CAMPAIGNS AND EVENTS
- I Can Love Campaign 2013
- Blue Waves Global Campaign 2014
- Blue Waves Global Campaign 2015
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
In collaboration with the Environmental Fellowship Program of Zorig Foundation, MEC started Lake Hovsgol – “I can Love” campaign. “I can Love” campaign worked with 9 prominent celebrities of Mongolia to raise awareness about Lake Hovsgol. The campaign video broadcast in Murun (capital of Hovsgol aimag) and in public squares in Ulaanbaatar, about every 10 minutes for a week. Some 1500 “I can Love” campaign stickers (in Mongolian and English) were distributed with the Daily Newspaper and 5000 stickers were handed out to the public in Hovsgol aimag and Ulaanbaatar (Annex 10, 11).
On July 6, 2013, MEC organized the “Celebration of Mother Sea: I can Love” event on the lakeshore of Lake Hovsgol. More than 200 people including local authorities, businesses community members and tourists participated in the event to honor and celebrate the beauty of the Lake. The significance of this event was enhanced by the attendance of European Union Ambassador to China and Mongolia, Dr. Markus Ederer. Honorary guests singer S. Naran and singer O. Uyanga performed their song about “Mother Sea” to the audience. Later the song was donated to MEC to contribute in raising awareness about the Lake and singer S. Naran became an official MEC Ambassador for the cause.
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
Do you remember a place that you visited where you found yourself in the midst of a breathtaking landscape, and then you wondered what it would look like in 20 or 25 years from now?
Well that place could be Lake Hovsgol. Mongolians hold it to be sacred, as a“Mother Sea,” one of the last pristine places on earth. When the staff of the Mongol Ecology Center (MEC) visited the lake with volunteers from Global Parks, a US NGO in 2011, we fell in love and became inspired. But we also realized we needed to act. We saw fish being netted, trees being logged, and shorelines being trashed. Any pollution that goes into the Lake today will stay there for 500 years. And thousands and thousands of people keep coming every year, and very little done to prevent damage. Unsustainable use of natural resources and irresponsible decision-making are both causing immediate threats to the lake’s future.
In 1992, the Mongolian government established Lake Hovsgol National Park, which covers 2.5 million acres—bigger than Yellowstone National Park. The park has 15 permanent rangers, who patrol hundreds of square miles, day and night, with very little in the way of park resources. There have been incidents where poachers have attacked the rangers, and other times when wild animals have injured them. But they still go out everyday to protect the lake for all of us.
The MEC has been working together with local and international partners to define and implement a vision for Lake Hovsgol National Park. Needless to say, we hope that this vision will guide the preservation of this special place as the eternal “Crown Jewel” of Mongolia.
Our Blue Waves Campaign was formed as part of the larger effort of Lake Hovsgol Conservancy to celebrate the global significance of Lake Hovsgol—it contains 70% of all freshwater in Mongolia, 1% in the entire world, and is headwaters to Lake Baikal (containing 20% of world’s freshwater).We believe that the preservation of this place is not just the responsibility of Mongolians, but of the whole world. Together we can save it.
Our campaign therefore aims to raise awareness and celebrate Lake Hovsgol. We are targeting a global audience to gain support and not only fully equip our rangers, but also improve the infrastructure and capacity of the whole park and its management team.
Our Blue Waves Campaign was launched by the Lake Hovsgol Conservancy and the Mongol Ecology Center on October 31, 2013. It is part of a larger effort to celebrate and raise awareness of the global significance of Lake Hovsgol National Park. Our goal is simple: to rally an audience that is worldwide, and then support, fully equip, and train the park rangers who are working to preserve this magnificent ecosystem.
Why Lake Hovsgol and its Ecosystem?
Nomadic tribes were first attracted to the beauty of Blue Pearl some 4000 years ago. Visitors today still come across many cultural artifacts that remain strewn around the park. Mongolians also call Lake Hovsgol, the Mother Sea, for it contains 70% of Mongolia’s (and 1% of the Earth’s) freshwater. Surrounded by forests, the water entering the lake can take 500 years to exit via the one outlet: the Eg River. Recognizing the cultural and ecological value of the region, in 1992 the Mongolian government formed Lake Hovsgol National Park. This Park encircles the lake and covers 1.2 million hectares (or 2.5 million acres) – making it bigger than Yellowstone National Park in the US.
What is Rally for Rangers?
One of the key events in our Blue Waves campaign is Rally for Rangers. This Rally helps us raise funds to purchase new motorbikes and gear for rangers— which they then use to patrol National Parks of Mongolia.
In 2014, we were able to present an array of new motorcycles for Lake Hovsgol National Park. A team of 15 intrepid riders from around the globe—from America, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Mongolia—participated in this cross-country trek. They rode 1500 miles through the Mongolian highlands, ultimately delivering the motorcycles to park rangers.
In 2015, our campaign team is raising funds to equip 20 more park rangers in Tengis Shishged, Ulaan Taiga and Horidol Saridag National Parks—all key protected areas adjacent to Lake Hovsgol and larger part of the ecosystem.
How did it all start?
Robert McIntosh (we call him Mac) is co-founder of the Lake Hovsgol Conservancy. He has volunteered with Mongol Ecology Center at Lake Hovsgol National Park since 2011. Inspired by the park rangers’ passion for their work, Mac was determined to help them. In 2013, after seeing the Chief Ranger’s worn-out motorcycle break down while chasing illegal campers, Mac turned to our team and said “I am going to buy a bike, ride it all the way to the lake, and give it to this ranger. Are you in?” That’s how the Blue Waves Moto Rally for Rangers started. Not a stranger to motorcycles, Mac rode his own motorcycle from Africa’s Cape Town to Cairo early in his National Park Service career. In 2014, as planned, he rode one of the 15 bikes to Lake Hovsgol, and delivered a brand new (properly broken-in) motorbike to the Park’s Chief Ranger.