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The Sustainable Water in Mongolia Project: A Human Security Approach to Good Governance

This project brought together York University and National University of Mongolia's (NUM) faculty and students in order to build NUM's water resource management program with a human-security approach. The team from York University trained experts in water management who will in turn lead and support the Mongolian people in assessing their vulnerability to scarce water resources and developing ways to adapt to their ecosystem. Through various projects, the team engaged local communities and NUM students in participatory research examining how local conflicts associated with water resources affect both personal security and also environmental security. York University's team provided support to NUM in incorporating an explicit human-security approach to its program. This bottom-up approach will improve the country's long-term capacity for good governance in water resources by developing sustainable initiatives that directly engage local communities with academic researchers to identify local values and concerns about water resources. The Sustaining Water in Mongolia project, led in Canada by York University, is the first step in building sustained international collaboration between Canadian researchers, NGOs and government experts from Canada, NUM faculty and students and local peoples in Mongolia.

How did six York University students and faculty come to be in the Little Gobi desert in Fall 2006? And, how did four Mongolian visitors come to be looking at Niagara Falls in November 2006, and commenting on it being “a lot of water!”? We all participated in the Sustainable Water in Mongolia (SWiM) project, a Students for Development project of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) that is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). We thank the AUCC and CIDA for their strong support of our project.

For further information, please visit the following organisational links or download the project newsletter: