Short and long term internal migration has a longstanding tradition in Mongolia. However, data on short term movements (< 3 months) is not systematically collected. In addition, recent trends indicate that rural to urban migration, particularly towards Ulaanbaatar, has been fostered by a number of factors principally related to better employment opportunities, healthcare, education and climate change.
Mongolia’s unique geographical location, as well as the rural population’s dependence on animal husbandry, make the country particularly vulnerable to environmental changes and severe weather events. The increasing trend of rural to urban migration in Mongolia has been linked to factors resulting from climate change, such as declining livelihood opportunities in rural areas that have been amplified by increasing incidences of severe droughts and winter storms (dzuds).
If the trends continue, the increasing incidences of disasters will drive higher rates of rural to urban migration into Ulaanbaatar where government officials are already facing significant challenges to accommodate new arrivals. In order to prepare for coming disasters and respond accordingly, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) will need to have precise information on population mobility and the number of people at different sites.
In response to the increased occurrence of severe weather events in the country, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) began implementing its Mobility Monitoring for Disaster Preparedness in Mongolia through the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) with the objective to support the Government of Mongolia in establishing a comprehensive system to collect data on displacement caused by climate change and in the event of a natural disaster in the country.
DTM will also provide a unique set of data, as for the first time information on short term movements will be collected and analyzed.