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Buffer zone project


Ger and cattleBuffer Zone Project

The buffer zone project can factually be characterized as a ’community development project.’ Effective buffer zone management requires the active participation of four specific groups of stakeholders: the herdsmen and the three village communities, municipal councils, the administrative body of Hustai National Park and the Buffer Zone Council. All these participating groups will be involved in management strategy.

The basis of the project is the stimulation of self-help. Essential for the sustainable management of the buffer zone is the control over the grassland areas, water, other natural resources and small-scale enterprises. The buffer zone project strives towards the integration of buffer zone and Park management, whereby the sustainable preservation of the National Park's own unique biodiversity remains the binding factor.

Milking domestic horsesStarting point are the smallest possible basic groups of herdsmen and villagers. Guided by experts these groups will learn to profile themselves and to develop their capacity to estimate, plan, organize, manage and control themselves, the natural resources or initiated enterprises. It is the only way to come to a sound management of the grasslands, control of water resources, improvement of livestock quality, product distribution and other significant issues.

The most important groups of stakeholders (herdsmen, park staff, buffer zone committees, Buffer Zone Council, municipal councils and representatives from the relevant ministries) will be involved in the training program.

Only through mutual counseling and collaboration at different hierarchical levels will it be possible to take expedient actions for instance the coordination of the influx of people from other areas into the buffer zone. After all, the success of this strategy will certainly raise the expectation of others who want to share in its benefits, resulting in an intensification of the demographic pressure on Hustai National Park. Each group of stakeholders will be trained in group organization, shared planning and decision-making, group proficiency, self-control and evaluation, conflict management and cooperation. Cooperation with other self-help groups in Mongolia, such as that in the Gurvansaikhan Gobi National Park will be encouraged. Technical support and advice can be gained through outsourced external Mongolian experts.

Financial support will be given to the various training programs, coaching of the activities by the self-help groups and buffer zone development funds in aid of some small-scale ’community development’ projects.