BLUE WAVES GLOBAL CAMPAIGN 2014
Do you remember a place that you visited where you found yourself in the midst of a breathtaking landscape, and then you wondered what it would look like in 20 or 25 years from now?
Well that place could be Lake Hovsgol. Mongolians hold it to be sacred, as a“Mother Sea,” one of the last pristine places on earth. When the staff of the Mongol Ecology Center (MEC) visited the lake with volunteers from Global Parks, a US NGO in 2011, we fell in love and became inspired. But we also realized we needed to act. We saw fish being netted, trees being logged, and shorelines being trashed. Any pollution that goes into the Lake today will stay there for 500 years. And thousands and thousands of people keep coming every year, and very little done to prevent damage. Unsustainable use of natural resources and irresponsible decision-making are both causing immediate threats to the lake’s future.
In 1992, the Mongolian government established Lake Hovsgol National Park, which covers 2.5 million acres—bigger than Yellowstone National Park. The park has 15 permanent rangers, who patrol hundreds of square miles, day and night, with very little in the way of park resources. There have been incidents where poachers have attacked the rangers, and other times when wild animals have injured them. But they still go out everyday to protect the lake for all of us.
The MEC has been working together with local and international partners to define and implement a vision for Lake Hovsgol National Park. Needless to say, we hope that this vision will guide the preservation of this special place as the eternal “Crown Jewel” of Mongolia.
Our Blue Waves Campaign was formed as part of the larger effort of Lake Hovsgol Conservancy to celebrate the global significance of Lake Hovsgol—it contains 70% of all freshwater in Mongolia, 1% in the entire world, and is headwaters to Lake Baikal (containing 20% of world’s freshwater).We believe that the preservation of this place is not just the responsibility of Mongolians, but of the whole world. Together we can save it.
Our campaign therefore aims to raise awareness and celebrate Lake Hovsgol. We are targeting a global audience to gain support and not only fully equip our rangers, but also improve the infrastructure and capacity of the whole park and its management team.