The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has drafted a national programme on protected areas which it is about to present to cabinet. According to the draft, the ministry is planning to expand the area under protection to 26 percent of national territory by 2020. The programme first approved in 1998 and has been implemented over three stages. For example, currently, at the end of 2018, the total special protected area included 38 reserves covers 17.1 million hectares, which is equivalent to almost 11% of the country. Initially, during the period from 1968-1988, 6.7 percent of the territory of Mongolia was designated as being under protection. Mongolia faces several significant environmental threats, including mining, deforestation, off-road vehicle use, pollution, rapid human population growth, expanding livestock numbers, poaching, and rapid socio-economic and cultural change associated with the transition from communism to free-market democracy.
Once the least controversial sites have received protection, expansion becomes increasingly difficult, but if Mongolia hopes to achieve its goal of protecting 26% of its territory by 2020, it must create additional protected areas, expand existing reserves, increase the types of possible protected areas, and create habitat corridors and buffer zones.