nomadic refugees

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 March, 2010, 12:00am

Reading comprehension

1 What do the herders sell as a cash crop?

a. cashmere

b. milk

c. meat

d. horses

2 What did the herders want to buy with their loans?

a. better goats and houses

b. land

c. horses and camels

d. motor bikes and solar panels

3 What restrictions did the government put on mining development?

a. none

b. local ownership and large tax

c. any mining had to be environmentally friendly

d. only locals could mine

4 Why is this being called a double zud?

a. because of the weather and the financial crisis

b. because they have gold they can't reach

c. because goats and horses are dying

d. because nomads are fleeing to the cities

5 What caused the price of cashmere to fall?

a. the cold weather

b. the financial crisis

c. the fur trade

d. the goats all died

6 Why do the homeless go underground in Ulan Bator?

a. to hide from the police

b. to find food

c. to keep warm in winter

d. it's easier to get around

Think about

1 How has capitalism affected Mongolia?

2 Should herders receive government protection or be left to fend for themselves?

3 How can the government ensure locals gain the benefits of the land's mineral wealth?

4 Is there a way to make the nomadic herding lifestyle sustainable?

Follow-up activities

1 Research life in Mongolia under the Soviet system and compare it to a herder's life now.

2 Debate: It's time nomadic herders realised their life is not sustainable.

3 Contrast the life of a herder with the life of a settled farmer.

4 Find out the effect of Mongolia's vast grassland on carbon emissions and decide whether Mongolia can claim carbon credits for it.


February 23

Reading comprehension: 1. d, 2. a, 3. a, 4. b, 5. c