The Denver-UB Connection and Environmental Refugees
Denver, Colorado, has taken another step to solidify her position as a sister city to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. On May 10, Denver opened Ulaanbaatar Park with Mongolian Minister Counselor and Deputy Chief of Mission Mr. Odonjil Banzragch in attendance. Denver and UB have been sister cities for seven years, and Denver is the base for several businesses and NGOs doing business in Mongolia.
On another note, UB is experiencing unprecedented growth due to the fact that nomadic life is becoming untenable. Mongolia has seen a temperature rise of nearly two degrees Celsius in the past sixty years, causing sand storms, droughts and dzuds, winter storms characterized by temperatures as low as -40, heavy snow and strong winds. This situation is devastating to livestock herds (25% of livestock died between 1999 and 2003), and many nomadic herdsmen are being forced to relocate to the capital to earn a livelihood. They are part of a new demographic, the “environmental refugees.”