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HomeCultureOn the Mongolian steppe, conservation science meets traditional knowledge

On the Mongolian steppe, conservation science meets traditional knowledge

  • Rangelands and the pastoralists who rely on them are an overlooked and understudied part of global conservation.
  • Tunga Ulambayar, country director for the Zoological Society of London’s Mongolia office, says she wants to change this by complementing the scientific understanding with pastoralists’ traditional knowledge of nature.
  • “There is no university teaching that kind of traditional knowledge, but if we really aim to care about these regions and their resources, even from an economic perspective, we need this knowledge,” she says.
  • Ulambayar also notes that pastoralism, widely practiced in less industrialized countries, is increasingly recognized as an efficient system of resource management and a resilient culture.

Vast terrains dominated by grasses, shrubs or sparse trees, rangelands are more than unproductive places where reticent herders graze their livestock and…

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