Czech foresters train Mongolian colleagues

17. 8. 2022

Experts from the Czech Republic are teaching their Mongolian colleagues how to take care of the forest. Forestry is at a low level of development in Mongolia. There is a lack of knowledge and experience in the field, and the situation regarding the loss and degradation of forest stands is critical. Czech experts, leading an international consortium in the STREAM project, have already established several teaching areas in Mongolia. For example, they have built model fences that serve to protect young saplings against the enormous pressure of livestock grazing. The experts have now returned from Mongolia, they will go there again in the autumn.

The aim of the first expedition was to implement examples of sustainable forestry practice, which is intended to help in the practical protection of local forests. Research and education also featured in the activities. “Forest grazing is one of the biggest threats to the future of islands of forest in forest-steppe areas. There is no successful natural regeneration in the edge zones of stands, as all young tree growth is repeatedly bitten off,” said Jan Šebesta of the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology MENDELU, adding that artificial forest regeneration in Mongolia is almost non-existent, and with the gradual demise of old trees or tree felling, there is a gradual decline in forest area or complete loss of forests.

“Forest users lack the motivation and resources to protect it. There is, however, growing awareness of the consequences, which are evident in the declining nutritional value of pasture. This makes it a societal issue. However, it is not possible to rely only on dialogue with livestock herders as a means of forest protection. For that reason, we are also trying to show the possibilities of ongoing cultivation of stands and sustainable management of them, which will contribute not only to obtaining financial resources or materials for forest protection, but also increase its resistance to forest fires, improve overall stability and help natural regeneration,” explains Václav Pecina of MENDELU Faculty of AgriSciences.

Scientists in Mongolia are also monitoring natural conditions. They monitor soil temperature and humidity, air temperature and precipitation. Based on the data, they will subsequently adjust the management in the selected area, at the same time they will obtain important information about the dynamics of the environment and how forests function in unique forest-steppe areas.

“We have also embraced the work in the field in an educational manner. In addition to presenting our activities to local forest users, livestock herders and policy makers, we also wanted to add another dimension to our work. This is the education of university students in environmental disciplines, directly in the field,” added Šebesta. In addition to working directly in the forest, the students were also able to try out forest surveying or tree climbing, and they also attended lectures and seminars in soil science, botany, etc. During these sessions, they could also directly participate in research.

Czech experts will return to Mongolia in September, when they aim to follow up with afforestation and training in forest protection and cultivation. The trip will also include the opening of the Gregor Johann Mendel anniversary exhibition at the Czech Embassy in Ulaanbaatar and a meeting of the international university consortium on the premises of the forest nursery established in Mongolia as part of Czech development aid by experts from the Forest Management Institute (ÚHÚL) in 2015-2017. The European forestry-agricultural project STREAM aims to contribute to the implementation of innovative and long-term sustainable management principles in Mongolia by 2024, taking into account the challenges associated with the food system and climate change. The project is supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and 11 universities led by MENDELU. It is financed by the European Union and the German government.

Contact persons for further information: Ing. Jan Šebesta, Ph.D., Department of Forest Botany, Dendrology and Geobiocenology FFWT MENDELU; e-mail:, Ing. Václav Pecina, Institute of Agrochemistry, Soil Science, Microbiology and Plant Nutrition FA MENDELU; e-mail:, Tel: +420 731 920 599.

More news

All news