In the town of Mandalgobi, in Dundgobi province of Mongolia, around 300km south of Ulaanbaatar, for almost 40 years Byamba Tseyen has been running a nature conservation project called Gobi Oasis. Together with her husband Radnaa they have been growing small seeds and branches, and nurturing them in harsh conditions, before replanting them in areas in desperate need for defence against desertification. The first trees which were planted decades ago and which all are of native Gobi species, stand today often over 3 meters tall, and the project forms a small but vital role in the global fight to protect the natural environment which we all share.
Visit And Volunteer At A Unique Tree-Planting Nursery Project.
Byamba founded the Gobi Oasis Project in 1975 in association with the Forest & Timber Industry Ministry to stop the desertification in the Gobi Desert. She runs several other projects such as planting trees in Mandalgobi nursery (6ha area), Mt.Shar in Olziit sum, Ongi River in Saihan-Ovoo, and Mandalin Gobi. The varieties of trees are all native to the region and include Saksaul, Populus Tremula (ulias), Elm (khailaas), Tamarisk (suhai), Willow (burgas), Wild Berry Tree (monos) and hippophae rhamoides (chatsargana).
Gobi Oasis does not receive any public funding and is a voluntary organisation, generating small income from offering comfortable and all inclusive accommodation to travellers who venture to this wonderful corner of Mongolia. Guests who stay in one of their well appointed gers enjoy home-cooked meals, soft and warm beds as well as the most genuine Mongolian hospitality.
In the mornings visitors head to the nursery and plant seedlings which will hopefully provide a lasting legacy of their time in Mongolia, and in the evenings there is plenty of time for entertainment, from Mongolian cooking lessons with Urnaa, and climbing the nearby hill on which Mongolia’s largest stringed horsehead fiddle instrument (morin khuur) stands, to browsing old photo albums from times gone by, visiting the nearby town or playing shagai angle bones.
You too can visit and help out at Gobi Oasis during summer months, plus stay with Byamba and her family. Goyo Travel has been cooperating with Gobi Oasis for the last 5 years, and include a night in Gobi Oasis as part of selected trips during summer months. Trips that feature Gobi Oasis include Lives of the Locals, Nomadic Elements and some of our tailor made tours such as Among Nomads.
By staying in Gobi Oasis as part of your Mongolia journey you are also contributing to the project’s future, via a small donation we make on your behalf. By helping to plant and look after the trees you will contribute to:
– Offsetting CO2 emissions & reduce greenhouse gases
– Providing wildlife habitats & reduce dust and wind
– Protecting native Gobi trees & reduce desertification
– Support local labour & thus reduce urban migration
Get involved in daily activities and duties to run the nursery from watering trees, keeping weeds off, to making plant beds, or removing sand, and leave the long lasting legacy of your Mongolia travels by planting a small tree plant that will grow in time into a tree, and, after a few years, Byamba will be delighted to email you a photo of it, which by the time may outgrow you.
To find out more about Byamba’s wonderful work, project updates and visitor testimonials please visit www.gobioasis.com