Mongolia herder on mission to tackle mining firms
The destruction of Mongolia’s grasslands to access a wealth of mineral riches has sparked an anti-mining movement led by a nomadic herder who says force can be used to bring polluting firms to heel.
Tsetsegee Munkhbayar is the head of Fire Nation, a small group on a crusade to put an end to what they say are irresponsible mining operations in the resource-rich landlocked country that are threatening their livelihoods.
After failing to gain traction with the country’s political leaders, Munkhbayar and his fellow activists reportedly took matters into their own hands and shot at equipment at a mine in the southern province of Ovorkhangai.
Now Munkhbayar – who in 2007 gained national fame by winning the US-based Goldman Environmental Prize honouring grassroots activists for his work in cleaning up the Ongi river, one of the largest in the country — is in jail.
Image is of Annual Nadaam Festival, a traditional Mongolian wrestling in Central Mongolia. Photograph by Oksana Perkins taken on July 10, 2009 / Shutterstock.com.