Although Mongolia is famous for its open spaces, 50% of its population lives in Ulaanbaatar – Mongolia’s crowded capital city. In a recent (July 2022) survey carried out by the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), 33% of Ulaanbaatar’s population is aged 17 or younger. The same survey highlighted that a percentage of kids in Ulaanbaatar struggle to access clubs as well as spotlighting a lack of green spaces.
Our Nature Positive Policy as well as the above statistics, are the motivation behind our setting up, in partnership with Association Goviin Khulan, a nature club for Mongolian kids designed especially for those in urban Ulaanbaatar who often have limited exposure to the natural environment. Our aim is that our informal nature club will provide the kids with opportunities to interact with and appreciate nature in an urban setting, fostering a deeper connection and understanding of the world around them. We hope that by instilling an interest in and respect for nature from a young age, we can help lay the foundation for responsible environmental stewardship in the future by inspiring the kids to become advocates for the environment.
Every two months we create a new project for children to focus on – from learning about the water cycle and the protection of water resources to writing a nature journal. Each project has a range of engaging activities and projects tailored to suit the typical learning and home environment of kids based in Mongolia’s urban area and kids can individually decide the number and type of tasks they complete. Membership is enhanced through motivational rewards such as awards and badges.
We also share our club and its activities with Ulaanbaatar-based projects that we already work in long-term local community partnership with such as Gerhub which operates out of its remarkable community space in the Songinokhairkhan ger district of Ulaanbaatar. Our long-term goal is that our projects will be linked to different schools (public and private) as they could be incorporated into the classroom or as extra-curricular activities.
We chose Earth Day (April 22) to launch the Heroes Of Nature Eco Club because it is a day to reflect, celebrate Earth, and take action to create a better, more sustainable world. For Earth Day we encourage younger Mongolian children to design posters that encourage Mongolians to undertake actions to improve the environment and older children to write a letter to the Mongolian government highlighting why the protection of the environment matters. You can see our April project here.
Our next project was Birds Of Ulaanbaatar. Why birds? Mongolia has 70 Important Bird Areas (designated by BirdLife International) throughout the country. Although none of Mongolia’s IBAs are in Ulaanbaatar, – Mongolia’s capital city – urban environments such as Ulaanbaatar do provide a habitat for many bird species. Birds also have a very important part in a healthy ecosystem and are crucial for people and the planet to thrive. When bird species are lost, their particular functions and benefits disappear too. Watching birds also gives urban kids a connection with nature and shows them how we coexist with wildlife.
Our other projects will include:
This is an ongoing project and we will update you as we progress. However, get in touch for details or if you feel you could be of help in any way.
Jess @ Eternal Landscapes