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Ambassador report

Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] Air pollution in Ulaanbaatar (part 2)

by Tsengelmaa Nyamdorj | 09-11-2019 22:47 Comments 6 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

As winter comes knocking on our door, every coal burn signals the end of a young boy's life in the ger district of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Sadly, coal-caused-lung cancers and heart failures are the primary cause of death in children aged 0 to 5. Then, where is media coverage that was calling for the difference when the crisis hit Beijing? It is nowhere to be found. Only a few people are aware of this atrocious situation that another day with no sun, heavy smog, and poignant smell of coal is normal for many Ulaanbaatar residents. After all, is there a way to fix the situation? There are two hopeful solutions that can change everything. 
First, capping further migration from rural areas to the capital city to stop mass concentration might seem like an apt solution. But it will violate the right to move freely, cracking the recent and rather fragile constitution of the democratic government of Mongolia. So, that is a no.
Second, the government promoting the use of refined coal by introducing tax cuts and social advocacy might sound right. However, they have tried it, yet people are still using raw coal with more calorific value and toxic pigments because of shortages in technological advancement and capital supplies to upgrade the value and reduce the price of coal.
So both assumed-plausible solutions to air pollution in Ulaanbaatar are crossed out as many low and middle-class families have no choice but to migrate to the capital city with their gers (not connected to any electricity, water, or heat) due to financial incentives, and then use the cheapest way to make a living (burn cheap coal). 
On the brink of giving up, I encountered an amazing result that tells a much different story from mine. 
According to the study, due to constant efforts from the government, October 2019’s PM 2.5 concentration was 22% lower than last year’s. Which shed light on many Mongolians as it signaled a better future. However, we are currently waiting in distress as the recent development might be a temporary one because it is only November and the concentration reduction might be due to warmer weather and less-frequent stove firing. Let us pray that Mongolian citizens can enjoy the free air just like everyone else; let us hope that I was wrong to think that there is no way to escape from the fog.



Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Tsengelmaa

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about Air pollution in Ulaanbaatar

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 13-11-2019 19:15

Hyeongmin Mentor

  • Hyeongmin Mentor says :
    Hello Tsengelmaa

    I've heard several times about the severe air pollution in Ulaanbaatar. Every time I hear about it, the fact that children are the most vulnerable of all age groups make me really sad. It is good to see some positive signals about the usage of coals, even though the cause is yet to be found. It not that the reality of the middle-class people's lives can't be understood, but the air pollution issue should be dealt with special care as soon as possible. I hope some creative measure come up with the active implementation from the government.

    Thank you for the great report.
    Posted 12-11-2019 00:02

Lisa Mentor

  • Lisa Mentor says :
    Hello Tsengelmaa,
    it's Lisa once again:)

    I think you have a really nice point here, how environmental harm is often done at the price of survival for some people. Poor and disenfranchised of the world often are pointed as the culprits for pollution, yet we cannot criticize them nor accuse them of the global crime. This is because they didn't have other choices but to survive at the price of the environment. This is also pointed out when discussing the trade-offs between SDGs, how sometimes protecting the environment can put these vulnerable people at risk! This is why we have to think about diverse aspects when we have discourses on environmental issues.

    Thanks for the article once again and I really enjoyed reading it!
    Posted 11-11-2019 18:53

Prashamsa Bhusal

  • Prashamsa Bhusal says :
    Hello Tsengelmaa!!
    Good to hear from you .This problem has been burning issue in the world so preventive measures should be taken as soon as possible.
    Green cheers!
    Posted 11-11-2019 00:45

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Hello Tsengelmaa
    I hope you are fine

    Air pollution has become one of the deadliest problem of the globe. Thank you so much for mentioning how can we and government aid to tackle with it.

    Thank you so much for this report.
    Green cheers
    Asmita Gaire
    Posted 10-11-2019 10:36

Meena Pandey

  • Meena Pandey says :
    Hello Tsengelmaa !!!
    I hope you are fine and doing great.
    I really enjoyed reading yours report.

    Air pollution is not only in Ulaabaatar but also in every developing country.

    Keep writing and shining.
    Hope to know more from you.

    Warm regards,

    Posted 10-11-2019 00:14

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