In Mongolia, Ensure Local Knowledge Informs Project Design

By Sukhgerel Dugersuren

Sukhgerel Dugersuren is a development specialist based in Mongolia. She founded OT Watch to monitor the Oyu Tolgoi mine. She is a member of the Global Advocacy Team, an 8-person group convened by the International Accountability Project, to conduct local research on development and make recommendations to improve World Bank policy on development finance. The Global Advocacy Team’s final report from 8 countries will be released in 2015.

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, Mr. L. Battsengel, a member of the GAT research team interviews herders in Khanbogd soum, an area affected by the Oyu Tolgoi mine. Photo Credit:Gobi Soil

We used to live with our children herding animals and benefitting from sales of wool cashmere, milk, and dairies. But now we are forced by life to operate a small shop to survive.

Pollution drove a number of families from their homes. One family who is being displaced by the Tayan Nuur project said, “There is a lot of noise and dust. Grass stopped growing in our pasture. It is not possible to herd animals here anymore.” Several people have also reported that their families are suffering from health problems, such as lung diseases.

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Goats inside the Oyu Tolgoi mine territory. Animals frequently cross over into their former pastures, making it difficult for herders to maintain their flocks.
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A meeting in Tseel soum, where communities are affected by an EBRD funded mine in Gobi-Altai

International Accountability Project works to defend the rights, land and livelihoods of people threatened by destructive development projects.

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