Theoretical Approaches and Practical Assessment of Socio-Economic Effects of Desertification in Mongolia

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 7;17(11):4068. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17114068.


In this paper, we consider the effects of desertification in Mongolia, where the area of degraded land has increased significantly in the recent decade. Currently, almost the entire territory of the country is subject to varying degrees of degradation. The intensity of the desertification processes in different natural zones is influenced by both natural climatic and anthropogenic factors. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of desertification on environmental and socio-economic living conditions, as well as on living standards of the local population. In this work, for the first time, the socio-economic aspects of desertification have been studied on a common methodological basis in different Mongolian aimags over a ten-year period. In order to carry out in-depth research, we used the submeridional and sublatitudinal principles for selecting the model study areas, as well as specific criteria and expert assessment. We used a sociological survey as the main method, based on a designed questionnaire, which was translated into Mongolian. The questionnaire includes questions regarding the influence of desertification on traditional nomadic farming, health of family members, water supply of households, water quality, living standards, etc. The results of the sociological surveys made it possible to draw conclusions on the impact of desertification on households, to identify the main problems of local people, and to describe the dynamics of the socio-economic status of the population living in the model areas. Our studies have demonstrated the intensification of the impact of desertification processes in different natural zones, administrative-territorial units and settlement systems in Mongolia.

Keywords: desertification; households; questionnaire survey; socio-economic consequences of desertification; sociological survey.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Mongolia
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Water Supply*