The University of Eastern Finland participates in the Sustainable Resilient Ecosystem and Agriculture Management in Mongolia project (STREAM), which is a joint initiative by the European Union, the European university consortium GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
- Environment and natural resources
The main objective of STREAM is to create innovative collaboration with and build capacity of Mongolian research organisations, educational institutions, companies, producers, communities, administrative authorities and decision-makers in the development of climate-sustainable agro-ecological food production chains, as well as in the diverse, sustainable use of forest resources.
The project takes into account adaptation to climate change across Mongolia’s agricultural development, which aims to increase agricultural productivity and sustainability, and to develop food value chains and marketing. Sustainable use of forest resources and the protection of biodiversity in selected target areas in Mongolia is also ensured.
The members of the European university consortium GIZ are Mendel University, Technical University of Munich (Germany, Coordinator), the University of Eastern Finland, Technical University Zvolen (Slovakia), Charles University Prague (Czech), the University of Life Sciences (Czech), Transylvania University Brasov (Romania), the European University Foundation, Utah State University (USA), the National University of Mongolia, the Mongolian University of Life Sciences, and the German-Mongolia Institute for Resources and Technology.
The University of Eastern Finland will contribute to the project with its extensive expertise in forest and environmental sciences, which are needed to coordinate growing agricultural production, grazing and forest farming in a rapidly changing climate. Field work will be carried out at pilot sites for intensive research, which will also be used for education. The project has its headquarters in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Mongolia is the 19th largest country in the world, but with its 3.3 million inhabitants, it is also one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries. Mongolia consists of very different geographical areas and diverse ecosystems. Dry steppes account for 70% of the land area and are largely used for intensive livestock grazing and by semi-nomads. Livestock production accounts for approximately 90% of the country’s agricultural production. Forests account for about nine per cent of the area, offering forest products such as timber, wood-based fuels and food to the rural population.
Mongolia suffers from a rapidly changing climate. Global warming, drought and extreme weather phenomena are the worst threats to agriculture and forest farming, causing desertification, among other things. However, the country is strongly committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and international climate agreements, and international cooperation is strong.
The three-year project will start in May with an overall funding of approximately 4.5 million euros.