Bundesamt für Naturschutz



International Workshop „Implementing wildlife-friendly measures in infrastructure planning and design in Mongolia“, 25 – 29 August 2015, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Central Asia is a region of global significance - its steppes and semi-deserts form the largest expanse of unspoiled grasslands in the world and support spectacular animal migrations. The conservation of migratory species and their habitats helps to safeguard the provision of essential ecosystem services, such as maintaining optimal foraging across a highly variable habitat resulting in increased carbon storage capacity of the grasslands, as well as cultural heritage values and economic benefits including sustainable tourism.

Roads, railways and other infrastructure pose a serious threat to migratory species, often blocking entire migration routes. The negative impacts of infrastructure on wildlife and communities in Central Asia have significantly increased in recent years due to the rapid development of the mining and natural resource extraction sectors, especially in Mongolia. There are a number of large-scale transcontinental infrastructure projects currently being planned and built, which could also become barriers to the movements of wildlife and people.

The species concerned are listed on the Appendices of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), are covered by its Central Asian Mammals Initiative (CAMI) and in the focus of the CMS Guidelines on Mitigating the Impact of Linear Infrastructure and Related Disturbance on Mammals in Central Asia. Furthermore, in Mongolia the government has set up national wildlife-crossing standards by the National Standard and Metrology Agency in 2015. With this in mind, representatives of the Mongolian government (including Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Finance, Ulaanbaatar railway authority, CMS National Focal Points, etc.), representatives of the German government, donors (e.g. ADB, KfW), private sector, NGOs (e.g. TNC, WCS, WWF), academia, and CMS met and discussed several of the current issues under debate.

The following reports document the workshop and with the agreed action plan also show the common effort and future steps to balance economic development and conservation.