Conservation and Sustainable Management of Amur Heilong Ecoregional Complex Headwaters

Geographical location:

Europe/Middle-East > North Asia/Mongolia > Mongolia


The Amur-Heilong ecoregional complex consists of several global ecoregions and has been selected as a priority within WWF’s new global programme framework.

WWF Mongolia’s long-term conservation goals underlined the importance of interventions in conservation activities to maintain ecological processes in priority freshwater within the global ecoregions in Mongolia. Within these global and national level frameworks WWF Mongolia formulated the AHEC-Mongolia programme, which aims to conserve and promote sustainable management of headwaters of the Amur-Heilong River as a part of the WWF intervention at an ecoregional level.


In June 2007, WWF identified 17 main threats to biodiversity in the Mongolian part of the AHEC. Among these threats wildfire, poaching, weak law enforcement and climate change have been identified as in need of urgent attention. An assessment of the Onon-Balj river basin indicated that one of the main root causes of problems is the poverty of local households and their inability to manage natural resources, leading to environmental degradation and the depletion of natural resources.

The proposed programme will be implemented using a simplified matrix management approach to fully benefit from its small but diverse technical and human capacity. The key stakeholders for activities planned in AHEC will be local communities and herders in priority habitats whose attitudes and behaviour have been targeted to lead the increased stewardship of their environment, a reduction of pressure on natural resources and the integration of livelihood alternatives within the conservation programmes.

It is expected that funds for the AHEC Mongolia will come from two main sources that would enable WWF Mongolia both support the conservation actions and ensure sustainable use of natural resources through investments/interventions on sustainable economies in the region. There are 10 priority objectives in 4 modules: species conservation, habitat protection, integrated river basin management (IRBM) and law enforcement.


Within the 6 main modules of intervention the AHEC Mongolia programme aims to ensure sustainability of its intervention in headwaters of Amur-Heilong rivers by:

a) enhancing the local communities’ own capacity to manage its resources in sustainable manner;

b) increasing broad public awareness both on importance of conservation of natural resources and new skills for sustainable NRM;

c) creating an enabling environment for law enforcement; and

d) providing opportunities for local communities for alternative and environmentally sound livelihood options.


The AHEC Mongolia programme aims to conserve and promote sustainable management of critical ecosystems and flagship species. Within the overall module structure the AHEC Mongolia will pay special attention to:

a) conservation and sustainable management of taimen;

b) conservation and sustainable management critical ecosystems such as riparian and mixed forest and the strengthening of Onon Balj National Park at local and transboundary level;

c) promoting integrated river basin management to ensure integrity of conservation efforts in AHEC;

d) law enforcement to halt poaching, wildfire and irresponive mining;

e) promoting sustainable use of bioresources by local communities and;

f) enhancing environmental education and public awareness on environment and natural resource management.

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