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Mongolia Five Themes of Geography (by Tessa Berns)

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Katie Ray

on 30 May 2013

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Transcript of Mongolia Five Themes of Geography (by Tessa Berns)

Mongolia by Tessa Berns The cold and arid climate and the traditional nomadic lifestyle’s juxtaposition with an urbanized way of life combine to create the unique and singular element of Place in Mongolia. Most of Mongolia is taken up by the Altai Mountains and the Mongolian Plateau, with the Gobi desert crossing in some places, some regions of which yield valuable goods. The population is halved almost exactly into the urban population and nomadic herders. Mongolia is distinct from the rest of the word because of its unique and ancient nomadic heritage and cultural tradition. Mongolia's physical features, such as the grassland, mountain, and desert landscapes, religious demographics, nomadic/urban split, and the exports and imports all contribute to our sense of Place. The nomadic traditions, to cite only one example, are quite different than most countries, especially the U. S., and that is what makes our world diverse. This fascinating country is truly distinct from all other places. The customs and nomadic lifestyle inevitably result in an economy that is characteristic of Mongolia and nowhere else. Naturally-derived products come from the livestock that is commonly kept by nomads. Mongolia has a market in the afore-mentioned cashmere, grain, wool, leather, hides and others, perhaps due to its nomadic herding. It also has an efficient market in minerals and manufactured goods, such as fluorspar, copper, clothing, cement, timber and especially coal, though not as much in recent years due to fiscal problems with the government company mining the coal mine called Tavan Tolgoi. Mongolia’s goods and exports are part of its inimitability and the way it differs from the United States and other countries. The differences between the modernized sedentary lifestyle and the traditional nomadic way of life, and the proximity between the two also makes Mongolia what it is. Just over half (57.5, as of 2010) of Mongolia's population lives in an urban area, mainly in Soviet-era apartments or newly constructed buildings, and the other 42.5% herds horses, sheep, goats, yaks, and camels, living in yurts, as they are called in Turkish or gers, as they are called in Mongolian. This is a marked divergence from the United States, where virtually no one is a nomad and 79% as of 2000 of the population is urban. In Mongolia, as in the U. S., lines are not so clear-cut as this. In the capital city, Ulaanbaatar, it is common to see ger districts, 70% of Ulaanbaatar's residential area where former nomads whose herds have died or who wanted a better future have come over the years. They lack good sources of energy and personal running water and are exposed to both the pollution and smoke of the city and low or high natural temperatures. Around 58% of the urban population in Ulaanbaatar must suffer this. This highly-visible amount of poverty in Mongolia differs from the mostly-invisible poverty in the United States. Nonetheless, this dismal reality is not what makes Mongolia different from all countries. The traditional Mongolian nomadic lifestyle has endured, still centering on horses, which provide fermented milk called airag and are a method of transportation which some learn to ride in childhood. The yak, cow and camels are both used for dairy and meat products, the sheep for wool and food, and the goats are especially useful for the production of cashmere. They move twice a year, spending all day tending to the livestock. They live in gers, which are easily collapsed wooden structures covered with felt whose arrangement is standardized. This is much different from the way that Americans view dairy-we only eat cow milk and consume a more limited amount of meat. This also differs substantially from the way Americans live in both rural and urban places, as we do not herd any animal as a livelihood, even the cows of Wild West fame, and most of our meat comes from slaughterhouses or sedentary pastures. Indeed, in its culture and native customs Mongolia is quite clearly outlined from America and all of the other countries. The unique religious heritage creates a Mongolia that is completely exceptional. There are three religions that are notable in statistics. Tibetan Buddhism, practiced by 50-94%, depending on the estimate, of the population, arrived as early as the 4th century but only really started to take hold until after the 13th, when Chinggis (Genghis) Khan befriended a Buddhist who converted nobles of the time, into the 16th century. Altan Khan converted, and his great-grandson was anointed the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, thus forging a new bond between Buddhism and Mongolia. Though suppressed by the communists and the Soviet Union, Buddhism has since enjoyed a resurgence and is the majority religion. Islam, however, is practiced by only 4-6% of the population of Mongolia, and is composed of mainly ethnic Kazakhs, who are the largest ethnic minority in Mongolia, are of Turkic heritage, and live in the Altai Mountains. Shamanism, despite its ancient roots, has decreased to merely 2-6%, and some of these also practice Buddhism or Christianity. Those who do observe this ancient faith believe in a creator god, the Blue Heaven, and ninety-nine nature spirits, although this differs due to lack of centralization. According to some estimates 40% of the population has no religion at all. Buddhism, Islam, shamanism, and lack of faith are fascinating elements of Mongolia that make it what it is and create the sense of Place that distinguishes it from other countries. Mongolia provides a vast amount of diverse physical features, from the mountains in the north-west to the steppes further south to the desert in the south-east. The mountainous region in northern Mongolia receives 250 to 500 millimeters a year but lacks a large growing season, perhaps related to its freezing winters and despite its vaguely warm summers; this region includes steppe, alpine, taiga and forest biomes. Notable features include the Altai Mountains, shared with China, and the Hangayn Range. Predatory birds such as hawks thrive on the vibrant rodent population. This is quite different than most of America, but for the Rocky Mountains and Alaska. In contrast to this, however, the steppes, which lay in the center of Mongolia and to the east, are covered with grassland but risk overgrazing due to the many nomadic herders' livestock. Vultures, ibex, fox, and many other species reside therein. The steppe includes the Mongolian Plateau. A large amount of Mongolia's south is taken up by the Gobi, which means "waterless place" in Mongolian. The desert gets around 7in of rain annually, sometimes in the form of snow, though most of its rainfall is blocked by the Himalayas. Generally, the desert is cold, but has been known to reach 114 degrees F in the summer and -40 degrees F in the winter. It is inhabited by gazelles, Bactrian camels, land predators such as wolves, and many others. The chill in the desert is uncommon, and perhaps nonexistent, in the United States. Mongolia's diverse climate and wildlife are some of the elements that make it distinctive. Place Altai Mountains Gobi Desert Mongolian Steppe-Plateau A shaman Location, though at first ostensibly unimportant to the way of life there, is exceedingly important due to its impact on the choices people had with varied resources. The northern and landlocked location of Mongolia has a direct impact on the way people live and the place Mongolia is. Location not only includes geographic location but also the relation between the geographic location and the climate and lifestyle of the people. Although this appears to be trite and unnecessarily technical, the relative location of Mongolia will provide background and reference for us. Mongolia lies in the North and East quadrants, and on the Asian continent. It is landlocked, bordered by Russia and China. Its capital city, Ulaanbaatar or Ulaan Bator, is 47 degrees North and 106 degrees East. As we can see, this location is relatively polar, which, in addition to affecting the temperature also affects the climate and what flora and fauna inhabit that place. The location impacts the physical features discussed in the last section, the mountains merging with the forest and steppes, then the unadulterated steppes, and in the south becoming the Gobi. Grass and wildlife grows on the steppes, and they must receive some liquid precipitation, which would not be possible if Mongolia was further north, like in Siberia. The Gobi, unlike most deserts, is actually cold, because of its location. The fact that Mongolia is landlocked also contributes to climate: unlike seaside countries, its temperature is less moderated by water’s high heat capacity, and thus is likely more extreme. However, the climate is not the only this affected by location; the lifestyle of the people is also indirectly and directly related to the location. Due to the less-severe cold, grass was able to grow, which allowed the Mongols to herd animals and sustain themselves. However, arable land makes up less than 1% of land, due to the polar location, thereby ruling out farming and making nomadic life the most logical option. Due to the relative cold, there was more of an incentive to keep and raise animals whose pelts could be used more than once, such as sheep. More recently and temporally, Mongolia’s proximity to the former Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China forced it to adopt a communist system, which still affects the economic system and way of life today. The relative location clearly affects the wildlife and lifestyle in Mongolia. Location Below: the Deer Stones. Above: Joseph Stalin, the Soviet flag, and Above-right: a map of Soviet territory, with Mongolia highlighted in yellow. Below and right: the Soviet-inspired Zaisan memorial Mongolia’s cultural landmarks are also part of its location, representing the objects or people who are revered because of the way the location affected them. In another location these symbols or people would never have become famous, and thus encapsulate the location of Mongolia.The Deer Stones, located in northern Mongolia dating from 1,00 B.C. E., for example, immortalize flying reindeer and the bond between them and ancient humans. Without the distinct location, wildlife and human history in Mongolia, the monument might not be of deer, or even exist at all. Over 500 have been discovered, usually accompanied with a burial site. While this landmark’s origins are shrouded in mystery, another landmark’s origins, while still foggy, are one of the reasons for its fame. The Orkhon inscriptions honor Turkish (Gokturk) kings (Khagan) Bilge and Khultgin, who ruled in the 7th to 8th centuries. The Turkish and Turkic words, discovered in the 1800s, are the earliest known written Turkish and are inscribed on stone monoliths. Another monument, more recent and even less ambiguous, is the Zaisan Memorial, which honors the Soviets killed in WWII and the USSR’s contributions to Mongolia. It is located south of Ulaanbaatar, and is a circular mural depicting historical Soviet and Mongolian accomplishments such as Mongolia’s independence and war victories. The only reason Mongolia has this monument is because of its proximity to the Soviet Union-its location. The landmarks of a country are products of its location and culture, both of which are rich here, and are thus integral to understanding the true nature of a place. Location is made up of more than latitude and longitude, although those also interest anyone sincerely attempting to know a country. It is the climate as affected by the latitude and longitude, then the people’s lifestyles as affected by the climate, and then finally the monuments that are made only by the people. Clearly, the location of Mongolia provides a different lens through which to view and evaluate the nation. Left from top: statue of Bilge and artistic rendition of Bilge Left from bottom: artistic rendition of Kultegin and corroded statue of Kultegin Above: the Orkhon inscriptions Khorloogiin Choibalsan, Communist leader in Mongolia (in power 1930s-1950s). Ger district and frame of ger From the ancient movements of tribes to Mongolia, to the technology used to contact others, to the way precious resources are moved from their destination to the refineries, the movement of the people and resources is fascinating. The history, telecommunications, and the economic transportation are all cogs of the theme of Movement in Mongolia. The first settlements in any country are the cradle from which they originate-but this is null and void in a place like Mongolia where the first settlers were nomadic. However, because the steppe is the mots fertile and forgiving place, it is probable that the majority “settlers” grazed there, much as they do now. It is also probable that the settlement of different tribes was either because they were run off their land by enemies, the attraction to the relatively fertile land in Mongolia, or because Mongolia provided some kind of strategic military purpose it their conquest. Generally, all of the races spoke Altaic languages, which is a family of languages named for the mountainous region. The language is one of the few sources of connection between the various Mongol, Turkic, and Tungus tribes. Although the first people's origins are shrouded in mystery because of the lack of indigenous writing sources, there are Chinese records of their neighbors to the north. The first records date from 2000 B.C.E., but there lacks considerable mention. Kyrgyz tribes are recorded as early as this, inhabiting the north-west. The Xiong Nu, a Turkic culture, is recorded in texts dating from around the 5th century B.C.E, as having a vast empire and ruling present-day Mongolia as well as originating from the west; the Manchu and Evenki were found in the east; and finally a people bearing some semblance to the race for which the modern country is named, the Mongols, to the north-east. Near the 1st century B.C.E., the Xiong Nu are recorded to have broken into two hordes: the eastern, which took orders from the Chinese, and the western, which had fought and was not favorably looked upon. The western horde moved into either Europe or somewhere around Turkey and was perhaps associated with the Huns in the 5th century C.E. Then in the 4th-6th centuries C.E. the Xiong Nu empire was succeeded by Turkic and Mongolian tribes, which were probably subjects of the Xiong Nu but may have moved to Mongolia from somewhere else. In the 5th century the Tatar, a Turkic tribe that would rise to prominence later, were noted as a presence in northern Mongolia, perhaps due to the water source. Then Turkic tribes, some claiming descent from the Xiong Nu, overthrew another Turkic tribe and moved to where they established a capital in Orkhon, which is in the north of Mongolia. They began cultivating crops, perhaps due to the presence of a river; perhaps the river factored into where they settled. When they fell in the 8th century, the also-Turkic Uigher people succeeded them, only to be deposed in turn by the Kyrgyz, had at which point they were forced to move south. The Kyrgyz were expanding and moving southward, perhaps because of the inhospitable nature of the north and the need for expansion. Although the first mention of the word “Mongol” occurred before the 10th century, all references disappeared until, at some point, the Mongol Khitan, who came not from present-day Mongolia but rather from a region in China, took power in most of China and Mongolia. Far later, in the 19th century, the Chinese empire took control of Mongolia, solidifying power, after which the Russian Soviets took control with the usage of a Communist puppet government, though it cannot be said that there was much Russian settlement. The history of the movement of different peoples in and out of Mongolia is a fundamental part of understanding the country itself. The movement of a country's people is a core part of the study of their culture. The history of a people is very much tied to their movement into the country and where they settled. Methods of communication and the way resources are transported, too, are movements through the country and are very much influenced by the location and climate of a country. All of these form the element of movement in a country. Although historically, under the Great Khans, Mongolia was advanced in communications, it has comparatively few modern telecommunication systems. Chinggis (Genghis) Khan used homing pigeons to quickly exchange messages, one of the first to do so. Traditionally, however, I would assume that there wasn't a large amount of contact between different families unless one was the vassal (of sorts) of another. But currently, mobile phone services and telephone services are provided to districts' central towns (and nearly a third of Mongolia's population) by the World Bank, and have been since 2005. The World Bank also provides broadband to some districts and Internet subscriptions at a reduced price to educational institutions. Before 2005 almost all the communications were owned by the government, which limited services to rural places. Even now, there is difficulty in providing services to those in the countryside. There are currently around 200,000 telephone lines and approximately 3 million mobile phones. There are both public and private satellite, cable, radio and Internet (the latter with approximately 330 thousand users) in use today. The still-developing communications of Mongolia affect people's lives and is thus an irreplaceable element of Mongolia. The transportation of natural resources in Mongolia involves the way the goods move about and how trade works. The country's Soviet-style railroads, possessing wide tracks, are as much a hindrance as a boon to trade. They force delays when the trains' wheels must be changed where the rails come to the Chinese border because the tracks are made differently; in the mining industry the cost of coal comes 70-80% from expensively inefficient transportation. The one major railroad, the trans-Siberian railroad, dates from the Soviet era, and, although several smaller rails snake off at major points for transportation of resources, it twists down from northwestern Mongolia through the mountains into central Mongolia through Ulaanbatar and then finally through the Gobi desert into China. This comes not only from Soviet-era railroads but also from the lack of roads in rural areas: of all roads in Mongolia, less than 10% of all kilometers covered are paved. This is partially because of the coldness of the location: it ensures that people must move to feed their animals, and that thus there aren't many roads because there is no need for roads due to the low population density and lack of permanent stores, etc., thus transporting goods using vehicles isn't very efficient due to the lack of private development. Most of the country is not industrialized. Mongolia's lack of efficient and modern transportation for resources is unfortunate for companies and the poor who would otherwise have jobs, but is vital to viewing the whole of Mongolia that we explore this movement of resources. Movement Above: artistic rendition of Xiong Nu horseman and their empire Right: Samoyede, Manchu, and Evenki man from left to right (I think) Left: an Uigher prince
Below: the Uigher territory at the height of their empire. Left and above: Khitan men hunting with eagles and the Khitan empire. Above and left: modern-day Kyrgz women and the historical empire. H. E. I. In Mongolia, people have used the environment innovatively, creating lumber, mining, industrial, and herding markets, thus creating jobs for them and their families. However, this has also affected and sometimes hurt the environment, an issue which has come to light in recent years. Governmental and non-governmental groups have responded to this both positively and negatively, with some companies halfway between conservation of water and their limited budgets. These are all part of the relationship between humanity and the environment. In any place, the interaction between the environment and humans is fascinating and reveals much about the country's culture. How they use it, how they've changed it and the consequences of this change, the government's and people's response to it, and what jobs that have been made because of the environment are another way to look at Mongolia's culture. We will look at the interplay between both modern industry and the environment, and traditional ways of life and the environment. Mongolia, in recent decades, has gleaned a great deal from using the environment for manufacturing and production, but has also continued using it for semi-nomadic herding. Its economy has seen growth, mainly due to the formerly untapped natural resources in the land. The mining industry, for instance, is around 30% of GDP and government revenues, and composes nearly 80% of export earnings. It was the largest exporter of coal to China last year, and has deals with foreign coal companies. Its mining sector includes coal, copper, iron, gold, fluorite and other minerals. In addition, Mongolia's western forests have provided lumber to use. Mongolia also has a heritage of herding and livestock, so it is no suprise that these animal resources continue to be used and sold by the nomadic population. Goats, for example, provide cashmere, an expensive commodity, and cattle can provide leather. Sheep and cattle are both valuable meat sources; dairy products can be taken from most livestock for the family's own consumption. Not only are these animals part of the environment impacted by humans, but they also feed on the grasslands, which are thus also used by humans. The resources of the environment, both living and inanimate, can and are used as resources by sedentary and semi-nomadic humans so that they might prosper. On the other hand, as a result of the exploitation of the natural resources, the air, soil, and creatures could be negatively affected, with disastrous consequences. The mining, for example, could pollute the water sources, which already suffer from lack of sufficient sanitation. This results in water contamination, imperiling the water source of years to come. Nearly 1700 hectares have been polluted in relation to mining. The lumber industry contributes to heavy deforestation, as much as 60 thousand hectares a year, which means that there will be fewer trees in the future to use as resources for humans, and animals that rely on these trees might not have homes or adequate food. More indirectly, transportation of these natural resources and inefficient energy usage creates smog, manifested in respiratory illnesses that are increasingly common in children under five. The effects of the herding are not so obvious, but are just as serious. Goats are easily the most destructive animal out of the ones common in Mongolia, as they eat all of the plants in the grassland unlike the other livestock, which leaves weeds behind. Despite this, raising them is growing more common because of the high price of cashmere. Not only this, but the overall herd is larger, due to better resources and medicine. The grasslands bear a risk of becoming deserts in comparatively few years; the consumption of nutrients is more than the yield. Thus this might create more air pollution from the resulting dust. The changes made to the environment and the myriad consequences of these changes, worrying as they may be, are part of the interaction between humans and the environment. Because the environment is being hurt this way, the government and people have reacted to this by pressuring for more environmental protection laws-but some have continued polluting the environment. Mining laws governing pollution and fining those who do pollute have increased as of last year, fines depending on the rarity and value of the resources polluted. However, up until 2011 Oyu Tolgoi had continued to use surface water as a resource, which would force nomadic locals to search harder for a water source. It said it would reconsider and is hopefully trying to make its impact more positive by taking water from another aquifer. The company operating the mine will attempt to monitor biodiversity in the environment. The Mongolian Nature Protection Civil Movements Coalition (MNPCMC), a non-governmental group, has started an initiative to engage stakeholders in conserving the environment through discussing the mineral sector. The damage to 70% of Mongolia’s grazing grassland has been reported upon by the World Wildlife Fund and CNN, as well as several governmental ministers from Mongolia, but it seems as though because this is a small, local phenomenon there are fewer ways to stop it. The Mongolian herders reacted negatively to the lower price of cashmere, raising more goats and using more land. However, both the Mongolian Environmental Civil Council (MECC) and the Mongolian Nature Protection Civil Movements Coalition (MNPCMC) were formed in 2008, and have tried to reduce deforestation, overgrazing, and other issues. The Mongolian people’s and government’s reaction to environmental issues is an integral part of the interaction between them and the environment. Whatever one thinks of the human treatment of the environment, the environment has provided multiple jobs for people who would otherwise have been poor and unable to feed themselves. Manufacturing jobs, mining jobs, and transportation-related jobs have all been made possible because of the environment. Life is only possible because of the environment's water; cleansing jobs have been created due to this. The environment has also created a way of life: semi-nomadism. For thousands of years people have moved semi-annually, herding and relying on livestock-part of their environment-and the grasslands-the environment. Every day they are milked and sheared; they must be taken care of and fed. The environment plays a huge part in the everyday life of workers and herders who rely on it. Tavan Tolgoi, the now defunct coal mine in Mongolia Left from top to bottom: goats and a horse. Below, air pollution in Ulaanbaatar prevents visibility. Rows upon rows of cut down trees The various regions of Mongolia include the physical, the cultural, and the political. The physical region is the landscape and climates, the cultural the way people live, and the political the way legislation is passed and how the country is run. These regions are separate and yet intricately connected; they combine with each other to create a magnificent and layered fabric: Mongolia. Region The land, people, and government are separate areas but are interconnected with each other. They are, when combined, a unified-or not-whole, and when taken separately are perspectives through which to scrutinize and better understand Mongolia. Lastly, the political region of Mongolia relates to how the government is set up. Composed of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, Mongolia’s government is intimately connected to the other regions while divergent from them. The executive branch, like ours, has a president who serves for four years, but off the popular vote, not the electoral. It also has a prime minister, who also serves for four years but based off the votes of the legislative branch’s largest party or coalition. The prime minister chooses the cabinet members, with input from the president and legislative branch. Again quite like ours, the legislative branch is a body of representatives from the districts of the country. However, Mongolia’s legislative branch, called the State Grand Hural, is formed only partly from these districts’ specific vote for the representatives (48 politicians represent 26 districts); the other part are taken proportionally from each party’s share of the vote (28 of them). Because this is based off a vote, the president and prime minister must bend to the will of their people-the culture of their people. Thus, they are affected by the cultural region. On the other hand, they are distinct form their people because they have a four-year-tenure in which to make unpopular decisions. Nevertheless the legislative and executive branches are both Mongolian in their details, which represents the cultural region too-and we must not forget that the politicians are also Mongols. The government also makes decisions that affect the culture of the country. The last section of government, less connected to the cultural region because it is less vote-based, is the judicial branch. This is divided again into two courts: the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court. Unlike the U. S.’s court system, the Supreme Court hears appeals from lower courts, while the Constitutional Court makes rulings on whether laws abided by Mongolia’s constitution. Ultimately, the governmental region of Mongolia is tied to but divorced from the other two regions. It is the cultural region of a place that brings it to life; it controls to a point how the political region functions and in turn is controlled in part by the physical region. It includes how people live, which we will be discussing today, to what they believe, to what foods they eat. Mongolia’s substantial semi-nomadic population (about half of the total) and its urban, sedentary population (the other half), as well as the people in between, are elements of this region. The semi-nomadic population lives in gers, usually modernly equipped circular dwellings made of latticed wood and canvas, and moves regularly every season or so, so that their herds of sheep, goats, yaks, and others can graze on new grassland, as mentioned earlier. Horses are frequently used to herd these animals and move the gers. The urban population, however, has congregated in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city, and lives much the same as in the United States. Their residences primarily date from the Soviet era. Some of those in the city are not, though, as prosperous as either of the other parts of the population. These are those caught between nomadic life and the city, who for whatever reason have had to move into urban life. Though most still reside in gers, the outskirts of the city where they have to live are smoggy and unpleasant. Around a quarter of the entire population lives like this. All of these percentages and ways of living are an component of the cultural region, and are connected to the other regions but distinct, too. While it may appear irrelevant, the physical region influences greatly all the other regions. For example, the central steppe, which composes most of Mongolia’s land, caused Mongols to live nomadically, herding animals that thrive there. This affects the cultural region significantly. It does so today, its grasslands supporting sheep, goats, and livestock, among other wildlife. Contrast that to the Gobi desert, in southern Mongolia, which is oddly cold due to its polar location but still arid, and thus inhospitable for most activities apart from cattle herding. The next and last element of Mongolia is the mountains, which are cold and quite high, as would be expected of mountains, and sustain predatory birds and others. These all contribute to the landscape-related region in Mongolia. At top is Prime Minister Norovyn Altankhuyag; below him is President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj The soyombo: a symbol of Mongolia. The fire represents growth, the three prongs past, present, and future; the sun and moon eternity, the universe, or the origin of Mongols; the two triangles weapons defeating enemies within and without; the two rectangles on the inside the justice of the people; the yin/yang symbol the contrast of male and female; the outside rectangles walls keeping Mongolia safe; and lastly at the bottom a ceremonial scarf (or, as it appears to me, a lotus blossom as in Buddhism) is represented. It is also the symbol of the Legislative branch. A communist star was put on top of the fire during the 20th century. The Mongolian coat of arms: the teardrops represent Buddhist jewels, which are said to grant wishes; the blue to eternal blue sky; the horse is a wind horse, representing a treasured steed and the sovereignty and independence of the Mongolian people, in which there is again the soyombo; then the dharma wheel from Buddhism upon green mountains; encircling this is the tumen nusan, for eternity and finally this is placed upon a ceremonial scarf: the khadag. The flag of Mongolia: red representing progress, the blue a Buddhist symbol representing sky and purity. Again we see the soyombo. It used to have a communist star on it. 0 .2 .4 .6 .8 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 81. 82. Halh Kazakh Dorvad Bayad Buriad Dariganga Zahchin Urianhai Others Foreigners Ethnicities in Mongolia Percentages Ethnic Group This graph shows the unique human characteristics as exemplified in Place, and demonstrates an aspect of the cultural region. Ethnic groups in Mongolia are shown as percentages here out of 2,373,500 people as of the 2000 census. The Halh are by far the largest ethnic group, and speak Khalha Mongolian, which is the national language. Rio Tinto Expects Mongolia's OK for Oyu Tolgoi Exports Soon
Published May 09, 2013Dow Jones Newswires
Rio Tinto PLC (RIO.AU) expects final approvals from Mongolia to ship copper and gold from its Oyu Tolgoi mine within weeks, a big step forward for the nation's largest investment project that has been caught up in a row over costs between the miner and the government.
Rio Tinto had previously targeted commercial production by the end of June, but now thinks it will be able to start shipping material to its customers by that time, Chief Executive Sam Walsh said Thursday.
"This will depend on the ongoing discussions with the government of Mongolia," Mr. Walsh said following the company's annual meeting in Sydney.
Talks have so far been "very productive and very constructive," he added.
Mr. Walsh said approvals for the transportation and shipment of material from the mine, located in the Gobi Desert, are expected "in the next couple of weeks, and that will facilitate the shipments."
Rio Tinto controls Oyu Tolgoi LLC, the company responsible for developing the mine, through its majority ownership of Toronto-listed Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ).
Mongolia owns a 34% stake in Oyu Tolgoi, but is refusing to support Rio Tinto's efforts to raise as much as US$6 billion to fund the next phase of development and has queried what it says are rising costs for the project. Rio Tinto and Mongolia have agreed to continue funding the US$6.2 billion first phase of the Oyu Tolgoi mine. The second phase of the project is still expected to cost $5.1 billion to build, despite the exclusion of a $1.16 billion coal-fired power station and $645 million concentrator expansion from the plan.
"I think we have moved well down the path in terms of resolving issues the government had tabled with us, enabling us really to move forward with the project," said Mr. Walsh, without elaborating further. The budget for the project remains under monthly review, he added.
Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires Rio Tinto, the company that owns the mining company by the name of Oyu Tolgoi LLC, expects approval from Mongolia's government, which owns 34% of the company, to ship copper and gold from the mine of the same name in the Gobi Desert. It expects to be shipping by July, depending on negotiations with the government, ahead of its original expectations. This is after a long conflict between the two concerning costs. The government has refused to support fundraising for more than half a billion US dollars just for the first phase up until now, but has now agreed. The second phase, costing almost as much, is still unresolved.
The reason this is important is because it will affect people's lives. People who rely on resources the coal mine potentially uses up might be forced to leave if the negotiations succeed; people who rely on the company and those who have invested in it will lose out if they don't succeed. It will affect the way people view the government's actions, and thus will affect the way the government deals with this. This also affects the economic success and health of Mongolia overall. If the company creates jobs for the poor, this will hopefully aid the government's revenue for services and help the GPD and unemployment rate; if it lands in debt and doesn't succeed, the government's finances will be negatively affected because of a bad investment and perhaps the overall economy will be negatively affected.

Determinants of News
Timeliness-this only happened three days ago.
Conflict-the government and Rio Tinto's cost-related ideas are conflicting, bogging down the operation.
Progress (or lack thereof)-this shows progress in developing Mongolia's resources and in the negotiations, but a lack of progress because this might hurt the environment and will cost quite a lot of money.
Suspense-we don't know if the mine will turn out well or if it will be developed; the outcome of the ongoing negotiations is a mystery for us.
Consequence-this will have consequences for the livelihoods of people who work for the company and the government. It will also affect the people who live in the Gobi because the mine could impair their ability to find resources and create air pollution.
Human Interest-this could help people find jobs and feed their families; conversely it could force nomadic families to move to the cities because of scarce resources.

This is related to the H.E.I., the Place, and Movement. The H. E. I. is related because the coal mine might negatively affect the environment around it by polluting the air and water; it could inadvertently destroy natural habitats and the creatures already living in the Gobi because of smoke and runoff. The Place includes the economy and commodities that are unique to Mongolia: Oyu Tolgoi would play a part in creating characteristic economic commodities: copper and gold. These unique commodities must be shipped, however, by train, plane, or truck; they must be moved from one place to another, as in the theme Movement. The potential pollution and the distinguishing commodities resulting from the mine, and the way these commodities will be transported closely tie in the the Themes of Geography. Current Event Article Analysis http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2013/05/09/rio-tinto-expects-mongolia-ok-for-oyu-tolgoi-exports-soon/ Thank you for watching. 1 1. "Altai Alpine Meadow and Tundra." The Encyclopedia of Earth. The Encyclopedia of Earth, 9 Aug. 2012. Web. 15 May 2013.

2. "Gobi Desert." Gobi Desert. Gobi Desert Website, 2010. Web. 15 May 2013. <http://gobidesert.org/>.

3. Lawrence, Dave. "Mongolia's Growing Shantytowns: The Cold and Toxic Ger Districts." Weblog post. Blogs.WorldBank,org. World Bank, n.d. Web. 15 May 2013.

4. Mikhaylov, Nikolay I., and Lewis Owen. "Altai Mountains (mountain Range, Asia)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 24 Aug. 2009. Web. 15 May
2013. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/17446/Altai-Mountains>.

5. "Religion in Mongolia." Mongoluls.net. Mongolia Web News, 2007. Web. 15 May 2013. <http://mongoluls.net/mongolian-religion/monrelihis.shtml>.

6. "Ulaanbaatar." Blue Peak. Blue Peak, 2009. Web. 15 May 2013. <http://www.bluepeak.net/mongolia/ulaanbaatar.html>.

7. United Nations. USAID. USAID.gov. By Margaret Herro, Onan Naidan, Mart Erdene, Amarzaya Lkhagva, Sarantungalag Shagdarsuren, Saran Samdantsoodol, Munkhjargal
Chimidhisig, Uyanga Jadamba, Orgilbold Tumurbaatar, and Tserendorj Lookhondorj. USAID, n.d. Web. 15 May 2013. <http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNACU854.pdf>.

8. United States. Central Intelligence Agency. CIA-World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency, 7 May 2013. Web. 15 May 2013.

9. "Wildlife of the Mongolian Steppe." Wildlife of the Mongolian Steppe. Earth Watch Institute, n.d. Web. 15 May 2013.

10. Yee, Danny. "Mongolian Herd Animals." Mongolian Herd Animals: Yaks, Sheep, Goats, Horses, Camels. Danny Yee, 2005. Web. 15 May 2013.
<http://danny.oz.au/travel/mongolia/herd-animals.html>. Place 1,4 9 2 5 6,7 10 8 1,2 1. Degnan, David. "Historical Monuments in Mongolia." EHow. Demand Media, 24 Feb. 2010. Web. 15 May 2013. <http://www.ehow.com/list_6026832_historical-monuments-mongolia.html>.

2. "Mongolia-Historical and Attractive Places." Tours of Mongolia. Ayan Trails, 2013. Web. 15 May 2013. <http://www.toursmongolia.com/modules.php?name=News> Location Movement 1. Allworth, Edward, Gavin R.G. Hambly, Denis Sinor, and David R. Smith. "History of Central Asia : Early Eastern Peoples." Encyclopedia
Britannica Online. Ed. Encyclopedia Britannica Editors. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013. Web. 15 May 2013. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/102315/history-of-Central-Asia/73532/Early-eastern-peoples>.

2. Harris, Chauncy D., Own Lattimore, and Alan J. Sanders. "Mongolia : Ethnography and Early Tribal History." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Ed. Encyclopedia Britannic
Editors. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013. Web. 15 May 2013. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/389335/Mongolia/27420/Ethnography-and-early-tribal-history>. 1,2 H. E. I. 1. Hogan Lovells. Hogan Lovells, Oct. 2012. Web. 16 May 2013.

2. World Bank. "Mongolia Environment." The World Bank. The World Bank, 2013. Web. 16 May 2013. Region 1. See Place: 1,2,4,9

2. See Place: 3,6,7

3. See the Government section of Place: 8.

4. Mongolia. Consulate. FAQ about Mongolia. Consulate of Mongolia, 23 July 2009. Web. 16 May 2013.

5. Travel Advice. "Mongolia Flag." Travel Advice.com. Travel Advice, ? Web. 16 May 2013.
<http://www.mongolia-travel-advice.com/mongolia-flag.html>. 1 2 3 4,5 4,5 4,5 Works Cited
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