Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
Strengthening Capacity to Manage Ecosystems Sustainably for Human Well-Being

Altai-Sayan Ecoregion


The Altai-Sayan ecoregion is located in the territories of Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and China.

Lead institution

World Wide Fund for Nature Russian Programme

Contact information:

  • Chimed-Ochir Bazarsad Khuasai
    Programme Leader for Altai-Sayan
    WWF Russian Programme Office
    Nikoloyamskaya 19/3
    Moscow, Russia
    Phone: 7-095-7270939
    Fax: 7-095-7270938

Focal issues

The focal issues to be emphasized in this assessment are biodiversity value and ecosystem services, and the identification of trends, scenarios and development patterns in the Altai-Sayan ecoregion.

Ecosystem services being assessed

Biodiversity, tourism, cultivated food, harvested food.

Key features of assessment

The Altai-Sayan Ecoregion encompasses mountain pristine forest ecosystems, surrounded by steppes in the north and east, and by deserts and semi-deserts in the south and west. The region includes the Altai and Sayan mountain systems, and vast intermountain depressions. This region is one of the world centers of plant diversity. Its biological, landscape, historical, cultural and religious diversity is considered to be very unique. There are many mammals, birds, amphibians, fish and at least 213 species of rare and endemic plants. The area is also culturally diverse, with four language groups (Russian, Mongolian, Chinese and Turkic) and more than 20 indigenous ethnic groups practicing traditional land use systems. There are also a variety of religions including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Shamanism.

Timeframe, budget

The total budget is estimated at US$752,000. The assessment will begin in July 2003 and end in November 2005.