Mining, Desertification, and Camels – Cultural Changes in Mongolia

Old Ways Disappearing In The New Mongolia : NPR.

May 24, 2012

Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan and nomadic herders, is in the midst of a remarkable transition. Rich in coal, gold and copper, this country of fewer than 3 million people in Central Asia is riding a mineral boom that is expected to more than double its GDP within a decade. The rapid changes simultaneously excite and unnerve many Mongolians, who hope mining can help pull many out of poverty, but worry it will ravage the environment and further erode the nation’s distinctive, nomadic identity.

This is part 4 of an NPR series on the dramatic changes coming to Mongolia.

Of course, the minerals are not used by Mongolians, but are mostly sold to China.  Is it worth losing a centuries-old culture for money?  Will the cash actually benefit the Mongolian people?  What role does desertification play in the choices that Mongolians make?

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