations will benefit the rangelands and rural people in Mongolia, which have been threatened by recent political and economic transformations as well as climate and land-use changes.
In community-based natural resource management, people cooperate and collectively work together to find solutions to natural resource problems as a community. Right now, we are focusing on understanding the effects of climate change on Mongolian pastoral systems with the goal of determining whether or not CBNRM organizations can help make these systems more resilient to climate change. We are doing this by comparing ecological and social conditions in communities that have CBNRM and those that don’t.
Our preliminary data from 10 countries in the Gobi region show that areas managed by CBNRM organizations have more vegetation cover and biomass on average, and households in these communities are more innovative, proactive and better prepared for harsh weather disasters, compared to communities without formal community organizations for resource management.
This project is all about breaking barriers between an individual approach to rangeland management and a collective community-based approach. It’s about building a bridge between herders, scientists and government and non-governmental organizations. To learn more about the Mongolian Rangelands Resilience project, click here!