The project consisted of three components: Academic Research, Capacity Building and Policy Impact.

Primary research focused on three rural fieldsites in Mongolia and three in Kyrgyzstan and was co-designed with our core team and project researchers. Below is a small selection of photos from fieldwork.



Fieldwork in Mongolia commenced in October 2018, starting with a return to Khanbogd in Omnogovi province.

Khanbogd soum (county) centre, October 2018

We commenced fieldwork in Khanbogd county in October 2018. Khanbogd is the site of the Oyu Tolgoi mega mine.

Dawaa interviews herder in Omnogovi province in Khanbogd



Tsesu and Nadia Interview Local Herder in Khanbogd


“In Mongolia there is no compensation awarding standard. There is no organization which fairly assesses the value of property. When somebody is relocated and given compensation that person’s livelihood must not worsen in principle. There is no entity which evaluates their livelihood after certain time passes. There is no complaint lodging mechanism. They do not evaluate mental damage at all. For these reasons investing companies are approaching this from their own discretion.” – Civil Society Leader, Ulaanbaatar 2019


Coal dust from coal trucks in Tsagaan Khat Residential Center. Photo by Byambabaatar Ichinkhorloo October 2018


“We remained ignorant and as a result many things such as mine are coming in. Had we known it we would have voiced our opinions from the beginning. We do not know well about projects and such things. We hear that bunch of foreigners are looking for oil and they have set up a camp in [location], now we do not know what is happening at all. I don’t know what type of projects are being implemented and what is going on.” – Khanbogd herder 2018


Interviewing herders in Khanbogd

Interviewing Herders in Khanbogd


Truck accident on coal export road, Khanbogd

Pasture fragmentation due to coal road, Khanbogd



Overburden from a mine inches closer to herder household who has been displaced from another mine to this location, Gurvantes county in Omnogovi province 2019

Tsesu interviews truck driversin Gurvantes soum

Mine site in Gurvantes, Omnogovi province. Dozens of different mines operate in Gurvantes.

Visiting Mining Companies in Gurvantes for interviews.




Fieldwork in Krgyzstan commended in summer of 2019.

Research Field Site


Group discussion, Naryn, Kyrgyzstan

“There are many complaints on mining. Pasture land, ecology. A lot of dissatisfaction among the local herders. We are not happy with the situation. In a mountainous region like this people are busy with livestock. When the environment is being destroyed who will be happy? They are digging everywhere, we don’t get any benefits from that. They pay to the budget, people in Bishkek split money between them. The only affected side are people here.” – Herder, July 201




“However, dangers from mining, reclamation, ecology fund, flora and fauna – no one talks about this. I assure you, no one. No one says that there has been a geological study; it will take an x amount of time for the pasture land to recover. Nothing about this. Maybe the locals might not understand some terms, but the information needs to be given in full.” -Government Official, July 2019



Artisinal Mining

Gold Mine, Kyrgyzstan. Many mines are difficult to access in the mountainous terrain

Abandoned mine site without any land rehabilitation

Equipment left in abandoned mine site