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CASE STUDIES from Mongolia | Case Study 1: Gandan Tegchenling Monastery | Case Study 2: The Erdene Zuu Endeavor | Case Study 3: Onstar Isei Lin Monastery | Case Study 4: Dashchoilin Monastery | Case Study 5: Amarbayasgalants Monastery | Case Study 6: Khamar Khiid | Case Study 7: Luvsandanzanjantsan Studies Centre | Case Study 8: Gandandarjaaling Monastery

Case Study 7: Luvsandanzanjantsan Studies Centre

The following information has been extracted from the Mongolian Buddhists Protecting Nature Handbook which can be downloaded in English and in Mongolian.

Based in the Bayankhongor district in southern Mongolia, the Centre was established to promote the works of the high lama and renowned scholar Khanchin Choijil Luvsandanzanjantsan (1639-1704) as well as to conduct activities for the conservation of religion and the environment. It brings together monastic heads, scholars and scientists.

a. Lobbying

The Centre has been very strong in environmental lobbying and advocacy. Successful lobbying of local representatives since the 1990s has led to provinciallevel protection of sacred and environmentally significant areas, actually pushing out mining companies operating in these areas. In 2005, three mining companies ceased their activities; two more are expected to cease operations. It is still a battle, with some 100 companies still licensed to operate in the district. The Centre is working to redefine mining laws in order to preserve the environment. Director of the Studies Centre, D. Batbold, also heads the Homeland and Water Protection Coalition, which was formed in 2006 during a workshop organized jointly with the Asia Foundation and which brings together water protection movements from 14 aimags around the country. Since the workshop, the local community in Bayankhongor has been very active in discouraging mining, and several anti-mining movements have emerged. “We focus on providing environmental education to the local community and making them aware of their legal rights. Educated people are easily motivated and difficult to stop,” D. Batbold explains. As a result of local activism mining companies operating in the region have already become more environmentally aware. For example, sea buckthorn is now being planted on land affected by mining in order to help mitigate environmental damage.

b. Sacred sites

The centre is also helping to revive traditional conservation practices and sacred site worship rituals. The monks worked for three years to produce and later distribute “Sutras for the worship of the spirit of the land of Bayankhongor”, a collection of sacred site sutras in Tibetan and Mongolian. The centre is presently building several temples dedicated to the worship of local sacred mountains.

c. Tree and vegetable planting

In 2004, the Centre began work to revive the “Tuin River willow” groves, half of which had been destroyed in the previous decade. In cooperation with the Japanese Oita Prefecture research has been conducted on the viability of growing sugar beets as an alternative form of income to mining. Since 2002, the Centre has worked in cooperation with ADRA to implement a vegetable growing healthy food project. The Luvsandanzanjantsan Studies Centre has planted more than 85,000 trees in Bayankhongor since 2003, in cooperation with the office of the Governor of Bayankhongor Province, and within the framework of the Reforestation 20 program.


Email: Tel: +976-99449889

Pages about Mongolian Environmental Wisdom, taken from the Handbook.

The Mongolian Lord of Nature.

Sacred texts, places and ovoos.

Sacred sites in Mongolia.

Traditional Environmental Law in Mongolia.

The work that the monks, in conjunction with ARC and the World Bank and others, are carrying out to rediscover the sutras about sacred land in Mongolia.

Do you want to support this?

For full contact and address details of Mongolian Buddhist Monasteries, please see page 57 of the Handbook. And for details of local Development, Environmental and Educational NGOs, please visit pages 58-59 of the Handbook.

Other links to Mongolian Buddhism and the Environment

Link here to access the news story about the launch of the Mongolian Buddhist Handbook.

Link here to download the Mongolian Buddhist Handbook in English. (Please note this file is 1.15MB)

Link here to download the Mongolian version of the Handbook.(A 2MB file.)

Link here to download the guide to the Mongolian Buddhists’ Eight Year Plan (this file is 4.13MB).

Link to Mongolian Case Studies.

And here on how to make contact with the Sangha.

To download the A3 poster of a new thangka about Buddhists protecting Nature, link here (5.61MB).

Brief History of Mongolian Buddhism.

Buddhism and the Environment.

Women in Buddhism in Mongolia.

Key Figures in Mongolian Buddhism.

Key Meetings in Mongolia.

Mongolian Buddhists and Development.

Mongolian Buddhists and Ecology.

Mongolian Buddhist Hunting Ban.

The Lost Sutras.

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