GNF - Hovsgol National Park Management

Hovsgol National Park Management



In Hovsgol National Park in northern Mongolia, about half of the people still live as traditional nomads and defy the increasing rural exodus and alienation of Mongolian traditions.


In Hovsgol National Park, tourism is the only way for the majority of the population, which is still traditionally nomadic, to generate additional income and stabilize income from nomadic livestock farming. The Mongolian government has been developing the transportation infrastructure in this remote part of the world for about ten years, which has increased tourism figures tenfold from 10,000 to 100,000 per year. A further tripling to 300,000 in the next 10 years is targeted - actually not a problem in an area of the size of Northern Ireland.


Ger-Camps (Ger is the Mongolian word for yurt) extend in the meantime however over 45 km only at the west bank in the national park of the Hovsgol Lake. There are no public structures for waste disposal, and wild waste deposits cause major environmental problems, especially for the drinking water quality of the lake, thus endangering the beauty and unspoiled nature of the park for tourists and locals. Our Mongolian partners have been organizing and financing a garbage collection service since 2002, when tourism figures were still at yearly 10,000. This is increasingly reaching capacity limits and makes it necessary to develop a sustainable and self-sustaining system, which we want to work on in the coming years.

Project goals:

In the project, we stabilize the livelihood of the people in Hovsgol National Park through measures for the ecological and economic situation in the tourism sector. 250 families secure tourism as an alternative source of income to increase economic resilience and enable the maintenance of the traditional way of life.

Project measures:

In the project, we will firstly consolidate the ongoing waste collection and capacities will be increased through acquisitions. We will collect economic key figures to develope an economic model for a self-financed waste disposal system. This will include waste separation and reduction.


Extensive training measures for tourism professionals and measures to sensitize tourists support the actions. The project is implemented together with local and regional stakeholders, i.e. the operators of the ger-camps, local tourism and travel associations, the National Park Authority, nomads, schools and the community of Hatghal.


At the end of the project, the waste management system of Hovsgol Lake will be a blueprint for other tourist destinations in Mongolia.

 Hovsgol Lake in Mongolia
 Nomads roam the national park with their herds.
 Waste is currently not collected and disposed of.
 Rangers of the National Park Team

Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

 Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
 Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
 Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Contact person

Mr Dr. Thomas Schaefer

Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Office Radolfzell

Phone: +49 7732 9995 89



Project Period:


Project Countries: 


Project Partner:




September 2020 - December 2023






German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)