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Environment officials from throughout Northeast Asia met in Ulaanbaatar this week for the first time to discuss climate change and how to enhance energy efficiency in the region. Mongolia's capital city was a fitting location for the meeting as the country's environmental deterioration has accelerated recently due to rapid urbanization, industrial growth, and increased coal consumption. Ulaanbaatar is frequently shrouded in a haze of thick pollution.
Desertification from climate change is threatening the livelihoods of nomadic Mongolian tribesmen and the country's saiga antelope was just named the most endangered antelope species in Asia. It is amid so much negative news that Portnoy Zheng, in collaboration with the Mongolian and Tibetan Foundation and the Mongolian Green Party, will train Mongolian citizens how to spread awareness – both at home and abroad – about their country's environmental crisis. Nomad Green aims to 1.) train citizen journalists how to use blogs, digital video, podcasts, and map mashups to report on environmental news, 2.) create a network and community of environmentalists sharing and spreading information about related threats, solutions, and opportunities, and 3.) translate content into Chinese and English to promote more regional and international cooperation in facing Mongolia's environmental challenges.