Protected Area Status in Mongolia
Under the present constitution that was revised in 1992 all land, forests, water, fauna, and flora and other natural resources in Mongolia belong exclusively to the people and are under State protection. Apart from some limited areas given to the citizens of Mongolia for private ownership, the land as well as the subsoil with its mineral wealth, forests, water resources, and game, is State owned. The tradition for protecting nature goes back to the 13th century when many forested hills were protected as holy areas. Kublai Khan, grandson of Ghengis Khan (Chinggis Khaan), extended protection to forests and also decreed a law in the 13th century forbidding hunting of any game during the summer months under penalty of death. The introduction of Buddhism from Tibet in the 16th and 17th centuries provided further protection for animals and for the establishment of the first protected areas in the late 1700s (Nowak, 1970). The Great Khural (Parliament) passed the Decree on the Rational Utilization of Natural Resources and the Protection of the Natural Environment on 30 June 1972. This law requires every person to act for the good of nature and for the protection of natural resources (Borisov et al., 1985; Kosmider, 1985). In the early 1970s a number of laws relating to environmental protection were introduced: a second Law on Land Use in 1971 (revised November 1994); a Law on Hunting 6 January, 1972 (originally drawn up in 1934, revised in 1944, issued in 1962) (revised in May 1995); a Law on Water and a Law on Forests 1974 (revised in 1995). The Mongolian Law on Special Protected Areas (adopted 1994), the Law on Special Protected Area Buffer Zones (1997), the Mongolian Law on Environmental Protection (1995), the Mongolian Law on Natural Plants (1995), the Law on Protection from Toxic Chemicals (1995), the Mongolian Law on Water and Mineral Water Use Fees (1995), the Law on Fees for Harvest of Forest Timber and Fuel Wood (1995), the Mongolian Law on Natural Plant Use Fees (1995).
Steppe Forward Programme, Faculty of Biology, National University of Mongolia, P.O. Box 537, Ulaanbaatar 210646A, Mongolia e-mail: Jargal99@yahoo.com