Key Biodiversity Areas

In addition to Ramsar Sites, Important Bird Areas, and Flyway Network Sites, there are sites designated by the Government of Mongolia as Special Protected Areas, World Heritage Sites, and Biosphere Reserves. All of these sites are collectively be regarded as key biodiversity areas. 

Special Protected Area

Mongolia’s Law on Special Protected Areas provides for four categories of protected areas:

  • Strictly Protected Areas
  • National Conservation Parks
  • Nature Reserves
  • Monuments

Link to Mongolian protected areas network,

Link to the map of state special protected ares,

World Heritage Sites

The aim of the World Heritage Convention, which came into force in 1975, is to identify and conserve cultural and natural monuments and sites of outstanding universal value. Parties to the Convention have a commitment to nominate suitable sites for recognition by UNESCO as natural or cultural World Heritage Sites.

Mongolia became a contracting party to the Convention in 1990 and has since nominated two natural World Heritage Sites (Uvs Nuur Basin and Landscapes of Dauria) and three cultural World Heritage Sites (Orkhon Valley, Petroglyphic Complexes of the Mongolian Altai, and Burkhan Khaldun Mountain).

table 1. Natural World Heritage Sites in Mongolia



Year designated Area (ha)



Download SIS

Natural site 

Uvs Nuur Basin

2003 898,063




Natural site 

Landscapes of Dauria

2017 912,624 N50.27500 E92.71972



Biosphere Reserves 

The Man and the Biosphere Programme was initiated in 1971 by UNESCO. The programme aims to develop a basis for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, and for the improvement of the relationship between people and their environment. Countries participating in the programme are expected to designate one or more Biosphere Reserves, which are examples of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems where solutions are promoted to reconcile biodiversity conservation with its sustainable use. 

Biosphere Reserves are organised into three types of management zone (core areas, buffer zones and transition areas), each of which has a defined management regime. The zonation scheme is applied differently in different settings, to accommodate geographical and socio-cultural conditions, available legal protection measures and local constraints. However, only the core area of a Biosphere Reserves requires legal protection, and hence can correspond to an existing protected area, such as a nature reserve or national park.

To date, Mongolia has designated six Biosphere Reserves covering a total area of 16,078,072 ha.

table 2. UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Mongolia


Year designated Core area (ha)


More information

Great Gobi 1990 985,000

42°30' to 44°30'N
44°50' to 45°40'N


Bogd Khaan Mountain

1996 41,651 47°43' to 47°54'N html

Uvs Lake Basin




52°31' to 52°43'N, 92°28' to 92°48'E (Uvs Nuur)
49°39' to 49°51'N, 91°19' to 91°39'E (Turgen Uul)
49°45' to 50°29'N, 94°23' to 95°35'E (Altan Els)
50°12' to 50°23'N, 90°24' to 91°20'E (Tsaagan Shovod)
Khustain Nuruu 2002 50,000 47°07'50'' to 47°09'10''N, 105°20'06'' to 106°43'38''E html
Dornod Mongol 2005 570,374 46°06' to 46°52’N; 116°11’ to 118°27’E html
Mongol Daguur 2007 15,600 n/a html