Mongolian Buddhism, Khulan and nature protection
1. Materials donated to Buddhist monasteries
1.1. Our brochure about Mongolian Khulan protection and biodiversity conservation
A specific version of the general brochure about protection of the Khulan and biodiversity conservation -that our team created in 2012- has been created for Buddhist monasteries of our study area.
This brochure has been donated to the following Buddhist monasteries:
- Buddhist monastery of Sainshand,
- Buddhist monastery and energy center of Khamariin Khiid,
- and the Buddhist monastery Ulgii Khiid (Mandakh sum, Dornogovi aimag).
This brochure will be complemented within the coming months following with new sheets that will contain information, advice, activities, … related to our program “Mongolian Buddhism and protection of the Khulan, Gobi wildlife and Gobi ecosystem“. This brochure will be complemented in partnership with Buddhist monks who work with our organization.
Logo created for Alliance of Buddhist monasteries and organization that will partner with GOVIIN KHULAN
1.2. Poster about the Mongolian Khulan
1.3. Brochures created by the Tributary Fund & ARC World Project
With the agreement of Mrs Victoria FINLAY (Communication Director, Alliance of Religions and Conservation / ARC World project) we have printed some brochures and posters that have been created by the Gandan monastery (Ulaanbaatar), The Tributary Fund and the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, and we donated these materials to monks and Buddhist monasteries of our study area and with who we work since 2009.
The Alliance of Religions and Conservation has been created in 1995 in UK by HRH Prince Philip. This organization works all around the world to reinforce links between religions and biodiversity conservation and help faith communities to create links with environmental organizations. The Alliance of Religions and Conservation also works in Mongolia in partnership with the Gandan monastery (located in Ulaanbaatar) and other monasteries of this country.
In 2010, we heard about the Alliance of Religions and Conservation and about The Tributary Fund, that both works in the same field, and we decided to get in touch with these 2 organizations to exchange skills and experiences in this field.
The Mongolian Buddhist 8 Year Conservation Plan has been launched in 2010 by the Gandan monastery, TTF and ARC and implemented since January 201. “The Eight Year Action Plan will include promoting the use of traditional construction practices for monasteries, providing solar energy to monastic communities, raising public awareness on forest fires, educating young monks and members of the lay community on environmental practices, reducing waste, and looking for the ancient ecological teachings that can be found in the ancient sutras which were hidden during the 60 years of communist rule last century.” (http://www.arcworld.org).
2. Activities organized by/with Buddhist monasteries partners of GOVIIN KHULAN
2.1. Information and awareness of local communities by Ulgii Khiid's monks
Our research team first discovered Ulgii Khiid in 2008 and during the summer 2009 we decided to start to collaborate with monks of this monastery.
Ulgii Khiid is located in the southeast Gobi, Dornogobi aimag/province.
In 2010, we donated to Ven. Batmonkh, monk and head of Ulgii Khiid, as well as to Chaimjants (young monk at Ulgii Khiid) and his family, some note books to record their observations about the Mongolian Khulan (locations, behavior, indication of illegal hunting, ..), and activities conducted with local communities about Mongolian Buddhism, Compassion, and Khulan and nature protection.
During the summer 2012, Ven. Batmonkh gave us back his notebook in which he recorded from the fall 2010 to the summer 2011, his observations of Mongolian khulans, and all activities he regularly conducted with local communities of the Mandakh sum, Khatanbulag sum, Hanbogd sum and Huvsgul sum.
When he visited people living in these sums/districts, he regularly told them about the importance to protect the endangered Mongolian Khulan and its habitat and also told about Mongolian Buddhism teachings and links with protection and respect of all living life. When he visited these communities, Batmonkh did also record locations of khulans he observed while travelling.
Unfortunately, Ven. Batmonkh, stopped to record any more information from the summer 2011 until the summer 2012, waiting for the research and project Director of GOVIIN KHULAN to come back and give him some advices and comments about activities he previously conducted and activities he could conduct in the future … Our research and project Director did not visit our study area in 2011 because of a lack of funding.
However, Ven. Batmonkh did express a real motivation for the project and has been really involved in until now.
Our team is sincerely thankful for so much support from monks and the community of this monastery!
This collaboration will be undoubtedly enriched within the following months. We will continue to provide support and assistance to these monks but we wish before all that they build their own activities related to Mongolian Buddhism and nature protection.
2.2. Involvement of monks and the community of Ulgii Khiid in the project
During this mission, we provided Chaimjants and his parents (Gansukh and Otgon) with technical equipment: GPS, binoculars, digital camera, and small technical equipment. This technical equipment will be shared with other monks of this monastery.
Some educational materials created by our organization and created by other organizations (see above) have been donated to this family and monks of this monastery.
Thanks to this equipment, they will be all able to observe Mongolian khulans but also other wild species living in this area (such as wild sheep “argali”, gazelles, …), and they could record information about interactions between these wild species with domestic animals and human activities and various information about Mongolian khulan ecology, threats, … and then, learn much more about the Mongolian Khulan to better protect it and locally raise awareness in the future.
Chaimjants and his parents – who strongly support the project since the beginning – are now Citizen Conservationists of the Association GOVIIN KHULAN, and – with the high motivation they express since the beginning – we are sure that they will all do a great job!
2.3. Support provided to monks of Ulgii Khiid to attend workshop, training, ...
In September 2012, we also donated a stipend to the monks of Ulgii Khiid to allow them to attend a conference about Mongolian Buddhism and conservation. Conferences are regularly organized at the Gandan monastery, in UlaanBaatar, in partnership with the Tributary Fund and the Alliance of Religions and Conservation.
Thanks to this stipend, monks from Ulgii Khiid as well as a monk from Khamariin Khiid, a monk from the monastery of Sainshand and maybe a monk of Demchig Khiid too, will travel all together from the southeast Gobi to UlaanBaatar and could attend the next conference that will be organized at Gandan (more information will be posted within the next few weeks).
We sincerely hope that in the near future we could provide these monks with:
- further stipends to these monks for that they can regularly attend these conferences. A great opportunity for them to learn more on how Buddhism can help save endangered species and protect environment, to discuss with monks from other provinces, and meet with Mongolian and international specialists working on biodiversity conservation,
- training and teaching on species conservation, environment protection, and sustainable development. These trainings and teachings could be conducted in partnership with other organizations,
- and support to restore monasteries, develop conservation programs, implement green energy at monasteries, …
"Religious leaders can help stop wildlife crime". Article published on slate.com. Interview of Dekila Chungyalpa - founder and director of the Sacred Earth program for WWF.
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