Community-based Conservation


Mongolian Children's Aid and Development Fund has supported WCS Mongolia over the years to provide ecological education to children and residents of Eastern Steppe region. Through their support we have initiated Nomadic Nature Trunk Program in partnership with Denver Zoo in 2007. We are happy to provide this year additional trunks to local schools, Protected Areas and their buffer zone community based natural resource use and management herder groups with training and nomadic nature trunks with support from Mongolian Children's Aid and Development Fund and the U. S. State Department. 

 We are also very happy to continue some of the events which where originally funded by RARE International. The World Biodiversity Day Event was celebrated in Choibalsan of Dornod Province for the 6th year in May of 2015 with big turnout of residents and school children thanks to Mongolian Children's Aid and Development Fund. 

RARE - Campaign for Sustainable Hunting Practices on the Eastern Steppe 

Rare Conservation

RARE is an international NGO which seeks to carry out biodiversity conservation through implementing community-based social marketing campaigns in over 50 countries across the developing world. 

Conservation ultimately comes down to people – their behaviors toward nature, their beliefs about its value, and their ability to protect it without sacrificing basic life needs. Therefore, conservationists must become as skilled in social change as in science; as committed to community-based solutions as national and international policymaking. 

The RARE approach consists of:

  • Determining human behaviors causing threats to biodiversity, such as overfishing, illegal logging, or unsustainable agriculture
  • Conducting an ongoing search for the most innovative community-based solutions proven to change these behaviors – what Rare calls conservation “bright spots”
  • Launching social marketing campaigns to increase adoption of these alternative behaviors in the world’s highest priority areas for conservation. 
While Rare sources solutions, it does not directly implement outreach at the local level. 

Changing behaviors requires a nuancedunderstanding of social and cultural norms and trusted messengers from within each community. Therefore, Rare trains local partners and supports them during all stages of implementing what’s known as a “Pride” campaign. A Pride campaign inspires people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their communities unique, while also giving them alternatives to environmentally destructive behaviors. 

RARE in Mongolia 

At WCS Mongolia, Bolortsetseg Sanjaa is implementing a Rare Pride Campaign titled ‘Campaign for Sustainable Hunting Practices on the Eastern Steppe’ since Feb 2009. The overall aim is to protect gazelles in the Eastern Steppe by working with local hunters so that they become aware of, and follow hunting regulations, in order to reduce the threat of illegal hunting. 

It seeks to increase the Mongolian Gazelle population by 20%, by reducing the urban people's and soum citizens' widespread and unsustainable hunting of steppe wildlife, by 2015. This threat will be reduced as hunters start to follow regulations, and begin to grow vegetables, outside of the hunting season. This will be enabled by training on laws and alternative livelihoods, and improvements in the hunting permit system, which will be adopted by local people and by relevant government agencies. 

The target audience will be willing to engage in this new behavior because the Pride campaign will change their attitude about protecting wildlife, their perception of the ease of purchasing a hunting permit, and knowledge of hunting regulations. 

The social marketing strategies used to increase awareness, shifts attitudes, inspire conversations, and change behaviors include: 

  • School visits including lessons and games about local wildlife - Radio interviews, including information on hunting laws
  • TV interview and information broadcasts
  • SMS communication in Dornod Aimag (province) to communicate important events and hunting laws
  • Distribution of printed information, posters, promotional t-shirts, hats and bags (all with Pride campaign slogans)
  • Displaying of Pride Campaign posters on large billboards
  • Events organized on days such as ‘World Heritage Day’ and World Biodiversity Day
  • Hunter training workshops on….. 
To reduce illegal hunting of Mongolian gazelles by Urban Hunters (defined as hunters living in Choibalsan city and nearby soums), the Pride campaign will increase awareness of and adherence to all hunting regulations (hunting permit requirements, offtake limits, open and closed hunting seasons, and no hunting zones). The campaign will leverage mass media and community-based approaches to communicate details of all hunting laws (most of which are completely unknown to the average person) and how illegal hunting directly impacts gazelle population sizes. Collaborating closely with the local Environmental Protection Agency, State Specialization Inspection Agency, and Eastern Mongolia Protected Area Administration, the campaign will run targeted workshops to train hunters in regulation definitions and processes; and partnership meetings to reform the hunting permit system so it will be effective in supporting legal hunting. This campaign will be deemed successful if there has been a significant increase in awareness of hunting laws and a reduction in number of people hunting illegally both inside and outside of protected areas, in order to maintain gazelle populations in the short term and increase population numbers by 2015.

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