Activists rally to stop destruction of Onon River headwaters

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Participants of Mongolian-Russain talks on transboundary waters held in Ulaan Baatar on October 27  were addressed by environmental NGO activists urging both countries to talk less and do more to stop destructive mining activities on transboundary rivers: Onon, Selenga, Uldz, etc.» Rivers in the sacred land of Chinggis Khaan should be clean!» read one of the slogans.

In particular activists demand that Russian side stops gold mining enterprise»Baldzha» that has already destroyed riverine habitats on a dozen transboundary tributaries of Onon River Basin. For last two years  placer gold  mining operations of  «Baldzha» caused continuous pollution of transboundary  Ashinga river , but instead of  shutting down this enterprise Russian authorities granted to  «Baldzha» a permit to  destroy larger and more ecologically  important  transboundary Kirkun River .

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Ganbold, RwB Coordinator in Mongolia, proposed that »  Mining on Kirkun River  should be stopped as a first step of freeing Russian portion of Onon Basin from destructive activities incompatible with sustainable development in this motherland of Chinggis Khaan. In Mongolia such activities should be stopped according to the 2009 Law on “Prohibiting mining operations at headwaters of rivers, protected zones of water reservoirs and forested areas”» and we urge the Mongolian government to implement it as soon as possible».

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Rivers without Boundaries

Ulaan Baatar