Sustainable management of Mongolia’s pasturelands – an SDC project sets an example of best practices at Expo Milano 2015

Article, 30.06.2015

Green Gold, an SDC project aiming to ensure the sustainable management of grazing land in Mongolia has been selected as an example of best practices in food security by Expo Milano 2015. It will be on exhibit at Pavilion Zero, marking the main entrance to the expo, for the duration of the event. An award ceremony will be held at the Palazzo Italia on 6 July.

Yurts dotting a grassy plain against the backdrop of a mountain range.
In Mongolia, the SDC is engaged in supporting the collective management of pasturelands at risk of desertification. The SDC’s project, which provides an example of best practices in food security, is being exhibited at Expo Milano 2015. DEZA

One third of Mongolia’s population, which is dependent on herding for survival, is faced with the problem of overgrazing. Empowering herders to collectively manage grazing resources is one of the main objectives of the Green Gold project, which promotes the preservation of grazing land. The project was selected from more than 740 proposals entered in an international competition organised by Expo Milano 2015. It will be showcased as an example of best practices in food security.

Green Gold project in Mongolia

The SDC's engagement in Mongolia

In the years ahead, the world will face serious challenges in relation to food security. Expo Milano 2015 is meant to be a place for dialogue and knowledge sharing to develop a strategy for global sustainable food management. 18 projects were selected in a competition initiated by the Feeding Knowledge programme, and will be on exhibit for the duration of the expo. By showing examples of best practices, these projects aim to compare the various practices used by international, national and regional organisations, civil society, businesses and academic institutions, in both developed and developing countries, in response to food-related issues.

Project selection criteria

Pyramids built of wooden slats. The top of a tree appears on top of a pyramid.
Pavilion Zero provides an introduction to Expo Milano 2015, illustrating the relationship between humankind and nature through the history of civilisation. ©domusweb.it

The SDC’s Green Gold project was selected, in particular, for its ability to develop a model for the sustainable management of limited natural resources. Selected projects were required to have an innovative approach. The evaluators assessed the social impact of the projects on issues such as gender, employment, cultural heritage, local economic development, conflict resolution and integration. Projects also needed to address the sound use of natural resources. The results of the projects for the improvement of food security had to be demonstrable and transferable in other contexts.

The relationship between humankind and the environment

Pavilion Zero is the main entrance to Expo Milano 2015. The narrative of the pavilion covers the evolution of humankind’s relationship to nature. It uses the symbols and mythology of humanity to tell the story of the domestication of animals and plants, and the invention of instruments for work and preservation, leading to the contradictions and problems associated with our contemporary approach to feeding the planet.