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”.