New Year's Greeting from MACA President Sanj Altan
Excerpt: Greetings for the new year 2016. I hope you and your loved ones enjoyed the happiest of holidays. With these greetings, I would like to share with you an overview of MACA activities and achievements over the past year, one in which we furthered the MACA goals as envisioned by our founders, Professor Gombojab Hangin, Tsorj Lama and Lopsang Khiyod.
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MACA Sets Up Special Disaster Fund to Help Herders in Southern Mongolia
In recent years, the Government of China has implemented a policy of “Ban on Livestock Grazing” in Mongolian inhabited areas in China. As a consequence of this policy, the nomadic lifestyle of many rural herders’ communities has been seriously affected leading to economic hardships. This year, Mongolian pastoralist communities within China have been hit by severe snowstorms. In addition, it has been reported that the regular subsidies to those affected by the livestock grazing ban have in many cases been suspended. Reports from the Darhan-Muumingan Banner indicate that the survival of their rural pastoralist community is threatened by the combination of severe weather and suspension of subsidies. MACA has established a special fund, the "Herders’ Survival Fund” on behalf of these affected communities. Readers are asked to send donations to MACA in care of this fund to help the affected communities.
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Mongolia Abolishes the Death Penalty
Abstract: The Mongolian parliament abolished the death penalty in Decmeber 2015. No executions had been carried out since 2008. The U.N. Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein praised Mongolia's decision.
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New Documentary Behemoth Documents Chinese Coal Mining in Inner Mongolia
Abstract: Behemoth, made by 44 year old documentary filmmaker Mr. Zhao Liang, is set in Wuhai, Inner Mongolia and documents coal mining's negative effects on the local environment and society. The film premiered in September 2015 and has received international acclaim.
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Nonprofit Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project
Abstract: A nonprofit organization in Ulaanbaatar has set out to revive the bankhar dog breed. Bankhar dogs were traditionally used to aid nomads; however, massive urbanization has led to dwindling numbers of the iconic animal. The Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project hopes that the reintroduction of the bankhar dog will also assist in preserving Mongolia's fragile ecosystem.
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The Endangered Mongolian Snow Leopard
Abstract: An estimated one thousand of the world's four to six thousand endangered wild snow leopards are believed to live in Mongolia. The snow leopard remains an important creature in Mongolian folk religion; several nomads are now assisting the World Wildlife Fund to protect the endangered animal's range.
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The Kalmyk Diaspora Archiving Project
We would like to remind our readers about the ongoing Kalmyk Diaspora Archiving Project (KDAP) and the opening ceremony for its exhibit From Pastoral Nomadism to Global Urbanism which will take place at Rutgers University's Douglass Library on Friday March 25, 2016 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. For up-to-date information please follow KDAP's Facebook Page.
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"Light House" Union's Shaman Ayangat's Presentation in NYC
On January 3rd, 2016, as part of the Mongol Heritage Foundation of USA's Distinguished Speakers Series, the president of the "Light House" Union - Shaman Ayangat Udgan gave a presentation on Tengriism and Mongolian Shamanism in New York City. The event was moderated by Khishigsuren Dorj, and MACA was a supporter of the event. The "Light House" Shaman's Union was founded in 2011; its mission is to spread Chinggis Khaan's teachings and provide a path for spiritual education and enlightenment.
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