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Mining fractures land and community in Mongolia

Author: Ariell Ahearn, University of Oxford

With over 1000 licenses issued across the country, a diverse range of mineral extraction operations are transforming Mongolia’s rural cultural landscape. The Gobi region is crowded with both mega mines and smaller-scale operations. The Gobi also has excellent conditions for renewable energy and is poised to be a site for significant investment in this industry. Solar and wind farms are already starting to pop up in Omnogobi and Dornogovi provinces reflecting Mongolia’s commitment to reduce its reliance on coal power under the State Policy on Energy 2015-2030.

Yet in the face of these major investments and developments, discussions of traditional mobile pastoralist land tenure rights have been muted. While the Mongolian government has some legal provisions to protect the environment, such as the 2012 Law on Environmental Impact Assessment, it lacks robust policy on resettlement and social…

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