Stakeholders Discuss Environmental Protection in Mongolia Through Astronomy

This project organized a national seminar on “Environmental protection in Gobi region of Mongolia using astronomical outreach activities”. Climate change and other human induced activities have had a significant impact on the Gobi region, resulting in light pollution, desertification, increased occurrences of drought, water source depletion, dust storm and a decrease in biological diversity as well as affecting the well-being of local communities. The project discussed the impacts of mining on the environment, light pollution and desertification process in the Gobi desert.

The project reached 350 people including individuals invited for the training and star party, female scientists and girl students and teachers, people and herders from disadvantaged socio economic backgrounds, environmentalists, herders nomads, local travel agencies, miners. The team organized star parties and trained herders, nomads and environmentalists. There were lectures and talks on protecting the environment using astronomy outreach. Participants were inspired by the beautiful sky in Gobi and understood how light pollution negatively affects human life and biodiversity. Environmental degradation can lead to loss of biodiversity, increased prominence of diseases, and dust storms. Participants understood the need for managing mining responsibly, in order to create jobs, stimulate economic development, and lead to an improved quality of lifestyle in Gobi. After the event, local authorities and policy makers expressed a sentiment that the protection of clear sky is part of environmental protection in Gobi.