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Workshop on Minimizing Conflicts between Migrating Wildlife and Mining in Central Asia

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Description: 

Central Asian countries such as Mongolia are rich in mineral resources, triggering great investments from international companies. But mining and infrastructure operations can have serious negative impacts on migratory species and their habitats. This is of special concern to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), since CMS-listed ungulates such as Mongolian gazelles, kulan, saiga antelopes and wild camel depend on interconnected ecosystems. The on-going construction of large mining operations, roads, railways, fences and other linear obstructions through already fragile and threatened ecosystems not only hinders the animals’ movements, it also causes direct mortality when fleeing animals run into them or get caught in barbed wire when trying to cross. But not only biodiversity, herders and rural villages are also affected facing deterioration of their health and traditional livelihoods, as well as displacement. Water resources become even scarcer in an already dry environment.

The current pace of resource extraction and infrastructure development in Mongolia offers great economic opportunities but also poses major challenges to the conservation of the country’s ecological wealth. Solutions and recommendations to address the problem already exist. Urgent action is needed to apply such often very simple and cost effective measures.

The above mentioned workshop therefore brought together government representatives, companies and donors as well as relevant experts, scientists and NGOs in order to establish a dialogue among all stakeholders and to address the gaps between knowledge and action.

The workshop was a joint initiative of CMS, the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany (BMU), the Mongolian Ministry of Environment and Green Development, the German Federal Agencyfor Nature Conservation (BfN) with its International Academy for Nature Conservation, and generously funded by the BMU. The German government signed bilateral agreements for cooperation on resource extraction with Mongolia (2011) and Kazakhstan (2012), which include cooperation to ensure sustainability of the resource extraction. Together with CMS, and within the frame of this cooperation, Germany is interested to engage in supporting the minimization of adverse effects of infrastructure developments in the region.

Workshop results

The workshop aimed at analyzing the current situation and trends, and discussing approaches for minimising the effects of mining and infrastructure development on migrating wildlife in Central Asia, with a focus on Mongolia. The workshop identified international best practice and discussed challenges to implementing effective mitigation measures. Participants agreed on a Declaration of Intent and a joint action plan addressing a range of important stakeholders and outlining specific activities, timeframes and responsibilities. A second workshop i splanned to take place in September 2014 to review and enforce this concerted action.

Dates
20 Jun 2013 to 24 Jun 2013
OrganizerCMS, German Federal Ministry of the Environment (BMU), Mongolian Ministry of Environment and Green Development, German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation International Academy for Nature Conservation
CMS InstrumentCentral Asian Mammals Initiative
TypeWorkshop
StatusConcluded
CountryGermany
CityIsle of Vilm
VenueInternational Academy for Nature Conservation Isle of Vilm, Germany