Building the capacity of the Mongolian Vegetable Tanned Yak Leather Cluster

Mongolia’s domestic livestock population includes 10.4 million animals, with yaks numbering around 1 million, predominantly located in six provinces. These animals are integral to the Mongolian way of life, offering a diverse array of products such as milk, fibers, cashmere, hair, meat, and hides. Yaks present fewer environmental challenges and maintenance demands compared to other livestock, making them a sustainable choice for local communities.

Historically, yak hides and skins have been primarily used for leather production, yielding materials for footwear, garments, and various other items. However, the prevalent method of mineral (chrome) tanning, along with synthetic finishing processes, poses significant environmental concerns due to its high energy and water demands, as well as the pollution from waste and effluent discharges.

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