Mongolia Main Image



Mongolia Main Image

The Law on Genetic Resources, which is to regulate Access to genetic resources and Benefit-Sharing, is currently being developed in the country.

Biodiversity in Mongolia

Mongolia is located in six natural belts and zones: The Alpine, Mountain Taiga and Mountain Forest Steppe belts; and the Arid Steppe, Desert-Steppe and Desert zones. Although the country has a relatively lower species diversity than many biodiversity hotspot countries, it has a high endemism of genetic resources with an assemblage of species and intact ecosystems that cannot be found elsewhere.

Mongolia is of global significance because of its forests, which form an important junction between the three large continental basins – the Arctic Ocean Basin or Yenisei River Basin in the north and central, the Pacific Ocean Basin or Amur River Basin in the east, and the Central Asian Internal Drainage Basin in the south and West. These forests make up about 12 percent of the country’s total land area, and 60 percent of the country’s medicinal plants grow in them.

Of the nearly 1000 species of medicinal plants in the country, 900 are currently used for medical and more than 200 for pharmaceutical purposes. About 200 of the country’s plant species are used for tea, 50 for food and over 100 for livestock feeds.

These unique ecosystems are however under threat from unsustainable grazing, mining, illegal collection of plants, overfishing and illegal fishing, illegal logging, forest fires, poaching and trapping, chemical poisoning of species, and pollution. These are in addition to the problems of climate change, water shortage, land use changes and, consequently, the development of desertification processes.

Nagoya Protocol and ABS Implementation

Mongolia has been a Party to the Nagoya Protocol since its entry into force in October 2014. The Law on Genetic Resources, which is to regulate Access to genetic resources and Benefit-Sharing (ABS), is currently being developed. However, the Environmental Protection Law (1995) makes general reference to access, benefit-sharing and sustainable use of genetic resources and the country has relied on it to enter into some joint ventures on the conservation and utilization of its genetic resources.

There is some general and specialized information on biological resources, but access and use of this information is limited. The country needs to develop an integrated, accessible and up-to-date database of ABS information for commercial and research purposes, and to strengthen its institutional capacity in biotechnology and biodiscovery.

Current UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project Activities

Activities under the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project officially commenced with a national inception workshop held in Ulaanbaatar in September 2017. The project is working with national stakeholders to draft the Genetic Resources Law and holding consultations to incorporate access to traditional knowledge and genetic resources into the law within the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol.

Supporting documents such as the sectoral guidelines, codes of ethics, procedural manuals, guidelines on traditional knowledge, and Bio-cultural Community Protocol will be developed to help simplify implementation.

Support will be provided to hold dialogues, advocacy and biodiscovery partnerships and raise awareness to increase understanding, support and positive involvement by stakeholders. The project will also support establishment of a database of traditional knowledge, which will aid identification and documentation of biodiversity resources in the country and their possible use for commercial and research purposes.

Contact Details


Bunchingiv Bazartseren

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