NomadGreen Weekly Update: April 24, 2011

By Boum-Yalagch, Advisor of NomadGreen

Last week the NomadGreen team made some meetings and press conferences. We had one meeting in our office about article writing for competition, with participants of 12 pupils and 1 teacher from school for Eco Club, No.98.

In the meeting, we explained to them what is doing and the environmental responsibility of society and its citizens. We would continue to have more meetings with other school pupils and students next week.

Furthermore, I(Mr. Boum) met 25 students from National University of Humanity who are majoring in German language. For me, it was very interesting to talk to students and got closer what the young generation.

We are expecting to receive about 30 articles for competition next week, and we should have one week for proofreading and refining work, and than we will publish the articles on

Recently, many NGOs, especially environmental and human right NGOs-most of them coming from countryside-are now demonstrating in Sukhbaatar square in order to require the government and parliament to dissolve, and also the President to step down, if they do not fulfill the promises made during election campaigns.

We also made press conferences with some scientists who are against the nuclear power station project, which Mongolia government is going to implement in coming years.

Ms. Otgoo who has been our most dedicated editor in chief, gave the torch to the team, and is now the No.1 author of NomadGreen. She is now accompanying a lady from India in countryside as the translator and guide. This lady, who is working in Mongolia, has a movie making project for Gobi bear Mazaalai. She found NomadGreen online and ask us to assist her. We are happy to know that NomadGreen is bringing us friends from all over the world. We think this is also a way to make NomadGreen sustainable by itself.

Next week there will be more demonstrations in UB and some additional organisations and political parties will participate in. I will keep updating.

Photos of Latest Workshops in Murun, Khatgal and Ulaanbaatar

NomadGreen continues to extend its footprints to other towns in Mongolia. During June 23 to July 3, NomadGreen’s project organizer Axiou Lin, chief editor Otgoo, and advisor and devoted environmentalist Boum visited the Khovsgol aimag which is the north-est aimag in Mongolia.

The team visited the biggest lake in Mongolia-Lake Khovsgol, and met with local environmentalist and nature protectors. The natural environment of this aimag is also under severe pressure from mining business and desertification, just like most other aimags in Mongolia.

Murun and Khatgal are the two major administrative and business towns in the aimag. We were very excited to spread our message this far and enroll new citizen journalists with high ambition.

And on July 3rd. The team return to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, to have one special workshop for kids!

This special workshop was designed by Taiwanese University students and NomadGreen editors together. Enkhuush, the marvelous Mongolian student who studies in National Taiwan University, is the key to this successful event.

We taught these kids how to become small citizen journalists by drawing what they saw in their daily life. Education is considered as one of the most crucial issues along with environmental protection. NomadGreen wishes to combine those two issues and make kids the initiator of change in their families.

You can check more photos by following the links.

Workshop in Murun, Khovsgol Aimag(Province) on June 29.

Workshop in Khatgal, Khovsgol Aimag(Province) on June 30.

Workshop at NomadGreen’s new office/Internet classroom in Ulaanbaatar on July 3rd.

New workshops in UB, Choibalsan, and Taipei


Hi, some new updates about Nomad Green here:

1. On 9/5, Nomad Green will have another workshop in Ulaanbaatar, and the topic is 「Green Urban Design」. A speaker who is an expert of this field will give workshop participants a 40 minutes talk and then we will visit a green construction site maintained by Mongolian Green Coalition, an environmental NGO that is trying to change the poor living condition of more than 60% of city population who live in yurt district. Until now we know 17 people are going to take part in this workshop in an Internet cafe (site detail to be confirmed).

2. On 9/8, one more workshop will be hosted in Choibaisan, the far eastern city in Mongolia. The topic is 「Agriculture」 since eastern aimags(province) of Mongolia are agriculture-based. We are still recruiting and our best expectation is to have 10 participants. Even though, that would be Nomad Green’s one very important step because we finally step out of the capital.

The above two workshops will be hosted by Otgoo and Odnoo, Nomad Green’s two magnificent editors since I am not going to Mongolia myself this time(budget is tight). As for me…

3. On 9/7, I will hold another workshop in Taipei with 15 Mongolian students who studies in Taiwan right now. Nomad Green is in need of more translators’ contribution. I hope I can motivate some of them to give NG a hand.

At the same time, Nomad Green is also organizing Taiwanese people/NGOs to visit Mongolia to strengthen the intercourse. Last time in late July a group of architects and urban planners had visit Mongolia and now a group of vegetarians are heading to Mongolia to promote vegetarian food. I myself am wondering how will they persuade Mongolian people who consume almost merely meat all their life to have some 「grass」 in their dish, but since we all know too much meat consumption is also one of the major factors causing global warming and climate change, it might be a good idea to try vegetarian twice a week for Mongolians. What do you think?

That is for now. More updates later after the workshops.

Updates on Nomad Green workshops

Although it is half a month already since Nomad Green’s latest two workshops in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, I still remember clearly the enthusiasm and passion I felt from new participants of Nomad Green (Mongolian Environmental Information Program, supported by Rising Voices and MTF Taiwan)

Three months passed after Nomad Green’s first 4 workshops in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. In early July, the core team of Nomad Green(Portnoy, Otgoo, Odnoo) finally decided to hold another two workshops on July 29 and 30. And this time, instead of covering broad range of Mongolian environmental issues, such as air pollution, water pollution, deforestation, mining…, we wanted to focus on special topics that matters very much to people who live in this over-crowded therefore fragile city.

So each of the two workshops has its own special topic with a relative bus trip to visit the exact area. The topic of the first workshop on 7/29 is “Tuul River”, the mother river that provide water usage to about 60% of Mongolian population(which is 1.5 million people) who lives in downtown Ulaanbaatar and the yurt district around the downtown. The other topic for the second workshop on 7/30 is “Waste management”, which is a major concern for such a fastly growing city.

Instead of separating one workshop into two days as last time we did in May, we decided to utilize a full day from 9:00 in the morning to 8:00 in the evening for each workshop because July is much warmer than May, and the sunset also comes a lot later until 9:00 in the evening, so we won’t have to ask our participants to come twice and it is safer for participants when they return home in late evening. (Some of them live very far away from the downtown.)

Each Nomad Green workshop can be divided into five major parts:
1. mission explanation
2. social web introduction and practice
3. speech on special topic
4. site exploration
5. discussion and presentation

Most parts were the same as the last four workshops in May, except that, first, we skipped facebook, youtube, flickr, but concentrated on wordpress(which is the platform Nomad Green is on) and twitter. The reason was that we only had limited time and twitter is the simplest one to teach. As a country of 2.8 million people, the participants of our workshops were all shocked to know that there are some people on twitter whose tweets are read by up to 2 million at the same time. (I used Shaq O’nell’s twitter account as the example)

Second, since we had decided two special and clear targets(Tuul river and waster management in UB) to report, so for each workshop we arranged a special talk by the expert of that topic and one bus to take participants together to the exact spot.

The two visits, one to the near-by basin of Tuul river, the other to the landfill site of UB, were really very helpful for all of us to grasp a fuller picture of each issue. We saw how the watercourse was changed by the mining company which caused serious decrease on water volume. We also witnessed how the constructions built in the basin was corroding the river. According to the estimation from UB city goverenment, the utmost amount of people that Tuul river can support is less than 2 million, and there are already 1.5 million. Since Tuul river and the underground water (that also come from the river) are the only water resources to support the whole population in UB, the protection of Tuul river is extremely vital.

The visit to UB landfill site was also an important experience to all participants since none of them had ever visited the place before and didn’t know where their trashes go. The landfill site was built with the support from Japanese governement so the facilities are all new and really good, however, the logistics of waste transportation, the system of recycling, the regulation to reduce urban trash, and the citizens’ awareness to the issue are not matured yet, so the waste management issue has been the most difficult problem to city government for many years and still is.

During our visit, we also met the people whose lifes are depending on collecting and sorting out trashes. Many of them are kids, and the only economical sources of their families. Nomad Green participants and future citizen journalists interviewed some of them under the supervision of the manager of landfill site. One leader of the group of trsh pickers told us that many people and media journalists regarded them as “trash eaters” because they never really know them and build stories based on their appearances, but in fact, picking trashes is just their job, and they are just like anyone else: they are clean in clean clothes when they go to the downtown UB. She was very diappointed whenever she read biased and stereotyped articles about them (trash pickers at the landfill site).

Many participants finished their reports soon after returning to the internet cafe. Some of their posts are already posted on Nomad Green.

Two major targets for Nomad Green to meet if we want to have bigger influence are 1. to translate Mongolian articles into English and Chinese, more 2. to kick off workshops in other cities of Mongolia. The editors’ team is working on the targets.

Flickr album of the latest two workshops:

Please follow the twitter account of Nomad Green:

Read the Mongolia you never know from Nomad Green

Nomad Green screenshot on 7/3

Nomad Green screenshot on 7/3

Nomad Green, the citizen media project supported by Taiwan’s Mongolian and Tibetan Foundation and Rising Voices, is getting on track. After the first series of workshops in Ulaanbaatar, we have recruited more than 60 participants. However, among them only 13 have published their posts. Many reasons are behind this situation, like lack of time and Internet connection to practice what was taught during the workshops. The editor’s team(including me) is encouraging participants to write their first post around themselves and their thoughts on greener and healthier Mongolia, and is also encouraging participants to give us hand written pieces or document file, in order to lower the worries of publishing on Internet.

39 posts have been published on Nomad Green. And here I would like to recommend two posts which are great pieces and are translated into English and Chinese from Mongolian already.

Bazu, who just finished his university degree and graduated, challenges the claimed damage caused by “pest insects”. In the post he showed us the real problem behind huge amount of waste of water resource allegedly caused by insects:

During the last seven years these insects have destroyed 29,000 square hectares of forest land in Mongolia containing 20,300,000 trees. Scientific inspection has revealed that one tree’s root system contains about 40,000 liters of water. Supposing the average Mongolian nomad’s tent uses 30 liters of water per day, one tree would contain enough water to last three to four years. Therefore, multiplying this by 20,300,000 it represents 812,000,000,000 liters of water – or enough water to last the entire city of Ulaanbaatar for four to five years! In other words, pests have already destroyed that much drinking water.
Obviously, pest insects are causing great damage, but ultimately that damage is being caused by human beings. One reason is that the animals and other creatures which feed on the pest insects are being hunted and killed by human beings. Another important reason is that humans are also providing an ideal environment for pest insects to multiply and thrive because of causing global warming.

Bazu translate his own post into English and then took on his trip to investigate natural environment and zoology in rural Mongolia with a team of researchers. He gave his promise to all other Nomad Green participants in our mailing list that he would bring bags and bags of interesting and first-hand material to write about for Nomad Green.

Aslan, who is a famous environmental activist in Mongolia, wrote about the fearful Minamata disease that’s happening in Mongolia right now. This post is so shocking and shockingly good. Please read it with patience:

This is a real disaster and fear, and the government and relevant authorities should know that the southern part of Mongolia is a safe place to live in the future or not. It seems so strange that Ministry of health and State Professional Inspection Agency still haven’t respond to any of the letters sent by the aimag’s Central hospital and aimag’s Professional Inspection Agency. Why are they no t taking any measurements?
In the beginning of 2009, 8 newborn babies were registered. 4 babies without kidney, brain, fingers of hand and foot, and baby whose eyes were too far from each other, 2 babies without palates and 2 babies whose ventral wall was not developed and stomach was outside their body, were recorded. May be you think that it is connected with increase in illegal extraction of gold. Even though Professional Inspection Agency of the region worked against it and stopped the cases of manual extraction of gold, the illegal extractions have been occurred once in a while. 70 percents of the area in our province poisoned from mercury and cyanide.

Please, read the full piece and leave a comment under. Aslan told me that he has more than 10,000 photos taken from polluted south Mongolia mining fields. So he will disclose more facts about the environmental problem which has reached the level of defecting national security.

Also, a team of NTV (Mongolian TV channel) reporters visited Taiwan last week to interview Taiwanese Mongolians who migrated to Taiwan during 1949. I(Portnoy Zheng) was also interviewed because of Nomad Green. They love Nomad Green and said they are going to visit our latest workshops.

Oh yes, our latest series of workshops will be held on July 28-31 in Ulaanbaatar. However, this time we will invite participants to visit near-by Tuul river, the mother river which has been mentioned many times during our past workshops. We will check the basin and interview local nomads about the changes in landscape near Tuul river in recent years. And, we will invite the other workshop’s participants to look around the waste dumping site in Ulaanbaatar. We will see how the city trash is collected, transported, buried or recycled, and of course, we want to write about how people living nearby the site survive by “utilizing trashes”.

Looking for more? Check our twitter account and facebook group.

Nomad Green: Web Herders who Guard Mongolian Environment(1)

I am writing a series of posts about Nomad Green’s workshops from 5/4-5/14 in Ulaanbaatar. This post is the first of them.

“They burn used tires just to get warm?” I asked.
“You have no idea how cold it is in Mongolia’s winter” Boum replied.

As a Taiwanese living all of my life in this humid and hot island, I’ve never imagined that one day I would visit Mongolia, make dozens of friends there, and share their concerns about their crumbling mother land.

“Nomad Green” is a little bit different from other RV projects. First, it is not initiated by local citizens at the very beginning. Nomad Green is an idea brought out by General Secretary Lin Cheng-hsiou (Axiou) of Mongolian and Tibetan Foundation(MTF) in Taiwan 4 years ago(August, 2005) before he took this position. In Aug, 2005, four Asia Green Parties gathered for a conference in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Axiou, who represented Taiwanese Green Party at that time, exchanged a lot of ideas with Boum-Yalagch of Mongolian Green Party. They both believed that Mongolian environment could be damaged easily if Mongolian citizens did not act upon it on their own and if the world did not hear their voices.
This January, I left my job in a internet company in Taiwan, and was invited by Axiou to join MTF for this project. Back then we only had certain imaginations about this project and I, to tell the truth, knew almost nothing about temporary Mongolia, not to mention the environmental issues happening in this country. I started to study in Mongolian environmental problems and the complicated but interesting temporary history and society. Also, I was responsible for looking for funding, so I wrote dozens of versions of plans for Nomad Green. It was not easy to get funding but fortunately we got some and luckily become a grantee of Rising Voices.

Boum introduces Ms. Otgonsuren Jargal(Otgoo) to join this project as Chief Editor. Otgoo is a active member of Green Coalition of Ulaanbaatar, and she had working experiences as journalist and editor in both mainstream and independent media of Mongolia. Besides native Mongolian language, she can speak good English, French, and Russian. I shall let her to talk about herself but she is not available recently since she is busy editing posts written by Nomad Green participants. But you will get to know her soon.
Axiou and I arrived at Ulaanbaatar on 11pm, May 2nd and Davaa (Guo Liang) picked us up at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport. Davva is a Mongolia-born-Chinese, a high school student Axiou met in Ulaanbaatar 2 years ago who lives with his family. The economic situation of his family is not good and the rental for a regular flat in downtown UB is high so they live at the ger area where about half of the residents in UB lives. Axiou and I invited Davaa to join Nomad Green team as a workshop assistant since he is fluent in Mongolian and Mandarin.
On 5/3, Axiou and I visited Boum’s office and met Otgoo in person for the first time though we had been exchanging ideas for more than 2 months relentlessly in nomadgreen editor’s google group. We checked again our plan and schedule for the first four workshops in two weeks and made some changes. We decided not to ask all participants to open their own personal blogs, instead, we wanted them to know how to contribute on Nomad Green website, know how to use the map to report issues, and how to upload photos and videos, how to twitter and play with the Facebook group. Personal blogs are good, but considering the limited time and access to Internet for most of our participants, maintaining a personal blog might be too time-consuming.

The first workshop began on 16:00 pm on 5/4. Each workshop is divided into two days, 4 hours for each day. Otgoo found a perfect venue for our workshops thanks to her experience as journalist before: Press Institute of Mongolia. The office of Press Institute was established in 1995 under the Free Press project financed by a grant from the Danish Agency for International Development (DANIDA) according to a Mongolian-Danish governmental agreement. It has a nice computer classroom with about 15 functioning computers and fast enough Internet connection. Otgoo and I arrived at the Press Institute on 14:30 to prepare. We soon found that there was no projector and the projector in Boum’s office was borrowed. So I use a USB disk to install Axiou’s and my presentation file on all computers one by one so our participants could see them on the screens.

Soon, our participants came. They were all on time, for that both Otgoo and I were surprised because the traffic in downtown UB was a mess and being late was not going to be anyone’s fault. But all our participants were on time. Because it was the first day of Nomad Green’s first workshop so Axiou and I talked about “Why Nomad Green?” at first for 40 minutes. You can see our presentation here and here. Axiou and I spoke in English and Boum and Otgoo interpreted for us.

I then spent about 30 minutes talking about the basic ideas of blogs and citizen media. During this period I asked them to try Google Map to search for our location or a mining field in Erdenet or the only wind power site in Mongolia which had went bankrupt and ceased to run. I also asked them to use Google News Search to find Mongolian environmental news to show how poor those coverage was on international media. And then Boum talked (in Mongolian) about the environmantal issues in Mongolia and shared his experience as a major environmental activist in Mongolia for more than a decade. Participants enjoyed his 20 minutes short speech very much and were inspired a lot.

Some of our participants were also environmental activists themselves, and some were independent journalist, while most of them were citizens and students who cared about the dramatic Mongolian environmental changing issues. I guessed Otgoo used up all her connections to recruit these more than 60 participants for the four workshops. Before going to dinner, I asked each participant to figure out a topic or issue they wanted to write about. Each of them could either write a first-hand report as a citizen journalist, express their concerens toward a particular environmental problem, or talk about how they deal with the air pollution, water pollution, sand storm, and trash problem in his/her own daily life. And each one had to present his/her topic and its general idea in front of everyone after dinner.

We had dinner together at Press Institute’s dinning room. The dinner was good and I used my digital camera to shoot some videos of our participants while they are eating and chatting. They quickly finished their dinner because they wanted to use more time to prepare the presentation.

Presentation was the most interesting part in Day 1. We divided 16 of them into 3 groups, and each group had to decide a central topic/issue while each group member had to develop a particular approach to look at this topic/issue. For example, Group A focus on air pollution in UB, and Member X of Group A can tackle this issue by discussing one of the causes of the severe pollution, Mmeber Y can talk about the policy and govermental approach to handle it and why air quality still got worse and worse with so much budget each year to fight against the pollution.(I heard some very interesting and shocking reasons, but I would let Nomad Green particiapants to write about that on their own.)

The controversy of underground water pollution and newly-constructed buldings and restrictions not being implemented, the air quality in UB, and the pollution in Tuul River were the 3 topics presented by our 3 groups. I enjoyed their presentation though it took more time than we expected because of the time of interpretation. We finished the presentation and that day’s workshop until 8:20 pm. Before the end, I asked all of them to think about the outline of their first post on Nomad Green–title, first paragraph, photos/videos, argument, statistics, location/map…and we said “see you tomorrow”.
Boum, Otgoo, Axiou and I went together to a beer bar nearby to review the workshop. I was responsible for the bad time management, and we all agreed that we should engage our participants more by asking questions instead of just speaking. We then previewed the lessons for the next day. (to be continued)

Workshops on May 4-7, May 11-14 in Ulaanbaatar

Nomad Green’s first series of workshops are launching on May 4. The goal of the first round of workshops is to encourage new bloggers to write down their first posts.

The workshops will be held at the computer classroom provided by Press Institute of Mongolia. Thank PIM for providing us this great venue with relatively low price and stable internet connection.

The plan of the workshops are as follows. We will re-arrange the plan based on the actual situation.

Day 1

16:00-16:15 Introduction of the project and the workshop/Self-introduction of everyone Portnoy
16:15-17:00 Nomad Green-the Concept(why) Axiou Lin
17:00-17:45 Nomad Green-the Practice(how) Portnoy
17:45-18:15 Dinner and discussion
18:15-19:10 Mongolian Environmental and public health Issues Otgoo, Boum
19:10-19:40 Journalism Basics Otgoo, Portnoy
19:40-20:00 Divide participants into 3 Groups+Each decide a environmental or public health topic to write about Portnoy, Otgoo
Day 2
16:00-16:30 Review Day 1 lessons by going through slides in a fast pace Portnoy, Otgoo
16:30-17:20 Introducing Worpress(Nomad Green), flickr, picasa, Youtube, and other social media Portnoy
17:20-18:50 Practice/Writing/ Reporting on Nomad Green
18:50-19:40 Dinner while Each group introduces their own report in 10 minutes Axiou, Portnoy, and Otgoo as commenters.
19:40-20:00 Giving awards and certificates to each workshop participants. Goodbye Portnoy

Nomad Green wishes to bring more green awareness with the power of citizen media

Mongolia always gives people the impression of running wild horses on Gobi desert,  warriors beyond challenge, and nomadic life by following water and grass. Actually, Mongolia has undergone dramatic change both on politics and economics for the past decade. People gradually abandon traditional nomadic life and turn to urban life and settled agriculture. New factories and new mining fields develop very quick before the financial crisis, which in return attracts more people to live and seek jobs in Ulaanbaatar, the Capital which is inhabited by more than 15 million people, 60% of its total population.

Mongolia is a country with no coastline but with the highest plateau on earth in average.  Besides Gobi Desert, there are dense forests, grand mountains, boundless grassland and beautiful lakes. Mongolian traditional life style is another selling point to tourists, whether it is living in a yurt. horse riding across the grassland, or enjoying Mongolian wrestling and feasts.

Ulaanbaatar, the Capital of Mongolia, is a city rounded by mountains. Because of the unpredictable climate changes in recent years, cattle that nomadic people depends on died a lot which drives many to go to the city and live in poverty. According to the statistics by Green Party of Mongolia, 70% of inhabitant in Ulaanbaatar earn less than 4 USD each month. However, you don’t beggars on streets because according to Boum, the leader of Greens of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolians are proud of being the descendants of wolves and it is this proud that restrain themselves from begging on streets.

According to Boum, there are two major environmental issues to overcome in Ulaanbaatar: air pollution and the lack of clean water supply. The water issue is simpler since the main cause is the decayed pipeline while the Country has no budget to maintain and renew. Foreigners who visit Ulaanbaatar buy and drink bottling water. Green Party asserts that wealthy people should pay higher water rate so that the Country can have budget to repair and maintain the facilities.

Air pollution is a more complicated problem. In addition to the poor management on vehicle emission, another major polluter is the coom that comes from basking in winter. Because of poverty, people tend to get warm by burning corase coal with very low efficiency, especially in the over-populated yurt area in the north-west suburban district of Ulaanbaatar, where unfortunately is at the windward side during winter. During winter, heavily-polluted air blows to the urban area, therefore, one has to endure not only the freezing coldness but also the terrible air quality that is six times worse than standard.

Green Party, on this problem, is trying to persuade Government to take air pollution as a “disaster” and get ready to meet the emergency. Mongolia Greens think it is too late and too expensive for economically challenged people to expect using gas, and the only way to solve this is by initiating disaster responsive mechanism and move the yurt area,

There are almost no similarities between Taiwan the island and Mongolia the biggest inland country. However, the dust storm that originates from the ever expanding desert in Mongolia affects millions of Taiwanese during winter, and both are closest neighbors of Mainland China with certain shared history experiences and memories. Nomad Green is a chance for Mongolians and Taiwanese to rediscover each other and cooperate on environmental issues via Internet that affect half of the globe.

On the other hand, although the trade between Mongolia and China is growing rapidly, language and cultural barriers still hinder both citizens from in-depth communication. With citizen translators’ help, Nomad Green expect Mongolian Youth and NGO members to engage in citizen media and communicate their concerns on development, life style change, and environmental problems with Chinese readers and English readers.

Our goals are:
1. Building a database of Mongolia environmental issues and make it fully accessible on Internet, with the help of university students in Mongolia and Taiwan.

2. Holding a series of training workshops. With the help of Rising Voices, MTF (Mongolian and Tibetan Foundation, Taiwan), JIM(Journalist Institution of Mongolia) , Greens of Ulaanbaatar, and SOS Children’s Village in Monglia, we expect to train about 200 Mongolian citizen journalists. (We hope half of them would stay.) Our first round of workshops will soon begin on May 4th in Ulaanbaatar. We already have 31 interested participants on our list right now.

3. Combining google map and blog posts. By combining google map and blog posts by citizen journalists, there will be a Ulaanbaatar version of green map on Nomad Green , so that both tourists and local Mongolians can know how to travel and live green in Ulaanbaatar.


Introduction to Nomad Green

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.