Participatory environmental monitoring

Since 2011, Oyu Tolgoi has conducted participatory environmental monitoring programmes with local herders and community members monitoring herders’ hand well water levels and observing wildlife and elm trees along the Undai river bed.

This information is reviewed and processed by local specialists and Oyu Tolgoi LLC and helps validate the results of environmental protection and monitoring initiatives implemented by Oyu Tolgoi LLC.

The TPC also developed a scientific environmental monitoring methodology suitable for herding practices. Soum residents and herders established the Munkh Nogoon Galba NGO /link to NGO information/ which has implemented environmental monitoring projects since 2018 including:

  • Water resources and precipitation
  • Soil degradation and soil moisture
  • Pasture and beneficial plants
  • Wildlife and natural open water bodies
  • Air quality and ambient dust
  • Comprehensive monitoring of sites potentially be impacted by mining operations
  • Ecological education for young people and students.

As of first quarter 2021, 118 herders are participating in five types of monitoring at 168 points, including:

  • 85 herders taking water measurements at 86 wells,
  • 16 herders participating in fauna monitoring in 16 plots,
  • 8 herders implementing pasture monitoring in 8 plots,
  • 5 herders participating in elm tree census in 1 plot,
  • 1 herder is responsible for the rare poplar tree monitoring in 1 plot
  • measuring 18 bore wells of Khanbogd soum drinking water supply system, monitoring 15 deep bore wells used by herders and sampling 10 water sources for water quality monitoring, precipitation monitoring at 10 plots, and dust monitoring at 5 points.

Capacity building initiatives for NGO specialists are ongoing.