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Local people have supported a proposal of internal zoning of the newly established Protected

Most of the locals were positive and in favour of the proposal expressed their desires to have it approved by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. The proposal for internal zoning was prepared with a participatory approach based on the specific criteria, where needs of environmental conservation and interests of local communities were equally considered pursuant to the legal provisions on NP and its internal zones’ specifics and regimes.

In May 2020, the Mongolian Parliament appointed a total of 10 sites under special state protection as a result of the WWF-Mongolia cooperation with the parties and the active participation of local communities. One of them was Gutain Davaa, a scenic area in the Amur Heilong ecoregion. Appointing this land under special state protection was a crucial decision from the environmental point of view. Companies were planning to start a gold mining in the Onon River, the source of more than 20,000 people in eight soums in Khentii province, and local residents protested to protect the area. If gold mining was started, there was a risk of irreversible damage to the Onon River, the source of the Amur River, and the ecology of the Onon River Basin.
To date, Administration of Onon Balj National Park (OBNP) is responsible for Gutai Davaa, the newly established PA. As legally stated, a National Park has three internal zones: special, tourism and travel, and limited use that have their specific conservation regimes. A proposal for internal zoning of the newly established PA was prepared based on nine specific criteria related to forest resource, wildlife habitat, historical and cultural heritages, upper areas or sources of rivers and streams, sustainable natural resource use by local residents, tourism development, and former seasonal campsites of local herders prior to the established PA. The proposal for internal zoning drafted by the Administration of OBNP was presented to the Governor’s Offices, local residents (herder  households) residing inside and adjacent areas of the NP’s boundaries in territories of Binder and Batshireet sub-provinces of Khentii aimag for their comments. A total of 110 local residents (63 male and 47 female) provided their comments to the draft proposal.  Most of the locals were positive and in favour of the proposal expressed their desires to have it approved by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. The proposal for internal zoning was prepared with a participatory approach based on the specific criteria, where needs of environmental conservation and interests of local communities were equally considered pursuant to the legal provisions on NP and its internal zones’ specifics and regimes.  In this meaning, the proposal seems to be a model for internal zoning of NP in the current practice.
Most of the locals were positive and in favour of the proposal expressed their desires to have it approved by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

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