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Desertification affects 77% of Mongolian territory

By M.ZOLJARGAL

The Ministry of Nature, Environment and Green Development (MNEGD) presented the public with Mongolia’s first ever “Desertification Atlas” on September 18. With the atlas, Mongolia has now scientifically acknowledged desertification data, which will serve an important role in implementing practical, detailed and efficient measures against desertification in provinces.

Scientists and experts of the MNEGD and the Institute of Geo-ecology of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences worked together to formulate the atlas. The desertification data and land degradation conditions of Mongolia are narrowly explained in the atlas with statistics, graphs, maps and locations. According to environmental officials, the atlas is also expected to be particularly useful in determining the main factors leading to desertification; assessing and formulating projections of desertification; reducing land degradation; as well as decelerating desertification in Mongolia.

Projections of desertification and land degradation are released every ten years and a second atlas will be published in 2020.

The atlas shows that 77.8 percent of total Mongolian territory has been affected by desertification to differing degrees. In detail, the vulnerability of 35.3 percent of land is low, 25.9 percent is moderate, 6.7 percent is high, while 9.9 percent is very high. In comparison to 2006, the statistics prove that the percentage of Mongolian land greatly vulnerable has now risen by two to three percent.

Places with the greatest evidence of desertification in Mongolia and in urgent need of rehabilitation are Myangad and Durgun soums of Khovd Province; Umnugovi soum of Uvs Province; Santmargad soum of Zavkhan Province; Khaliun soum of Govi-Altai; Galuut and Erdenetsogt soums of Bayankhongor Province; and most soums of Govisumber Province.

Places with steppe and the central regions are most affected by desertification in Mongolia.

Chief of the Nature and Environment Information Center, S.Khudulmur, reported that two factors are the primary cause of desertification and 40 percent of Mongolian territory has been affected by desertification because of natural causes, while the remaining 60 percent of desertification is the result of harmful human activities. Compared to desertification and land degradation conditions in 2006, lands with high, especially those with very high desertification vulnerability, have grown and new territories have been affected since 2006. For instance, the northern part of Bayankhongor Province, the area along the Orkhon River and the steppes of Dornod Province.

Mongolia joined the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in 1996 and reformed its national program to combat desertification in 1996, 2003, and 2006.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=6107

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