With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, 30% of Mongolia’s GDP vanished overnight. Economically devastated, Mongolia opened over half of its pristine landscape to foreign business to develop through the extraction of the huge deposits of valuable mineral resources and to the ever-increasing demand for animal products.
Due to these unprecedented changes, unsustainable development and irresponsible decision-making, Mongolia is now facing environmental challenges that threaten its natural resources and millennia old nomadic lifestyle. These changes are all the more distressing to many Mongolians because respect for the environment is an important cultural part of Mongolian history dating back to Chinggis Khaan (Genghis Khaan). But how can economic growth be balanced with the preservation of Mongolia’s most valued natural and cultural heritage that ensures a sustainable future?