Nomad Green: Mongolia On The Brink Of Eco-Catastrophe

A winter sunset at White Lake, Mongolia. Image by Flickr user Karina Moreton. CC BY-NC-ND

Mongolia is a land locked country with long and freezing winters and hot and drought prone summers. The Environmental problems it faces include desertification, deforestation due to overgrazing, inadequate water supply, air and water pollution. The citizen journalists of Nomad Green are trying to raise awareness about the environmental degradation in their country targeting the Mongolian citizens and the global readers.

Hoh.Mongol writes about the silent environmental migration happening in the Gobi deserts of Mongolia:

As a result of degradation of pasture land, herders say that they can’t return to their soums where they had been living. This is one of the examples of eco-flee.

Hoh.Mongol also elaborates how the global warming can bring eco-catastrophe in Mongolia.

Tumenbayar reports how Mongolian antelopes are facing extinction due to environmental degradation and desertification. Badamgarav points out that illegal hunting is one of the threats for the antelopes. Mongolian Saiga Antelopes are being killed for raw material of Chinese medicine.

At the present moment, Mongolia is one of the world's 110 countries battered by desertification. Badamgarav elaborates how Mongolia is becoming bare due to desertification:

The total forest of Mongolia is 19.0 million hectares, out of them 13.4 million are real forest. It is only 8.6% of Mongolian total territory. Therefore, by the UNDP standard Mongolia counts as a country rare by forest resource. By the current official statistics 1.6 million hectares forest of Mongolia had been annihilated. Of course climate change is a cause, but there are so many human factors such as stealthy cut and freight, and forest fire. [..]

The fire comes sometimes due to drought disaster, but most of them were caused by human inconsiderate proceedings.

A Ger house with chimney in Gobi Desert, Mongolia. Image by Flickr user PnP! CC BY-NC-ND

But does the future look so bleak? The Nomad Green members are also optimistic about facing the challenges. Tamir discusses about newer ways of fighting air pollution through the smoke emanating from the stoves in Ger houses. He mentions about the invention of an young Mongolian engineer, an electric stove for Gers, which will eliminate the use of burning fuels and can also be used to cook food and dry clothes. The electricity could be coming from renewable energy.

Bor interviews Gombojav Jamba, the former vice Chief of Great Khural of Mongolia and the head of NGO “Bogdkhan mountain’s natural complex”, who says that reforestation and gardening is the way to decrease poverty in Mongolia.

Read the Nomad Green Blog (in six languages) for more news about the state of environment in Mongolia.

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