“Great Gobi 6” the most inspiring event for environmental conservation
The second round event was attended by about 300 individuals represented governmental and non-governmental organizations from five aimags (provinces): Khovd, Govi-Altai, Zavkhan, Bayankhongor, and Umnugovi and environmental practitioners in the country. Stakeholder engagement in the event “GG-6” has expanded in comparing to that (over 100 participants) of the first gathering. In some practices, the Mongolians do start their joint efforts with great willingness and enthusiasm, but their later rounds are likely to be weakened. On contrary, the public event “GG-6” is quite different from those because the parties involved have completed their previous year’s activities and have a full of ideas and plans for the coming years according to their presentations on the second event.
Specifics of the second event include that the “GG-6” is known by not only the Mongolians but also by foreigners. The second meeting was attended by some representatives from international conservation communities such as Takhi Group International, Wild Camel Protection Fund (England), and Prague zoo. They highlighted the “GG-6” was one of the most inspiring events for the public to be mobilized into environmental conservation activities.
One concern was raised in the last year. It was a goat plague disease spread among the Mongolian saiga population, which is included in the “GG-6”. To prevent and reduce its risk, the WWF-Mongolia has been taking some actions through stakeholder engagement. For instance, it shared the accurate information on the disease with local communities and assisted in removal and burial of carrions of livestock with funding. In addition, the WWF Mongolia conducted inventory of the saiga population twice: during and after the infection in order to provide governmental institutions with realistic data.
Participants of the second round meeting of “GG-6” presented what they did within a year and shared knowledge and experiences and discussed about accomplishment of the activities to be done before the annual performance meeting in September, 2018. There were the Mongolian gers/yurts, where promotions on the GG-6 species are displayed, placed on the site during the event. Promotional materials included the details on the species’ origins, population sizes, ongoing conservation management and concerns existing in it, and threats to each species.
At the end of the meeting, the participants agreed on “Bayantooroi Declaration” addressed at improved conservation of the GG-6 species in the Gobi. The Declaration has covered a number of actions including making revisions to the legal and regulatory environment on protection and sustainable use of wildlife through the GG-6 initiative and to bring the initiative to attentions of governmental and public organizations. Moreover, they have agreed to establish a Regulatory Council, which is to provide the conservation management practices with supervision and guidance.
Next round of the conservation event, which is being increasingly appreciated and supported by the public, will be organized in Bayankhongor aimag in 2018.