Archive for the ‘Environment’ category

How Citizen Journalists in Mongolia are Saving the Environment Using New Media

May 6, 2009

Climate changes in Mongolia are not only threatening the country’s environment, they are also threatening a way of life for Mongolian nomads. Over the decades, seasonal winds have resulted in the desertification of 41% of the country as the nation’s grasslands gradually turn into dust and sand. Poor land management and unsuitable farming practices have also contributed to the problem and as a result, nomadic herdsmen have fewer available grazing plots for their livestock, causing a population migration from rural areas into the cities as families are forced to abandon their nomadic ways of life.

Unfortunately, the problem is not contained to Mongolia/China’s Inner Mongolia as the sand storms also affect cities in China, Korea and Japan. (Yours truly has had the lovely experience of enduring the “yellow dust storms” which frequent Korea every spring.)

The problem is so severe, that increased awareness is needed in the hopes that desertification can be stopped, or at least slowed. In an effort to address the growing concerns surrounding the fate of Mongolia’s land, a Rising Voices grantee, Nomad Green, is working to train citizen journalists in the use of new media in order to spread awareness about the country’s environmental crisis. Through the use of blogs, podcasts, videos and mapping mashups, participants will be better equipped in reaching a broader audience as part of their awareness campaigns.

Click here for the project’s blog and here for more information Nomad Green’s work through the Rising Voices grant program.

BBC’s “Develop or Die” Debate

April 20, 2009

Earlier this year, BBC ran a series on sustainable development titled “Develop or Die.” I have compiled the two-part program focusing on Asia after having found the clips on YouTube.

My thoughts: While there is some finger-pointing toward the West (especially the U.S.), there is recognition that each country needs to take responsibility as well, especially in encouraging sustainable innovations within their own borders. That is an important recognition, although there probably always will be finger-pointing to some extent.

As per the YouTube description:

A debate from BBC series “Develop or Die” on the challenges facing Asian countries in their need to develop further while at the same time facing the need to do so sustainably and in an ecologically friendly way. Discussing options, alternatives, challenges and advantages of sustainable development. Recorded from BBC News on 22.02.2009.