3. Mongolia – The eagle hunters of the West
Our project in Mongolia focuses on the eagle hunters (or falconers, to use the term preferred locally) located in the grasslands of the far West of the country. The community is made up of proud, hardy and family-focused people and to witness the extraordinary relationship between the falconers, their huge golden eagles and their horses is to see something as astonishing as it is unique. Alongside climate change, increased tourism brings its own challenges. International and national agencies attract visitors fascinated by the beauty of the vast Mongolian landscapes and richness of culture but, all too often, the communities receive only the downside of tourism and none of its benefits. We are working with the community and a number of local Mongolian partners to help change that, to help bring eco- and cultural-tourism that brings opportunity and economic advantages and to build a large community centre (in the local style of a ger) to support the community and local conservation and to act as a centre for local tourism.