The SPACES project of GIZ together with MET/DPAM implemented several environmental education and communication (EEC) pilot projects for selected protected areas (PAs) in Mongolia in 2022 and 2023.
Five small-scale, tangible, grass-root level pilot measures were proposed and designed in 2022 to promote knowledge and awareness about environmental issues and eco-system functions and offer practical experience on how nature conservation can be promoted in the local context. Moreover, the actions attempt to promote awareness raising and emotional attachment with wildlife and nature among young people, starting from early childhood and continued through adolescence. According to all interview partners in Mongolia this is seen as the most effective way for EEC in the local context. Out of the five pilot project proposals, three were selected for implementation in 2022 and 2023.
The first pilot activity was selected in the Western Cluster of Kharus Nuur, Munkhairkhan, Myangan Ugalzat Pas, and focuses on outdoor youth camps with a focus on wildlife monitoring using camera traps and video editing. This activity was subcontracted to a local NGO and is planned for implementation in June 2023 based on the concept for EEC Outdoor Workshops for Youth and the Pilot Project Concept.
The second pilot project was a 5-day outdoor youth workshop in Khan Khentii PA in May 2023. The event was the first practice test of an eco-system exploration trail developed in 2022 at Khangal Lake, a natural monument belonging to KKSPA. The workshops was run by rangers, administrators and Info-Center staff of KKSPA. In preparation for this event, several trainings and trail building workshops had been organized in winter 2022/23, and an intensive exchange was held for curriculum development purposes in cooperation with Sunjidmaa Renchin of the Environmental Education Centre at the National University. More information on the outdoor youth workshop can be found in a brief report about the event, incl. a detailed program and a photo documentation.
The third pilot measure was a 4-day awareness raising tour to the popular destination Khagiin Khar Nuur for horse guides from Gorkhi-Terelj, Khan Khentii and KKSPA rangers in May 2023. The objective was to get to know each other and jointly look at the environmental impacts of horse riding tours into KKSPA and to take initial steps towards future cooperation agreements (Volunteer Rangers) and collaborative regulations (MoU) with horse guide associations. After the trip one of the guides shared a post with his almost 10,000 followers on Facebook: “Members of the Ar Tuul community, guides of a travel company that organizes tours to Khagiin Khar Nuur (Black Lichen Lake), along with the guides of Batsumber, have been on a horse trip to Khagiin Khar Nuur together with the Rangers of Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area. The first issue to be solved is the sanitary situation and issue of waste. We started by cleaning up the massive amount of garbage left in a nut collectors camp. We cleaned everything and brought it down. How can people be so horrible? Also, all travelers on other trips should take their trash back with them! We need to love and protect nature.”