Mongolia's nomads are raising an increasing number of cashmere goats. The goats' soft undercoats provide the raw wool for luxury cashmere fabric, and is an important cash income. But this rise has also triggered serious environmental problems. Because goats pull grass out by the roots when grazing, nearly 80% of Mongolia's land is threatened by desertification. We follow the NPOs, companies and nomads working to restore the plains, and realize a higher standard of living.
Cashmere goats have become an important source of cash income for Mongolia's nomads
Herd numbers have increased seven-fold in fifty years, pushing Mongolia's plains towards desertification
One NPO is working to improve the quality of Mongolia's cashmere to raise nomad incomes and protect the plains
Currently, 80% of Mongolia's cashmere is exported raw to China, but one company is looking to drive local manufacturing of profitable cashmere products