March 28, 2013
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) announced last month that Mongolia will be the global host of World Environment Day (WED) on June 5, 2013. WED began in 1972 and is the UN’s main vehicle for fostering political awareness and action about environmental issues on a global scale.
The theme of this year’s event is “Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Footprint,” and will focus on reducing our impact on the planet by consuming and wasting less.
2007 Mongolian Prize recipient Tsetsegee Munkhbayar and his team at the Onggi River Movement (ORM) have played an integral part in protecting Mongolia’s natural environment and advocating for landmark environmental protection legislation there.
One such piece of legislation is titled “Prohibiting mining operations at the headwaters of rivers, protected zones of water reservoirs and forested areas,” and was passed in July 2009 after years of campaigning by ORM and others NGOs. The law protects over 30% of Mongolia’s territory from mining and development threats.
Munkhbayar co-founded ORM in 2001 to help protect and restore the Ongii River. He was awarded the Goldman Prize for his efforts in 2007.