Caritas has been working on helping people and the environment in Mongolia for more than 15 years. Our main goal is to protect the environment and ensure proper waste management. However, besides that, a problem that is becoming increasingly apparent is the small number and size of forests in Mongolia. Therefore, we have recently planted trees in the country to raise awareness of Mongolia's ecosystem restoration.
No trees = No life
Waste treatment, especially handling plastic waste, has always been one of the most pressing problems in Mongolia. Because of this, in 2020, Caritas Czech Republic successfully carried out a project which focused on construction waste recycling and its use.
Nonetheless, the government has identified another issue that is threatening the Mongolian environment which is the low level of afforestation. Thus, it has been focusing on forest conservation in the recent years, with the objectives to protect wildlife, conserve bio-diversity, maintain ecological balance, enhance beneficial influences of forest and control desertification. As Jana Žilková, head of Caritas Czech Republic's mission in Mongolia, said, “Only 11.8% of Mongolia’s land is covered by forests which means the country has relatively low forest cover. Mongolia’s rich biodiversity and ecosystem is a natural treasure – we must treat it as such.”
World Environment Day
As a part of World Environment Day celebrations, Caritas Czech Republic together with People in Need and in cooperation with the Czech Republic Embassy in Mongolia planted trees in Bogd-Khan Mountain. This was a continuation of all other projects that these organisations worked on together in order to protect the environment, slow down climate change and promote the importance of sustainability. “We owe it to our children to ensure their environmental rights are protected, so they and future generations can live in a healthy and safe environment,” said Tim Jenkins, Country Director of People in Need.
Together we can switch to a green, sustainable economy
“My wife and I are pleased to take part in this event. The Czech Republic has been cooperating with Mongolia in forestry for many years. Our experts from Mendel University and Forest Management Institute have provided Mongolian partners with the know-how and tools necessary for long-term forest development and management, such as identifying forest stands with extraordinary genetic qualities, or offering a complex approach to planting. This includes for example initial planning or soil preparation, “ said Jiří Brodský, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Mongolia.
“Caritas Czech Republic is proud to join these initiatives thanks to the generous support from our donors at the EU Delegation to Mongolia and EU Switch Asia. Together we can switch to a green, sustainable economy,” Jana Žilková added.
To promote the important role that forests play in a healthy ecosystem, Jiří Brodský added, that “Mendel University in Brno has been training young Mongolian forestry experts and this year, it will lead international university consortium in a bigger forestry project funded by the European Union.”
How do we help in Mongolia?
Caritas Czech Republic launched its first project in Mongolia in 2006. Its overall mission is to improve the lives of thousands of people through education, promotion of sustainable development, empowering local communities and marginalized groups. Since 2006, Caritas Czech Republic has run more than 20 projects in 15 different provinces with particular focus on pre-school and vocational education, social work, restoring livelihood, humanitarian assistance, prevention of risks of natural disasters, agriculture, and environment and recycling.