One of leading aims at the MEC in this work is to inspire Mongolian youth to love and protect nature, while helping them learn about the place where they live. With this goal in mind, the MEC has started a “Junior Ranger” program at secondary schools of Hatgal village, with the first Junior Rangers graduating in May, 2014. Some 15 students were selected from 5th and 6th grades to join in this program at its initiation.
The selected students (or Junior Rangers) have already attended an interactive and participatory outdoor class, where they learned more about the formation of the Lake Hovsgol and its surrounding mountains, rivers and streams. They also came to learn more about—and came to appreciate more—the flora and fauna of the park. In the future, all Junior Rangers are reminded and constantly encouraged to partake in the conservation efforts of this special area that they call home. In some ways, they represent the future of Lake Hovsgol National Park. For in the words of one of the young participants: “You know, we will all go out and explain to everyone why it is not good to litter outside—and I will remember this the next time I catch someone in action!”
During this last year the MEC Junior Ranger program enrolled an additional 18 students from the 6th and 7th grades at the Hatgal Village secondary school. The MEC led various Junior Ranger activities in partnership with both the Hatgal School Administration and Lake Hovsgol National Park starting in the Fall of 2014, and continuing through the school year. In so doing the MEC organized separate after-school activities every Wednesday afternoon. The Hatgal School Administration designated a special classroom for use by the Junior Ranger program. By the end of the school year, this new team of Junior Rangers had created their own information panels that are currently on display at the Lake Hovsgol Conservancy offices in Hatgal as well as at their own school. Recently, the MEC’s Junior Rangers from each year’s program have been organized into 3 groups, each one making special presentations on the significance of biodiversity around Lake Hovsgol at the elementary school in Hatgal.