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Greencore: Highlighting Mongolian Voices On Environmental Degradation

Greencore.org is an NGO from Mongolia which conducted a survey in Matad soum of Dornod Aimag between April to October 2011. The project engaged local people who participated in filling out CRC (Citizen Report Cards) which contained 13 questions on how they think about the environmental degradation in this area. The reports were primarily shared in their blog which is in Mongolian language.

The project aims at ensuring citizens oversight and monitoring on extractive industry revenue and identifying how the extraction industry understands its social responsibility and accountability of reporting their revenue. (more here)

Environmental degradation by the extracting Industry. Image courtesy Greencore NGO

The findings and results of the project were also disseminated through different media including Rising Voices grantee Nomadgreen's blog and this would be the key step towards ensuring the social accountability, transparency in extractive industry and the company social responsibility and developing fairness.

Mongoloo translated a report on Greencore's journey to Tamsag, Matad soum of Dornod province in Nomad Green website:

Our purpose going to Tamsag is to know real activity or operation of the mining company PetroDaichin China Tsamsag on hot spot and to share gathered information to others because local people never talk good things about the company running its operation here for over 10 years. Additionally, another reasons are to know how the company door is open for a simple citizen, and to feel the company administration out whether they receive and agree local people’s opinion or requests. However, I realized that it was not easy to fulfill the above mentioned aims after hearing some people’s discussions.

Here is an interview with Ms. Ulziichimeg, the head of Special Inspection Agency of Dornod province about the operation and activity of Petrochina Daichin Tamsag company:

Ms. Ulziichimeg: We inspected the company in June of last year. As a result, breaches of 47 articles were inspected. In order to have their breaches dealt with, the urgent claim was sent to the company and the date of its implementation was been set.

Otgoo Jargal, editor of Rising Voices grantee Nomad Green project from Mongolia was involved in this project and helped us translated some of the key findings.

Here are some facts collected during the survey and monitoring phase and were published in the Greencore blog:

The Chinese influence:

The Petrochina Dachin Tamsag company paid in 2010 to the Government: 38,220,022 billion tugrugs, but Matad soum (village) stayed very backward place of the country where no electricity and other essential access for human development.

There is higher rate of poverty and unemployment in Matad soum, but 90% of employees in Petrochina Dachin Tamsag company are Chinese workers.

Traditional Yurts. Image courtesy Otgoo

Destruction of the Menen steppes:

Matad soum is situated in the vast step named Menen, which is not only the biggest in Mongolia, but it is the last and biggest and untouched step in the world. Many scientists and specialist of environmental suggest to us that we should save this as a natural heritage declared by UN.

But now this beautiful step is being destroyed and even local herders always get lost in the road, made by the company for searching and transporting the oil in this area.

The criscross roads destroying the harmnony of the steppes

We had lost the way several time in two days trip there even we had local guide, we were confused a lot. Every time when we stopped to ask the way, we encountered Chinese drivers transporting oil and they do not speak Mongolian language. The local herders are grieved because they sometimes wonder whether they are in their own land or in China.

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