Measuring Our Impact
- The location of each family
- The usage of the family toilet (most are long-drops)
- Number of EL guests hosted by each family in low season
- Number of EL guests hosted by each family in peak season
- The ways in which we support each family
- The number of extended treks we arrange with the family including the route as well as the type of trek (foot, camel, horse or yak cart)
In addition, we use six of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help provide a framework for measuring our impact. See below.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
At the end of September 2015, the United Nations adopted a global agenda to end poverty, inequality and climate change. 17 Sustainable Development Goals have been set to make the world a better place by 2030. Tourism has the potential to contribute, directly or indirectly and therefore can and must play a significant role in delivering the SDGs which cover inequality, conserving and preserving the planet’s fragile ecosystems, clean drinking water, tackling climate change and sustainable energy. (Tourism For SDGs).
Goal 8 focuses on decent long-term stable work and income-earning opportunities for all and sustainable economic growth that benefits the entire community. The UN has defined 12 Targets for SDG 8 including target 8.9: Promote beneficial and sustainable tourism that promotes local culture and products.
SDG 12 – RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION
Goal 12 is about sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources leading to a better quality of life for all. This includes substantially reducing waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.
Mongolia practices commingled waste collection and a majority of the waste collected is buried. There are issues with the open dumping and open burning of waste causing soil, water and air pollution. Sorting and recycling are undertaken by the private sector and is on an informal scale. However, within Ulaanbaatar there are a few small and medium scale recycling plants in operation and the Mongolia National Recycling Association (MNRA – founded in 2005) has numerous city-wide centres.
[Ulaanbaatar Waste Management Improvement Strategy and Action Plan • 2017–2030]
SDG 13 – CLIMATE ACTION
Tourism contributes to climate change and should play a leading role in the global response to combating climate change and its impacts. By reducing its carbon footprint tourism can help tackle one of the most pressing challenges of our time.
- Approximately 70% of pastoral land has degraded.
- The drying up of lakes, rivers and springs and melting of glaciers has intensified in the last decade.
- Water temperature and evaporation are continuously increasing, leading to declining water resources.
- The intensification of dry climatic conditions cause the increase of the frequency of forest and steppe fires, the occurrence and the intensity of forest insect and pest outbreaks.
[UNDP Feasibility Study Pasture Use Fee Baseline Study Report]
SDG 14 – LIFE BELOW WATER
SDG 14 focuses on healthy seas, oceans and rivers. Although Mongolia is land-locked, the increase in single-use plastic used in tourism in the country has resulted in fragments and films of consumer plastics (including plastic bottles, fishing gear and plastic bags) being found in Lake Khovsgol – Mongolia’s largest freshwater lake (representing 70% of Mongolia’s fresh water and 1% of the planet’s fresh water).
[Free, C.M., et al. High-levels of microplastic pollution in a large, remote, mountain lake. Mar. Pollut. Bull. (2014), http:// dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.06.001]
SDG 15 – LIFE ON LAND
SDG 15 focuses on sustainably managing forests, combating desertification, halting and reversing land degradation and halting biodiversity loss. In Mongolia, soil degradation has become one of the biggest challenging environmental issues. An assessment of desertification and land degradation in Mongolia, made by Mongolian researchers in 2015, showed that 76.9% of the total area was under desertification and land degradation processes.
[Darbalaeva, Darima & Mikheeva, Anna & Zhamyanova, Yulia. (2020). The socio-economic consequences of the desertification processes in Mongolia.]