Managing the impacts of minerals development on women and men and their traditional livelihoods in Mongolia

Start Date: May 2013 End Date: Jun 2015

Mongolia’s mining boom is threatening the sustainability of herder livelihoods through social changes stimulated directly and indirectly by ecological impacts. Often these threats impact women greater than their male counterparts due to a lack of gender-orientated awareness and safeguards. Consequently, research that examines both the social and ecological impacts of mining from a gendered perspective is necessary to understand how mining affects both herder livelihoods and their dependent natural resources. Through socio-ecological research, which maps both natural resource use of mining and herding (via GIS technology) and social impacts between the mine and the community (via ethnographic methods) this research will establish and transfer knowledge that will improve and hopefully create current and future safeguards for both regulatory bodies and herder empowerment.

Specifically, the research questions:

  • What contribution and role do women have in sustaining Mongolia’s traditional livelihoods?
  • How do herding and large-scale mining interact with one another?
  • Do large scale mining projects influence or alter current gender roles and responsibilities in traditionally herder   communities?
  • What policy safeguards exist and can be recommended to better address herder-mine interactions?
  • What future socio-economic and environmental impacts may result from interaction between herding communities and large scale mining?

 This project is part of CSRM's Mongolia Research Hub

Project Aims

  • Establish a multi-stakeholder cross-disciplinary committee focussed on socio-ecological issues of mining in Mongolia
  • Build knowledge on the under-researched multi-faceted impacts of mining on the socio-economic position and gender dynamics of households in Mongolia
  • Identify potential barriers and challenges that currently exist to prevent women from harnessing the benefits from large scale mining
  • Explore how the environmental degradation of mining impacts on traditional herder livelihoods and the role of women and girls in the community
  • Produce a GIS database that establishes the environmental impacts caused by mining activities, and that can be used by our research partners and other Mongolian researchers, to communicate impacts from mining and promote future research
  • Produce a toolkit for stakeholders in Mongolian and English outlining socio-ecological tensions and mining with recommended safeguards for sustainable livelihoods
  • Formulate a two-week intensive training with partners and stakeholders, building capacity and transferring knowledge on socio-ecological impacts of mining on herders and safeguards for future sustainability

Funding Body / Partners

  • Australian National University
  • Funded by Australian AID through the Australian Development Research Awards Scheme
  • Gender Centre for Sustainable Development
  • National University of Mongolia

Associated CSRM Staff / Students

Other Associated Researchers