Acting early in Mongolia

Jan 2019

Change is coming to the traditional way of life of Mongolia’s livestock herders. And with it comes additional risks to their economic and food security. The problem is what’s known as a dzud – a summer of very high temperatures and little rainfall followed by the harshest of winters. The heat degrades the pasture and limits fodder growth. Then the snow and frozen ground stop livestock from reaching even the scant remaining grazing. By then they are already weak, thin and ill.

FAO’s Early Warning Early Action system had started to pick up dzud warning signs in the autumn of 2017. Working with partners and Mongolian institutes, FAO observed that forage was scarce after a hot, dry summer. And extreme temperatures were forecasted into 2018. The FAO intervention targeted the most vulnerable herders that have borne the cumulative brunt of dzuds, which are more frequent due to the changing climate. But thanks to timely and cost-effective interventions, FAO helped them keep going.

This video showcases describes the approach taken by FAO’s Early Warning Early Action initiative to mitigate the impact of the 2017/18 localized dzud on vulnerable herders. The benefits of acting early against dzud in Mongolia are illustrated through beneficiary stories and return on investment figures.