22 eco-friendly yurts with solar panels

Mongolia has seen rapid growth in its economy and tourism sector since the 2000s. Millions of people now enjoy a higher standard of living, but new problems have also arisen, such as higher levels of pollution. Growing quantities of litter end up in nature because there is no service to handle it efficiently, particularly at tourist sites whose economy is dependent on the beauty of the landscape.

The Orkhon Valley is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its 6th-centry archaeological ruins and its exceptional landscapes. It is also Mongolia’s most popular tourist destination. The region’s tourism industry has been growing strong, but has not been generating enough income for the local population. Local infrastructure is still lacking: waste treatment, roads, access to running water, public lighting, etc.

Project overview

The main objective of this project is to set up new tourism infrastructure to combat littering in tourist areas, in partnership with public and private players in the tourism industry. The Orkhon Valley was chosen for its value as a tourist site and because pollution there has reached worrying levels and requires urgent action. Several past missions led by Acting for Life helped establish contacts and assess local needs.

This project to protect the environment and reduce poverty seeks to lead by example. It aims to offer concrete solutions that will serve as a reference for other sustainable-tourism projects.

Objective

  • set up a model service to collect waste generated by the growing tourism industry, and organise clean-up and awareness-raising initiatives;
  • build tourist accommodation that is eco-friendly and self-sufficient in terms of water, energy and waste;
  • improve the economic impact of tourism by offering professional training for local tourist operators (managers and employees) in management and sustainable tourism;
  • organise management and marketing workshops for SMEs and microenterprises in the tourism industry (yurt camps and restaurants) to help them boost their revenue.

Key figures and results

  • The yurt camp as an eco-friendly model;
  • Creation of additional revenue and jobs, and reduction of poverty;
  • Improvement in the quality of service offered by tourism companies.

Project's local partners :

  • Norway