UNDP Mongolia is leading a programme to attract private sector investment into livestock commodity sectors into the country and is aiming to create a blueprint for ecologically sustainable and socially inclusive business models in the cashmere sector. It is widely recognised that the key barrier is the lack of consensus on a commonly agreed standard that can define and guide production of cashmere in an environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive manner. While there are a range of interventions and projects working with herders in Mongolia, they use different approaches and ways of measuring impact. This makes it difficult for buyers and brands to have clarity and confidence on what is the best approach to follow to ensure that sourcing of cashmere is meeting their sustainability requirements.

Initial consultations on the potential to establish a structured national dialogue for collective action on sustainable cashmere in Mongolia started in January 2019 as part of advocacy work associated with the UNDP pilot project on “Sustainable Cashmere Value Chain” funded by UNDP’s Country Investment Facility. A number of formal and informal meetings were conducted by UNDP with key stakeholders in

Mongolia and internationally together with two specific studies:

  • A ‘supplier-side analysis’ comparing existing initiatives related to “sustainable cashmere” in the country (Green Gold Animal Health Project, SFA, ADB, WCS, AVSF and UNDP);
  • A ‘demand-side analysis’ interviewing key buyers and users of cashmere from across the spectrum of brands and companies to consolidate what their requirements and needs are from the demand side for sustainably sourced cashmere.

Both studies clearly called for stronger multi-stakeholder collaboration mechanisms to be established in order to address in a more systemic manner some of the key challenges currently facing the sector.

UNDP then organized a one-day conference on “Multi-stakeholder Collaboration for Systemic Change” on 12 June 2019 in Ulaanbaatar in partnerships with AVSF, MOFALI and other key organisations. About 100 participants representing the government, development partners, industry associations, domestic and international supply chain actors, as well as herders’ representatives participated.

Ensuring tolerance and stability of Mongolia's natural environment


Implementing parties: Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism, Ministry of Food and Light Industry, UNDP Mongolia

Funding organization: Global Environment Facility

Stakeholders: Project target aimag, soum governor's office, other relevant governmental, non-governmental and private organizations, citizens, herders, public organizations


  • Capacity building through the implementation of sustainable pastureland and forest management and the creation of the systems needed to expand ecosystem services through biodiversity conservation
  • Reduce land degradation / desertification and expand ecosystem services by protecting biodiversity through sustainable pasture and forest management
  • Protect biodiversity and improve ecosystem services by supporting local livelihoods
  • Provide a system for exchanging and disseminating information and knowledge, and for monitoring and addressing gender issues at all levels

Read more