1 MONGOLIA-CHINA AGREE TO COLLABORATE IN INCREASING MEAT EXPORT WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      2 U.S. AND MONGOLIA SEEK TO STRENGTHEN ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP WWW.STRTRADE.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      3 MONGOLIA, U.S. LEADERS DISCUSS BILATERAL TIES WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      4 BELT AND ROAD SIGNIFICANT TO MONGOLIA, PEOPLE AROUND WORLD -- ACADEMIC WWW.ENG.YIDAIYILU.GOV.CN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      5 PETRO MATAD UPDATES MONGOLIA EXPLORATION WWW.OGJ.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      6 RIO TINTO’S EXIT FROM COAL PAYS OFF, TO RETURN $3.2B FROM SALES PROCEEDS TO SHAREHOLDERS WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      7 OPENING CEREMONY OF SAINSHAND SALKHIN PARK HELD WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      8 ALIBABA’S MA SAYS TRUMP’S TRADE WAR ‘DESTROYED’ HIS PROMISE TO CREATE JOBS FOR 1MN AMERICANS WWW.RT.COM  PUBLISHED:2018/09/21      9 LEGAL DISPUTE OVER EMC OWNERSHIP COMES TO AN END WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      10 ERDENES TAVAN TOLGOI REVENUE SURGES DUE TO HIGHER COAL PRICES WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2018/09/20      НУРАХ ДӨХСӨН БАЙРУУДЫГ ШИНЭЧЛЭХ КОМПАНИ ОЛДОХГҮЙ БАЙНА WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     МОНГОЛ УЛС ВАШИНГТОН, ПЁНЬЯНЫ ХЭЛЭЛЦЭЭРТ ЗУУЧЛАХАД БЭЛЭН ГЭДГЭЭ ЗАРЛАЛАА WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     УЛСЫН ХЭМЖЭЭНД 85.3 МЯНГАН ТОНН ТӨМС ХУРААН АВААД БАЙНА WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ЗГ: БУЦАЛТГҮЙ ТУСЛАМЖИЙГ УСНЫ НӨӨЦИЙГ САЙЖРУУЛАХ, ХЭРЭГЛЭСЭН УСЫГ БУЦААН АШИГЛАХАД ЗАРЦУУЛНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ҮСХ: УЛААНБААТАРТ АЖИЛЛАГЧДЫН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ЦАЛИН УЛСЫН ДУНДЖААС 121.7 МЯНГАН ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ИХ БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ИХ ХУРАЛ, ЕВРОПЫН ПАРЛАМЕНТ ХООРОНДЫН XII УУЛЗАЛТААР ХАМТАРСАН МЭДЭГДЭЛ ГАРГАЛАА WWW.DNN.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     ТӨРИЙН АЛБАНЫ УДИРДАХ АЖИЛТНЫ УЛСЫН ЗӨВЛӨГӨӨН БОЛЖ БАЙНА WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     2019 ОНЫГ МОНГОЛ, АМЕРИКИЙН ЗАЛУУЧУУДЫН ЖИЛ БОЛГОНО WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/21     УУРХАЙЧДЫН АЖЛЫН БАЙР НЭМЭГДЭЖ, ЦАЛИН ӨСЧ БАЙНА WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20     “ЭРДЭНЭТ”-ИЙН 49 ХУВИЙН ӨМЧЛӨЛ ТОЙРСОН ХУУЛЬ ЗҮЙН МАРГААН ЭЦЭС БОЛЛОО WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/09/20    

Events

Name organizer Where
Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018" Frontier Securities Tokyo Japan
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

64x64

First turbine erected at Sainshand wind farm www.news.mn

The first wind turbine has been successfully erected at the Sainshand Wind Farm. A total of 24 wind turbines will be installed.

Once operational, the new Sainshand Wind Farm will make a significant contribution to reducing Mongolia’s carbon emissions and cater for an expected increase in power demand across the country. The scheme will significantly enlarge Mongolia’s renewable energy capacity and help the government to achieve the goal of renewable energy accounting for 20 per cent of all power by 2020, and 30 per cent by 2030.

The Sainshand Wind Farm is the third privately financed facility of its kind in Mongolia, will receive a USD 120 million project financing package from a group of international investors and financiers.

Located 460 km south-east of Ulaanbaatar in the Gobi Desert, the Sainshand Salkhin Park LLC is sponsored by French energy leader ENGIE, German project developer Ferrostaal, the Danish Climate Investment Fund (DCIF) and Mongolian entrepreneur, Radnaabazar Davaanyam, with long-term financing provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

...


64x64

Qatar steps in to buy Rosneft stake after China deal collapses www.mining.com

Qatar emerged as a major shareholder in Rosneft PJSC on Friday after a $9 billion deal to sell a stake in Russia’s state-run oil producer to China’s troubled CEFC Energy Co. collapsed.

Qatar Investment Authority stepped in after the sellers — a consortium of QIA itself and mining giant Glencore Plc — told CEFC it wouldn’t proceed with the original deal announced in October. A statement issued by Glencore didn’t explain why they were canceling the sale, but CEFC has been struggling with debt.

The sudden change cements Doha’s links with Moscow at a time when Qatar is facing isolation from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. The Kremlin loses the prospect of China becoming a major shareholder in the country’s largest oil producer, however.

After the new deal, Qatar Investment Authority will own 18.93 percent of Rosneft, making it the third-largest shareholder after the Russian state, which holds 50 percent, and U.K. oil major BP Plc with 19.75 percent.

CEFC, a sprawling conglomerate with big interests in oil and gas, has come under increasing government scrutiny in Beijing amid concern rapid international expansion had stretched the group financially. Chinese media has reported that Ye Jianming, the founder and chairman of the rapidly expanding Chinese company, has been investigated by government authorities.

Under Ye, CEFC has been transformed from an obscure conglomerate focused mainly on the former Soviet Union into a conspicuous player on the world energy stage, mixing with the likes of mining giant Glencore. Starting as a small trading company in 2002, CEFC bought assets including storage, terminals, refineries and oil fields, as well as financial units.

More Oil
Led by Igor Sechin, a former deputy prime minister and a longtime associate of President Vladimir Putin, Rosneft produces more oil than any other publicly traded company in the world, about 4.5 million barrels of crude a day.

Rosneft said in an e-mail that it looked forward to “new mutually beneficial bilateral and international projects with our Qatari partners.”

Rosneft also signed a five-year oil supply agreement with CEFC last year, but that contract remains in force, Rosneft spokesman Mikhail Leontyev said. China will continue to remain a strategic market for Rosneft, the company’s press service added.

The Glencore-QIA consortium agreed to jointly acquire a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft in December 2016, helping the Russian government to meet a target for privatization proceeds. They then cut a deal to sell most of those shares on to CEFC.

The Glencore-QIA venture will now be dissolved and Glencore will retain a 0.6 percent holding in Rosneft, according to Friday’s statement. Qatar will pay Glencore about 3.7 billion euros ($4.4 billion) for the shares it’s acquiring, but Glencore will use that cash to repay money it borrowed to buy its original stake.

A deal Glencore struck to buy 220,000 barrels a day of crude from Rosneft remains in place.

...


64x64

Is the Golden Era for renewables around the corner? www.rt.com

In the past few years, there has been a lively debate about the increasing role of renewables at the expense of fossil fuels, particularly in power generation.
Some say that renewables are not an existential threat and believe that they might take only a small piece of the pie by 2040, due to high costs and vital government subsidies. On the other hand, others believe that costs are declining fast, and it may take a significant share in power generation, knocking not just coal, but also natural gas off the throne.

The fact remains that things are changing quite fast due to technological advancements. The breakeven cost of various renewable energy sources has come down significantly, and wind and solar energy are leading the charge. Total global cumulative wind power capacity reached 540 gigawatt (GW) at the end of 2017, up from 93 GW in 2007. Meanwhile, solar went up from 100 GW in 2012 to close to 405 GW in 2017, a four-fold increase. Photovoltaic(PV)solar even surpassed nuclear generation capacity (403 GW in 2017).

The role of renewables is only marginal in the total energy mix, but growing fast, and in the next few decades, it is likely to become a tough competitor for oil and gas. Surely, sources that are economically viable, easily accessible and environmentally friendly will sneak their way to the top of podium by 2040.

Renewable Capacity Outperformed

In the past, the high cost of renewable energy generation constrained investments in the sector. However, due to technological advancements, the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) reduction for PV solar and wind energy have boosted the competitiveness of these sources against well-established power generation technologies, such as coal and natural gas. In 2017, the US average LCOE without subsidy for PV without tracking was $54/MWh, with onshore wind at $51/MWh, versus gas-fired generation at $49, coal $66 and nuclear at $174/MWh. The continuous declining trend in costs of renewable energy led to an upsurge in capacity and investments.

In 2017, 260 GW of net power generating capacity was added. The renewable industry invested $280 billion in 2017, adding 150 GW of solar (98 GW) and wind (52 GW); both added 58 percent as compared to 28 percent of gas (38 GW) and coal (35 GW). Large hydro and nuclear respectively added 19 and 11 GW.

Inherent Problem

Despite declining LCOE, the real issue with renewables is what happens when the sun is not shining and wind is not blowing. The intermittent nature of the power flow from either solar or wind remains a problem. Therefore, renewable energy continues to rely on the grid to meet any shortfalls or peak demand.

Tesla installed the world's largest lithium-ion battery in South Australia in December 2017, which would prevent a reoccurrence of a notorious incident that took place in 2016 when the entire state lost power. The significant decline in battery prices and other cost cutting measures will further help the renewable sector to grow independent from government subsidies and without relying on grid support.

Bright Outlook For Renewable

The dominance of fossil fuels which in 2017 made up about 85 percent of the total energy mix seems to be challenged by two contenders: the penetration of electric vehicles and renewable energy sources. These together are supported by a change in mindset of the public which is increasingly concerned about greenhouse gas emissions and the environment in general. The next couple of decades will be challenging for the oil, coal, and natural gas sectors, particularly in the transport and power sectors. Coal is already in decline, and next could be natural gas.

According to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) study, solar and wind will gain a large share of global installed capacity by 2040 as compared to 2016. The share of both will rise immensely from 12 percent in 2016 to 46 percent in 2040 while the role of fossil fuels in power generation is expected to shrink.

Surely we cannot eliminate fossil fuels usage in our daily lives, it will remain an integral part of our life for a long time to come. Yet the golden era of renewables is just around the corner as preference and cost favor renewables over fossil fuels, a development that will improve the quality of life of many segments in society.

...


64x64

EU to assess if Mongolia is eligible for Budget Support www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Officials from the EU institutions visited Ulaanbaatar from 23 to 27 April to assess if Mongolia is eligible for an EU Budget Support Operation. Budget Support involves direct financial transfers to the national budget of the partner country and is basedon policy dialogue, performance assessment and capacity building. This approach respects partner countries' ownership of development policies and reforms, focusing on results for people and sustainable development.

"If the conditions are met, the EU will be ready to launch a budget support operation for around 50 million euros. By supporting Government policies, we ensure full alignment with Mongolia's priorities and also support Mongolia's commitment to implement the IMF Extended Fund Facility. We had very productive meetings with key stake holders, which we thank, and we are encouraged by Government's efforts to maintain stability in public administration, to promote sound management and efficient implementation of policies and programmes. We will continue to assist in developing solid policies for the country in the next years", said Mr Marco Ferri, Chargé d'Affaires of the EU Delegation to Mongolia.

The purpose of the mission was to assess the eligibility criteria of an EU Budget support operation and launch its identification process. This Budget support operation could cover two focal sectors of the Multiannual indicative programme 2014-2020 "Governance of Revenues for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth" (29 million EUR) and "Support for Better Employment Opportunities" (21,8million EUR) for a total amount of approximately EUR 50 million.

Among others, the mission had meetings with officials from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labour, judicial authorities, members of Parliament, International Financial Institutions based in Mongolia and civil society organizations. The EU expresses its gratitude to the authorities of Mongolia for their cooperation. This mission has allowed reinforcing the policy dialogue between the EU and Mongolia in areas like Public Financial management and Employment policies.

Once the conditions are right, the EU is committed to provide budget support as a means to support country‘s policy objectives to help financing national development strategies and to promote sound and transparent public financial management. Budget support involves the direct transfer of funds to a partner country’s budget using national systems combined with technical assistance and enhanced policy dialogue.

The four eligibility criteria are the following:
- Sector policies are in place;
- Stable macro-economic framework;
- Sound Public Financial Management;
- Transparency and oversight of the budget.
source: eeas.europa.eu

...


64x64

Increasing direct participation by Turquoise Hill management on Oyu Tolgoi matters www.gogo.mn

Turquoise Hill Board of Directors provides update on shareholder correspondence.

Turquoise Hill Resources announced that, further to its March 14, 2018 letter to shareholders, the Company’s Board of Directors has undertaken a review of the matters raised by SailingStone Capital Partners LLC in its February 1, 2018 letter.

The Board believes that the Company is appropriately informed and that management is properly incentivized to perform its duties. Recognizing the concerns raised by SailingStone, the Board of Directors, through its independent members, has met with Rio Tinto and discussed actions that the parties can and have taken to enhance their working relationship on relevant Oyu Tolgoi matters. Specific actions that the parties are taking include:

·Increasing direct participation by Turquoise Hill management on Oyu Tolgoi matters, including in various Oyu Tolgoi working groups that are interacting with the Government of Mongolia and in the upcoming Oyu Tolgoi cost and schedule reviews;

·Enhancing the independence of Turquoise Hill’s technical personnel;

·Establishing a project management office at Oyu Tolgoi as an additional mechanism to facilitate sharing of information.

In addition, the Board, through its Compensation and Benefits Committee as part of its ongoing mandate, continues to review management compensation arrangements to ensure consistency with the guiding principles of the Company’s compensation philosophy, building on the progress made over recent years in aligning management interests with those of the Company’s shareholders.

Discussions with Rio Tinto have been constructive and are ongoing. Both parties recognize that Turquoise Hill’s independence and its participation in all material and relevant Oyu Tolgoi matters are important to facilitating the maximization of Oyu Tolgoi’s value for all Turquoise Hill shareholders.

...


64x64

Xanadu Mines focused on large new copper-gold discovery in Mongolia www.proactiveinvestors.com.au

Xanadu Mines Ltd (ASX:XAM) has three projects located within two of Mongola’s porphyry copper belts.

Its flagship asset is the 76.5% owned Kharmagtai Copper Project in the South Gobi region of Mongolia where the company is aggressively drilling out a major new copper-gold discovery.

While the exploration focus is rightfully on Kharmagtai, Xanadu also owns the advanced Red Mountain Copper Gold Project and early stage Yellow Mountain Copper Project.

An emerging cluster of porphyry deposits at Kharmagtai
The Kharmagtai project hosts three porphyry deposits within a largely under-explored porphyry copper-gold district.

During April, Xanadu discovered another porphyry centre, Zaraa, with the first hole intersecting 800 metres of mineralisation.

Zaraa, the focus of aggressive exploration, is showing strong early potential to add to the project’s JORC resource at the Stockwork Hill, White Hill and Copper Hill deposits.

As of March 2015, the JORC resource measured 203.4 million tonnes grading 0.34% copper and 0.33 g/t gold for 1.5 million pounds of copper and 2.2 million ounces of gold.
Porphyry copper deposits typically occur in clusters and recent exploration at Kharmagtai has revealed the project could host multiple additional porphyry-style deposits.

The discovery diamond hole KHDDH462 drilled at the Zaraa porphyry was terminated in mineralisation at 1,386.4 metres depth.

The hole intersected over 800 metres of near-continuous copper and gold mineralisation making it the longest exploration intersection of gold and copper recorded by Xanadu at Kharmagtai.

Xanadu’s managing director and CEO Dr Andrew Stewart said: “While Kharmagtai already is one of the world's most exciting new copper and gold discoveries, hole KHDDH462 is consistent with our long-held view that the Kharmagtai mineralised system contains significantly more gold and copper than we have delineated to date under JORC standards.

“We are particularly pleased to see this outstanding intersection in hole KHDDH462, right where our geological modelling predicted.

“Our strategy is clear: to add tonnes and grade to the existing resources by discovering additional high-grade deposits within the Kharmagtai Copper-Gold Project."

As at early-May 2018, two diamond rigs were drilling two step out holes to the discovery hole at Zaraa.

Wider step-out holes will be drilled aiming to discover copper-gold mineralisation closer to surface and to aid in delineating the size and shape of the porphyry system.

19 porphyry targets to test at Kharmagtai
Four new porphyry centres have now been discovered by Xanadu under shallow cover east of the existing resources.

The current strategy is to test all 19 targets identified before focusing exploration on the highest quality porphyry centres.

Growing global demand for new copper projects
The emerging Kharmagtai project is being advanced during a period of growing demand for new copper projects.

Market commentators continue to point to struggling supply from current operations and a weak pipeline of new projects coming online.

BMO Capital Markets in April 2018 said the world’s top copper operations in 2007 are producing 10-15% less today than 2007 and the trend is expected to continue.

Demand for copper is expected to remain strong given China’s infrastructure goals will require copper and it is an important metal in electric vehicles.

...


64x64

China, Japan & Mongolia show World Cup ambitions at FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup www.fiba.basketball

MANILA (FIBA 3x3 World Cup) – China’s women together with Japan and Mongolia’s men had the perfect preparation and boost of confidence for the FIBA 3x3 World Cup after they all won medals at the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2018 in China on April 27 – May 1.

In the men’s category, Japan, Jordan, Mongolia and New Zealand were the 4 teams from Asia and Oceania, which will also compete at the FIBA 3x3 World Cup in the Philippines on June 8-12. Each 4 of these teams impressed and reached the quarter-finals in China.

Mongolia came extremely close to retain the title they had won last year at home in Ulaanbaatar but missed key free throws in the dying seconds of regulation and eventually lost in overtime (16-17) against Australia. Their star player Dulguun Enkhbat earned a spot on the Team of the Tournament.

Japan also lost a thriller against Australia, this time in the semi-finals (16-18). However they redeemed themselves to win in overtime against New Zealand (21-20) to take home the bronze medal. The crossover specialist Keita Suzuki joined Enkhbat (and MVP Thomas Garlepp from Australia) on the Team of the Tournament.

Last but not least, Jordan were a sensation in pool play in Shenzhen and convincingly took down Japan (22-14). Unfortunately, they faced the defending champs Mongolia in the quarter-finals and lost one of their top players Amin Abuhawwas in the first minutes of the game due to an ankle injury. They ended up losing 21-12. The injury didn’t look too serious and in full strength and with another month of preparation, Jordan could surprise a few teams in the Philippines.

...


64x64

Apostolic Nuncio Alfred Xuereb in Korea and Mongolia to 'build bridges' www.independent.com.mt

“I want to continue in the footsteps of my predecessors, I will do my small part to build bridges”, says Maltese Mgr Alfred Xuereb the new apostolic nuncio to Korea and Mongolia, a few weeks ahead of his departure for Asia, scheduled for late May.
“I want to get to know the Churches of Korea and Mongolia as much as possible, so that I can love and serve them. I have always admired the enthusiasm of missionaries. I hope to become like them and carry on the evangelizing work, talking about Jesus and welcoming new Christians into the Church,” asianews.it reports.
Already prelate Secretary General of the Secretariat for the Economy and special secretary of Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, last February the Holy See had announced the appointment and elevation at the same time to the titular see of Amantea (CS), with dignity of archbishop.
“These are very intense days,” says the 59-year-old Maltese prelate. “At the moment I am dealing with the logistical aspects of my transfer to South Korea. The task conferred on me by the Holy Father requires great responsibility and I thank him for the trust granted to me. I was very pleased that Msgr. Hyginus Kim Hee-joong, president of the Episcopal Conference of Korea, was in Rome and visited me.
“Speaking of my arrival in the country, he told me: 'We will follow your instructions'. I replied: 'No Excellency, we will learn to get to know each other and help each other in a mutual way. The only instructions will be given by the Holy Father. I want to know the Churches of Korea and Mongolia as deeply as possible, so that I can love and serve them. In doing so, I hope to sanctify myself with them”.
“I want to continue in the footsteps of my predecessors, I will do my small part to build bridges. First of all with the bishops and their collaborators, so that their bond with Peter is ever stronger. But not only, even between the Church and other religions. My motto 'Ut unum sint' is the prayer that Jesus addressed to the Father and it means precisely this: that all be one, so that the world may believe. I trust a lot in this sentence of the testament of Jesus and for this reason I intend to try to build bridges, also on a cultural level “.
The nunciature will see Msgr. Xuereb facing two very different realities. It was only in 1992 that Mongolia accepted the presence of the Catholic Church in the country, where today there are seven parishes, 77 missionaries, a local priest and 1255 baptized. The more than 230 years of the Church in Korea are instead a story of martyrdom and action, from which an active and participatory Catholic community emerged for the reconciliation of the Korean people, close to the marginalized and supporters of democracy and human rights. Moreover, the Korean Church has long supported the mission in Mongolia: the first Mongolian priest in fact studied in the South Korean diocese of Daejeon.
“Despite being a small community of only 1,300 Catholics, the Mongolian Church will have my full attention and I have proposed my diocese of Gozo (Malta) twin with it, so that it can be helped, even from a financial point of view, in pastoral needs and evangelization. I am already in touch with Fr. Giorgio Marengo, a Consolata missionary priest who has been in the country for 15 years, who gave me the wonderful news of the celebration of eight baptisms on Easter night. Since the days of the seminary, I have always admired the enthusiasm of missionaries. I hope to become like them and carry on the evangelizing work, talking about Jesus and welcoming new Christians in the Church “.
In these days, Mgr Xuereb followed with particular interest the positive developments of the inter-Korean summit. In this regard, the new apostolic nuncio states: “By virtue of the mandate given to me by the Pope, I follow the development of the dialogue between the two Koreas with deep attention and I have a great deal of concern for their outcome. The bridges that I want to build are also those that concern harmony and collaboration, not just the lack of conflict between countries. As requested by the Pope, I offer special prayers and invite other people to do the same. Once in Korea, if I can give my practical help, I will do so with all my heart “.
Born in Rabat (Malta) on October 14, 1958, Msgr. Xuereb was ordained priest of the diocese of Gozo on May 26, 1984. After completing his studies in Theology, he began his administrative service at the secretariat of the rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in September 1991. From September 1995, he worked in the Secretariat of State of the Holy See and from November 2000 in the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household. On 12 September 2007, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Msgr. Xuereb second private secretary and Pope Francis, after his election on March 13, 2013, appointed him his particular secretary. On November 28, 2013, he assumed the role of delegate for the Pontifical Commission referent on the Institute for the Works of Religion and for the Pontifical Commission for study and guidance on the organization of the economic-administrative structure of the Holy See. From March 2014 until his appointment as apostolic nuncio to Korea and Mongolia, he served as prelate secretary general of the Secretariat for the Economy.

...


64x64

Urban nomads: Mongolian herders battle new future as leave the land for the city www.reuters.com

ULAANBAATAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - With about 100 sheep and goats, Jugder Samdan makes just enough to scrape by as a nomadic herder in Mongolia, basking in the sun as he watches over his animals, but he worries about the future.

Samdan has seen major changes during his 70 plus years on the vast semi-arid grassland, or steppe, in central Mongolia’s Arkhangai province, with shifts in politics and society impacting one of the world’s last remaining nomadic cultures.

But what most concerns Samdan and fellow herders is climate change, as droughts, harsh winters, and over-grazing threaten traditional livelihoods and drives younger people to the over-crowded capital, fuelling pollution, crime and mental illness.

“Everybody moves to the city,” Samdan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation wrapped in a felt jacket outside his ger, a traditional white, circular herder’s tent or yurt made of felt.

“There are too many people there.”

About one quarter of Mongolians still live a traditional nomadic life in the Central Asian country sandwiched between Russia and China which has four times the land mass of Germany but is thinly-populated with about three million people.

But life is changing fast and about 68,000 herders a year have moved to the city since 2001, according to Ulaanbaatar’s Deputy Mayor Batbayasgalan Jantsan, setting up sprawling informal ger districts lacking facilities like water and power.

The population of Ulaanbaatar has almost doubled in the last 10 years to 1.4 million people, according to the Mongolian National Statistics Office, with about 55 percent of the city’s population - or 750,000 people - living in ger districts.

“That’s almost an entire province,” said Jantsan in an interview in his office in central Ulaanbaatar, a city shrouded in a dense smog during winter months due to air pollution.

As winter temperatures can drop below minus 30 Celsius (minus 22 Fahrenheit), ger dwellers burn raw coal to stay warm, driving pollution levels eight to 14 times higher than global guidelines, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Air pollution is estimated by the WHO to cause more than 4,000 deaths a year in Mongolia and is now one of the nation’s most challenging issues, with the burning of coal accounting for 80 percent of air pollution from November to April.

“It’s a threat to national security,” said Jantsan.

LIFE TRANSITION
Bazarragchaa Altantsetseg, a land use specialist at land consultancy Vector Maps LLC, said dwellings were traditionally designed to move in Mongolia and it was not after Soviet control in 1921 that fixed properties became more prevalent.

The Russians also had a major impact on herding. The state owned the nation’s herd and grazing land, with herders paid a wage for working in collective farms. The herd wsa kept at about 25 million in line with land capacity assessments.

But that changed after Mongolia became a parliamentary democracy in 1990 and privatization followed, prompting a surge in numbers with the herd hitting 56 million in 2015, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“Since 1990 everything was chaos ... everyone wanted to have the land ... and animals,” Altantsetseg said.

Some herders have welcomed the new post-Soviet system.

“The conditions are fair for everyone. Compared to the previous regime you can work hard to have a better life, you can grow your herd and get a car,” Samdan said.

But the dramatic increase in the herd has brought problems of over-grazing exacerbated by desertification, as witnessed by Samdan’s daughter Altantsetseg Jugdur, aged in her 30s.

“When I was a child ... you couldn’t see the animals in the grass. Now look at what we have. Only dust and soil,” she said.

Herders’ accounts of climate change are backed by data with a 2014 report from Japan’s Ministry of the Environment stating Mongolia’s annual mean temperature rose by 2.14 percent between 1940 and 2008 with drier weather leading to more dust storms.

The report also highlighted an increasing frequency of cold and snow damage from so-called dzuds since the early 1990s - the name for a severe winter that comes after a summer drought.

“If there is grass beneath the snow then the animals will survive. When there is no grass beneath the snow then it is dzud,” explained herder Altangerel Dolgor.

DEATH ON THE STEPPE
Mongolia’s recent winter killed more than 700,000 livestock left weak after a drought last year, the highest toll since 2011, according to the country’s statistics bureau.

The steppe around Tuvshruulekh is littered with animals that have frozen to death. Stray dogs and groups of vultures dot the landscape scavenging the frozen carcasses.

Samdan said he can read the signs of climate change around him. Lizards are appearing for the first time while some plants are disappearing, including those used in traditional medicines.

“Before we used to have a leaf which we would boil and drink for stomach problems. Now I can’t find it anymore,” he said.

But it is not just the damage to livestock and the land concerning herders but social changes.

Bayarmaa Vanchindorj, deputy director of the National Mental Health Center, said there has been rising numbers of cases of addiction, depression, trafficking and sexual abuse of children.

Thousands of Mongolians protested in front of parliament in Ulaanbaatar in March to demand more action to prevent child abuse after the widely-reported rape of a young boy.

“Mongolians for many centuries roamed unlimited spaces of their own free will. So I think urbanization took its toll on people’s minds,” she said.

Narantuya Nijir is one example. She lost all her livestock in a 2010 dzud and now lives in a ger in her landlord’s yard at the edge of Ulaanbaatar where the city meets the open pasture.

“It’s quite difficult living in someone else’s yard. Even when they don’t give us a hard time we worry a lot,” she said.

Up the road lives Samdan’s son Chudur with his young family. He has adapted to city life better, having bought a small plot of land where he has just built a small house, in the process learning the skills to start a small double-glazing business.

Back on the steppe Samdan concedes herding is a tough life but his pleas for young people to stay go unheeded.

His 16-year-old grandson Tsendmandakh Altantsetseg has no romantic view of the traditional nomadic life.

“Nature is changing. The grasslands are turning into deserts. Rivers and streams are disappearing,” he said.

“I’m planning to go to university in the city after I graduate. I’ll follow my profession, work in the city and build a life there.”

Reporting by Max Baring, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

...


64x64

Twitter tells 330 million users to change their passwords www.bbc.com

Twitter has warned its 330 million users to change their passwords after a glitch exposed some in plain text on its internal network.

The social network said an internal investigation had found no indication passwords were stolen or misused by insiders.

However, it still urged all users to consider changing their passwords "out of an abundance of caution".

Twitter did not say how many passwords were affected.

It is understood the number was "substantial" and that they were exposed for "several months".

Twitter discovered the bug a few weeks ago and has reported it to some regulators, an insider told Reuters.

Chief executive Jack Dorsey tweeted:

We recently discovered a bug where account passwords were being written to an internal log before completing a masking/hashing process. We’ve fixed, see no indication of breach or misuse, and believe it’s important for us to be open about this internal defect. https://twitter.com/twittersupport/status/992132808192634881 …

The glitch was related to its use of "hashing", which masks passwords as users enters them by replacing them with numbers and letters, according to its blog.

A bug caused the passwords to be stored on an internal computer log before the hashing process was completed.

"We are very sorry this happened," Twitter said on its blog.

As well as changing passwords, users have been advised to turn on two-factor authentication service to help stop accounts being hacked.

Twitter's chief technology officer Parag Agrawal initially said the company did not have to reveal the information but believed it was the "right thing to do" - before correcting his "mistake".

...