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A steppe ahead

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Created on 14 January 2013
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The largest temperate grassland in the world is the Eurasian steppe, extending from Hungary to China. It reaches almost one-fifth of the way around the Earth. Only in Eastern Mongolia does the steppeland survive intact. Covering an area almost the size of Japan, horses, gazelles and a spectacular selection of wildlife far outnumber the semi-nomadic human population.

The private sector wants to invest to get money for the country: modernization through university, electricy, transport. But behind that, the steppe has valuable oil and gold reserves, which are the focus of attention of foreign companies. The infraestructure needed including roads or railways lines, quemicals into the water system and the increase of the number of people, could break up the Eastern steppe making migrations for animals and people a thing of the past. The population there coexist with the nature. They feel part of it and they survive thanks to it. The land has always been shared for all ,they have no concept of the ownership of land. They bet on an ecologic development.

The Global Environment Facility is supporting an ambitious conservation effort. Beijing-based film-maker, John Liu travelled the steppe for Earth Report to assess the chances for safeguarding the grassland ecosystem and a way of life the warriors of the great Khans would recognise.


More info: http://www.whatifwechange.org
Produced by: John D, Liu for EEMP 
Year: 2012
Language: English 



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