June 1, 2022
ULAANBAATAR – Herders in the Gobi provinces have delivered demands to the President, the Speaker and the Prime Minister, and they started a peaceful demonstration.
They have been protesting peacefully at Sukhbaatar Square since May 30 to protest against unregulated mining licenses issued in the Gobi provinces. The demonstration will last until June 3.
Herders have submitted 9 demands to the National Security Council in order to restore their “rights to live in a healthy and safe environment, to be protected from environmental pollution and imbalances, and to be protected their health” as reflected in the Constitution of Mongolia.
E.Chuluunzurkh, a herder from Dornogovi province, said, “We want to inspect that whether mining companies in the Gobi region use fresh groundwater under the name of the concentrator. We have 9 requirements in a row. Before the 2020 election, Dalanjargalan soum of Dornogovi province was promised that no more mining licenses would be issued. As of May, 2022, 10 licenses have been issued. And we are making a statement to the government”.
– What ecological issues are currently being raised?
– There are transportation issues. Dust is generated by 60-120 ton trucks transporting on unpaved roads. 30-40 roads were created from Umnugovi to Choir, and a lot of dust was generated in the area. The human right to live in a safe environment is being violated. There are many loading and unloading areas in Olon Ovoo bag, Dalanjargalan soum, Dornogovi province. The people living in that area living with the dust. About 100 herders from Dalanjargalan soum arrived here. Herders also came from Umnugovi, Bayankhongor, Govisumber and Dundgovi provinces.
Requirements to the National Security Council:
1. To secure the environmental protection of traditional nomadic livestock development, restore the violated rights of cultural bearers to live in a healthy and safe environment, and fully eliminate the damage
2. To issue a presidential decree banning the issuance of exploration and mining licenses in the Gobi region for 30 years
3. To issue a law on use of groundwater prohibition, a key strategic resource
4. To conduct a human rights, social, health and ethnic impact assessment before implementing any project, set and implement standards, and create and follow a comprehensive legal environment
5. To terminate the licenses of companies that have been issued in violation of the law, whose reserves have expired more than 30 years ago, or which have not complied with the law
6. To make five strategic deposits in the Gobi region / Oyu Tolgoi, Tavan Tolgoi, Tsagaan Suvarga, Shivee-Ovoo and Nariin Sukhait / as a complex project and to plan and implement the feasibility study and infrastructure with the participation of local and public communities within the framework of the inter-sectoral policy, Sustainable Development and international commitments to reduce the impact of climate change. To stop all mining projects, except for the five deposits
7. To bring the development of Gashuunsukhait and Shiveekhuren ports checkpoints to a new level and to operate with full capacity, and to immediately stop the policy of opening additional ports such as Ulzii-Tsagaandel Uul in Umnugovi province
8. To make a decision to prohibit the transportation of heavy-duty paved non-special roads and other roads
9. The government should immediately file a lawsuit to compensate the ecological and economic damage caused by the construction of 470 km 35-39 branch roads from the Tavan Tolgoi group of deposits in the direction of Choir and Khangi Mandal for the last 3 years