Arkhangai, Dalanzadgad, and South Gobi - Technology

The Mongolian desert and steppe terrain are vast. Increasing desertification, decreasing water supply and drastic winter temperature shifts are causing natural systems to adapt.

Rarely are trees associated with deserts nor are they associated with technology, however in the Gobi, they are becoming a strategic technology asset. Saksaul Trees, native to the Gobi Desert, have deep and horizontal root systems that prevent erosion. The bark and needles contain water, which can be consumed by humans and animals.

The ger, the main form of shelter in Mongolia, is simple, inexpensive and adaptable for all climates. Each dwelling ger, includes a simple wood burning stove that is used for heating and cooking. On the roof of the ger, a flat vent is opened to allow for ventilation.

On top of each ger stove, a specialized curved pan can be placed for cooking. This pan fits directly into the top opening of the stove and the seal it creates conserves a significant amount of heat and fuel. The curved pan is very versatile for cooking.

Yak herders are known for distilling yak milk into vodka. A milk vodka still is a highly specialized piece of equipment which can capture alcohol fermented from milk. It can also be used to distill saline or impure water into fresh water.

In area where volcanic river stones are available, for example in the horse herding camps, it is tradition to cook using the stones. By combining rocks and rood in a pressure cooker they evenly heat the food. the scalding rocks are extracted before the meal and passed around between diners to sterilize their hands before eating.

The Hasu Shivert Resort, located in the Arkhangai aimag operates three greenhouses. the A-frame greenhouse is approximately 5 meters x 25 meters and contains drip irrigation to pepper and tomato plants. The two traditional greenhouses house seedlings. In the future Hasu hopes to add an improved insulated second glass panel so that year-round growing will be possible. He has partnered with the Heritable Innovation Trust and Global Innovation Commons to research and develop recycling technologies, building materials, and geothermal additions for the greenhouse.

Date Entered: July 2010