PHOTOS: Mongolia Gold Rush Destroying Rivers

PHOTOS: Mongolia Gold Rush Destroying Rivers
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The Three Camels Lodge in Mongolia's South Govĭ province provides a taste of nomadic life. The eco lodge, pictured here in September 2008, sits just a few hours drive from where the Onggi River used to flow into Ulaan Lake.

The Onggi, which supports 60,000 nomadic herders and one million head of livestock, no longer reaches the dry lakebed.

Environmentalists say mining activities have short-changed the river and the people who rely on it.

"Our way of life is threatened," said National Geographic Emerging Explorer Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, a Mongolian nomadic herder.

According to local media, Mongolia's federal government is busy drafting revised mining laws that will assist displaced locals.
—Photograph by Cheryl Zook/NGS
 
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