BRIEF UPDATE ON THE RIVER MOVEMENTS

About court case on environmental damages caused by Puraam and Centerra Gold-mining companies:

On October 21, Mongolian citizens Ts.Munkhbayar, G.Bayaraa, D.Tumurbaatar and O.Sambuu-Yondon filed law-suit against Puraam and Centerra Gold-mining companies for environmental damages and violating Mongolian environmental protection regulations in the State Investigation Office.

E.Gantulga, director and other relevant officials of Puraam and John Kazakov, director and other relevant officials of Centerra Gold-Mongolia have committed crimes specified in Articles 202, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 214 of the Mongolian Criminal law. Actions of both companies are illegal as they are operating in prohibited areas by Mongolian law on prohibition mining operations at headwaters of rivers, protected zones of water reservoirs and forest areas. Because of these mining companies, local citizens, herders and livestock animals experienced environmental damages including skin irritation and formation of lumps; eye disease and intoxication of internal organs of humans as well livestock animals in Mandal soum, Tunkhel area of Selenge province. These companies are operating in the headwaters of Gachuurt and Budanch Rivers and reduced flows of these rivers. Local people and livestock animals have no access to the drinking water sources.

The scientists of the Advanced Study Institute assessed the environmental damages caused by Puraam and Centerra Gold. Environmental damage caused by both companies exceeds 9 billion tugrik (approximately $ 7 million US).
 
About suing Mongolian Government in court:
On October 22, United Movement of Mongolian Rivers and Lakes sued Government of Mongolia in the court of Sukhbaatar district of Ulaanbaatar city in order to get compensation of environmental damages in basins of Onggi, Zavkhan, Tuul, Khangiltsag, Khuder, Ulz, Yeroo and Gachuurt rivers in compliance with article 19.1 of the Mongolian Constitution, and Article 7.7.2, 11.1.6 of the Mongolian law on Government.
 
The Government of Mongolia is not implementing the above laws, so ecological imbalance has been observed throughout the country. We consider that Government of Mongolia is responsible for natural-ecological disaster facing Mongolia. Therefore, we are suing the Government of Mongolia according to article 32.1.1 of Mongolian law on Environmental Protection. In Article 16.1.2 of the law on the Constitution of Mongolia, which calls for “the right to a healthy and safe environment, and to be protected against environmental pollution and ecological imbalance”. Unfortunately, the right is violated seriously. According to Mongolian Constitution, the Government of Mongolia is responsible to protect this right for Mongolian citizens. However, the Government is not implementing the laws and therefore, much ecological damage has already occurred.
source: United Movement of Mongolian Rivers and Lakes
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