Social media helping environmental awareness among adventure visitors and locals in Mongolia

Social media helping environmental awareness among adventure visitors and locals in Mongolia

Project Status: on going

The overall goal of the project to is influence tour operators and park administrations to collaborate in efforts to keep the national parks and wilderness areas of Mongolia free of human rubbish, degradation and activities that effects the natural beauty of these magnificent areas, their wildlife and biodiversity. The specific objectives are to create a conservation adventure holiday enjoyable to our guests, where they can contribute to nature conservation, as well as set examples of best responsible tourism practices while working in collaboration with park authorities. Our project has taken the initiative to clean and remove high use sites of rubbish, build easily maintained wilderness toilets and produced an education video for park authority use and public consumption. The activities, materials needed and marketing are all self-funded by Stone Horse Expeditions for this project.


Creating the Wilderness Conservation Adventure Expedition gives visitors an opportunity to take part in conservation work alongside working rangers in the Khentii Mountains of Mongolia. This is an educational adventure experience for visitors. The concept, designed by Stone Horse Expeditions sets an example in responsible tourism that can be emulated by other tour operators in the region, cooperating with park authorities in the areas they travel with visitors. Stone Horse Expeditions produced a 20 minute video in the Mongolian language for the Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area to use in their conservation efforts among the general public of Mongolia:


Stone Horse Expeditions has been promoting nature conservation among local communities in the buffer zones of the park where the expedition staging area is located since its inception. Stone Horse Expeditions partners with the New Zealand Nature Institute in working with the Darkhid Valley Herder Community with watershed management with its “Water for Life” project. Formerly working in conservation development, Stone Horse Expeditions sees community involvement in conservation of nature as integral to the preservation of protected areas. The videos produced help a greater community to learn about efforts to undertake responsible tourism, clean up the environment, travel in the mountain wilderness and protected areas with less impact and influence other tour operators to collaborate with park authorities in providing conservation volunteering for prospective visitors to Mongolia.


As a developing country, Mongolia is currently suffering a crisis of rubbish management. This has extended into the wilderness and mountain areas of the Khentii Strictly Protected Area. After seeing a number of once pristine beautiful areas spoiled by human rubbish and human waste, Stone Horse Expeditions decided, as a user of these areas, we had a responsibility to not only clean up the areas for ours and our visitors use, but to also educate other mountain users and tour operators on taking responsibility to consider their waste management. Since the park has few personnel and little funding, we designed our Wilderness Conservation Adventure as a way to fund the clean-up of these areas, educate the public through videos, using social media, and give our a guests a way to contribute to nature conservation while on an adventure holiday.

In 2015, Stone Horse staff and guests cleaned and rehabilitated two campsite areas at the remote Hagiin Har Nuur in the Khentii Mountains. A place that has seen high use in recent years and is under threat from visitors and ill-informed tour operators who leave rubbish that is a danger to young curious wildlife such as moose, elk, roe deer, wild boar that have been know to ingest plastic bags and other discarded items, suffering negative consequences. To respond to the accumulation of human waste was accumulating along the lake shore beach used as campsites. Stone Horse designed a simple wilderness toilet that was packed in by horseback and reassembled in the most popular camping area where human waste is now contained to the site. The video produced was given to the park authorities and used on social media sites, YouTube and Facebook, which are widely viewed and shared in Mongolia.


As a tour operator with a background in protected area management, all of our tours endeavor to educate our visitors about the culture and history of the country, but most importantly the environment and the conservation efforts needed to maintain the integrity of the protected areas we travel through. With our Wilderness Conservation Adventure Expedition in the Khentii Mountains of Mongolia, we offer a horse riding excursion where our visitors can “give back” and contribute to nature with a few days volunteer working alongside park rangers.