Home Institution

University of Denver

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

Mongolia: Geopolitics and the Environment


In Mongolia, 17% of the total landmass is designated as one of four kinds of “protected areas”—Strictly protected areas, national parks, nature reserves, and natural historical monuments. This study focuses primarily on national parks as a civil institution, through on the ground interviewing of ten individuals employed in the protected areas system, field-notes and observations, and community surveying totaling 38 respondents at two research locations, Hustai-Nuruu National Park and Lake Khovsgol National Park. Protected areas are constructed civil spaces, and as a result are sites of competing societal interests--the interests of scientists and conservationists, of tourism and business interests, and of local (and many times displaced) peoples, to name a few. This study aims to evaluate national parks in Mongolia--existing in their current legal iteration for about two decades--from the angle of institutional efficacy, the balancing of tourism and conservation interests, and the compensation for losses to national park buffer zone communities. Included with surveying of park operations, successes, challenges and goals as outlined by interviewees and park management plan publication, potential policy suggestions are made in light of research findings. These include suggestions for future policy in each park pertaining to issues of climate change, illegal grazing, buffer zone development, and conservation regulations for tourists--including campsite, boating, and transportation development suggestions.


Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Sciences | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy


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