Tost, Tosonbumba Mountains might be taken under special protectionPolitics
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ A discussion on taking the Tost and Tosonbumba Mountains in Gurvantes soum of Omnogovi (South Gobi) aimag under state special protection was held December 2 in the Citizen’s Chamber in the State House.
Present were Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism N.Battsereg MP, D.Bat-Erdene and Ts.Oyungerel MPs, also biologists, bird watchers, snow leopard preservationists, archaeologists and NGO representatives.
Intensified mining operations in Omnogovi has brought both new developments and many problems, especially to the eco-system of the region, noted Kh.Tumendelger, a president of “Wonderful Gobi” tourism union and executive member of the Citizen’s Khural of Omnogovi aimag.
The largest in Mongolia soum Gurvantes occupies 2.8 million square kilometer area and has 4,502 residents, 1,430 households and 140,900 heads of livestock. The soum is also a home to 20 species of birds and to extremely rare animals such as snow leopards, Wild camel, Koulang (wild ass) and Mazaalai (Gobi bear), and many rare types of trees and bushes. Exploring and exploiting licenses have been granted to Menshikuaniye, FMI, GDBN, Southgobi Sands, Monkhiin Nomkhon Dalai, Namuuntod, Elbeg Ord and South Gobi Coal Trans companies, to conduct mining operations in most of the area of Gurvantes soum. There are four major deposits, being exploited.
A head of the Citizen’s Khural Presidium of Omnogovi said the local inhabitans have been already attending more than ten trials--all unsuccessful--with the mining companies over the issue of preserving the Tosonbumba Mountains. The Gurvantes people added that companies of B.Choijilsuren MP are among those mining companies.
Archaeologist R.Barsbold spoke about precious findings discovered in Gurvantes such as the remains of dinosaurs of the kind of Tarbosaurus Bataar and fossils of “terrible hand” dubbed dinosaurs.
Snow leopards are the indicators of the purity of the region’s eco-system, while the bat population indicates that the region has a major reserve of underground pure water, noted Dr Monkhtsog, a scientist at the Biology Institute of the Academy of Sciences.
The Minister of Environment N.Battsereg, Ts.Oyungerel and D.Bat-Erdene MPs promised to deliver the voice of the locality to parliament. Ts.Oyungerel MP expressed condolences for the tragic death of T.Lkhagvasumberel, the young preservationist and biologist who had been murdered by unknown group of people after a long time struggle for preserving the Tosonbumba Mountains. She also suggested that the locals, who came to the discussion, meet with Speaker Z.Enkhbold, PM Ch.Saikhanbileg and B.Choijilsuren MP.
The participants of the discussion decided to collaborate with related authorities in taking the Tosonbumba Mountains and surrounding it areas under state special protection.