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.



2 Responses to “Nomad Green wishes to bring more green awareness with the power of citizen media”

  1. […] writes in the project blog: Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is a city rounded by mountains. Because of the unpredictable […]

  2. ghaidaa says:

    It is a great cooperation

    Good luck in this project

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