First national forest inventory in 40 years conducted

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The Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism has completed the REDD+ National Forest Inventory in Mongolia project with Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The results of the project were presented to members of Parliament and Cabinet, forestry specialists, and the press on December 13, at Shangri-La Hotel.

Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism D.Oyunkhorol presented opening remarks, underlining that Mongolia was able to conduct its first national forest inventory in 40 years. The minister added that Mongolia is a partner country of the United Nations’ collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), and that one of the essential requirements for partner countries is a national forest monitoring system to collect basic data for the conservation and sustainable management of forest resources. The data collected in the GIZ-assisted program will also improve Mongolia’s forest-related climate change reporting for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“This extensive forest inventory conducted for the first time in 40 years is very significant, because when we report to the UNFCCC, it opens up opportunities for Mongolia to receive financial support from international projects and programs and to participate in carbon credit trading. It’s also highly significant in achieving the goals of the National Forest Policy, which aims to use technical and policy-based models for sustainable and low-carbon forest management adapted to climate change,” Minister D.Oyunkhorol noted.

The National Forest Inventory, which started in 2012, states that 12 million hectares of Mongolia’s total land is covered in forest, which was roughly the same area recorded in 2011 through a small-scale forest inventory. The study estimates that there are approximately five billion trees in Mongolia, and that although 3,025 saplings are growing on each hectare of Mongolia’s forests, most of them have been damaged  by insect infestation, fire, or drought. In particular, the inventory’s data indicates that 18.6 percent of trees in Mongolia have been affected by fire, while a total of nine million square meters of trees have been infested with insects.

Ministry and forestry officials stressed the need to protect Mongolia’s forests and to grow new young and healthy trees nationwide.

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