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Lessons from Tree Planting in Mongolia

Mongolia ReportsDespite Mongolia's low population density, there is increasingly high demand for timber, both for use in construction and manufacturing as well as for fuelwood to support a growing population. This demands drives the growth in illegal and unsustainable logging, which has led to the depletion and degradation of forest resources, particularly near urban areas. This trend is particularly potent in the southern areas, where it may be contributing to desertification.

In response to growing concerns over the state of its forest resources, the Government of Mongolia has undertaken a number of tree planting initiatives, both in the northern forests and in the desert steppe region. This tree planting scheme includes the recently launched Green Wall project in the Gobi Desert, which seeks to reduce soil erosion and dust storms and to mitigate the possible ongoing desertification.

This report evaluates the success of these tree planting initiatives in Mongolia in order to identify optimal policy responses to the deterioration of the country's forest resources. It has found that these costly planting initiatives have had little success to date, and that, therefore, more effort should be directed at designing programs that promote the natural regeneration of degraded forest landscapes.

The report also urges increased attention to the protection of existing forest resources from illegal and unsustainable harvesting.

Read full report (1.68mb pdf)

September 2006

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