Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current | View This Issue
ASIA / PACIFIC
Page 4 n THE ASIAN REPORTER
March 7, 2016
Mongolia’s livestock in danger after drought, harsh winter
DZUD DESPAIR. Huyag Tserennyam, a herder,
stands with his lone surviving horse in the Ulziit
district of Bayankhongor in Mongolia. It has been a
harsh winter in Mongolia following an especially dry
summer — a weather pattern unique to the country
and known as a dzud — decimating tens of thou-
sands of livestock and prompting the Mongolian
government to formally declare a dzud emergency,
which would draw significant foreign aid. (AP Photo/
By Grace Brown
The Associated Press
LZIIT, Mongolia — The Mon-
golian herder gazed out of his felt
tent at the half-eaten carcass of
what was his riding horse, now lying in
blood-stained snow and being devoured by
“I had 700 head of cattle,” Huyag
Tserennyam said while staring out into
the white wilderness in the remote
mountainous area of Ulziit. “I’ve lost 150
It has been a harsh winter in Mongolia
following an especially dry summer — a
weather pattern unique to the country and
known as a dzud (pronounced “dzuhd”) —
decimating tens of thousands of livestock
and prompting the Mongolian government
to formally launch a dzud appeal, seeking
foreign aid, for the first time in six years.
There were indications in the summer
that it would be a difficult year, and
Tserennyam said he prepared extra grass
in anticipation of a rough winter. He has
used up all of the animal feed he received
as aid from his local government, and has
nearly used up his grass reserve.
“I really tried, but I still lost — and I
keep on losing — my herd,” the 60-year-old
said, feeding his one remaining horse.
That horse is now his only mode of
transport; it carried his wife to a recent
doctor’s visit. Supplies are running low,
and the couple’s milk tea is watery.
More than 10,000 head of livestock have
perished across Tserennyam’s province of
Bayankhongor this winter, said Col.
Munkhbaatar Togoo, head of the prov-
ince’s Emergency Management Division.
Temperatures have dipped as low as
–51º Fahrenheit, about 29º F lower than
normal. Snowfall in some mountainous
areas reached 28 inches, he said.
“Compared to recent years, this is
unusually cold. It’s had big effects on
herding lifestyles,” Togoo said.
The summer drought meant cattle had
less to graze on, failing to fatten up
sufficiently before winter. In addition to
those that have died, many of the survivors
are so thin that their meat is not of high
enough quality to sell if they perish, Togoo
Mongolia’s government announced its
dzud appeal in late February. This winter
is worse than the last dzud in 2009-2010,
and a greater part of the country is
affected. Only 45,000 livestock have died
so far this year compared to the 9.7 million
attributed to the 2009-2010 winter, but the
vast majority of losses typically take place
in the spring before the grass grows back
The Asian Development Bank is
contributing U.S. $3 million in assistance
toward local infrastructure and risk
management plans, including helping
districts prepare shelters for herders, as
well as emergency training.
Further assistance is coming from Red
Cross societies of Britain, Japan, and
Finland, said Purevjav Jambalragchaa, a
coordinator with the Mongolian Red Cross
Many herders are struggling to supply
themselves with food because the snow is
often too thick for horses or motorbikes to
pass through. The Red Cross Society is
preparing donations of food and cash,
including $160,000 of aid coming in from
In a largely nomadic country where
animals provide meat, dairy, and textiles,
it is difficult to lose so much livestock.
Tserennyam said, looking away from a pile
of dead goats sheltered behind a steep rock
by the mountain’s edge. “Because of them,
we get our flour and rice. Without them,
Cambodia’s Kampot pepper
wins coveted EU protection
By Sopheng Cheang
The Associated Press
2015 Exemplary Community Volunteer Award Recipient:
AR Photo/Jan Landis
Philippine Nurses Association
of Oregon & Washington
The Philippine Nurses Association of Oregon & Washington (PNAOW) was
founded in September 2002 by a group of Filipino nurses who sought to assist other
nurses by creating a strong and cohesive group that fostered continued personal
and professional growth while also supporting the community. With the work of its
more than four dozen members, PNAOW has funded travel for medical relief
missions; granted educational scholarships; helped feed the hungry through the
Faith Café in Beaverton; raised funds for the organization’s International
Outreach Program for a housing project in the Philippines; and volunteered to
review immunization records and administer immunizations on behalf of the
Oregon Department of Health. PNAOW members have also introduced “Taste of
the Philippines” to the community by serving authentic Filipino dishes. To support
its outreach programs, PNAOW holds fundraising events, including garage sales,
dinner dances, bowling events, and more. To learn more, visit <www.pnaow.org>.
The Asian Reporter Foundation is accepting nominations
for its 2016 “Exemplary Community Volunteer” awards.
The recognition banquet will be held Thursday,
April 21, 2016 at northeast Portland’s TAO Event Center.
Nomination forms and award guidelines are available
for download at <www.ARFoundation.net>.
The nomination deadline is Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 5:00pm.
The Asian Reporter Foundation’s 18th
Annual Scholarship & Awards Banquet features:
Most Honored Elder Awards
Exemplary Community Volunteer Awards
College Scholarship Awards
HNOM PENH, Cambodia —
Cambodia’s Kampot pepper, a
go-to spice for chefs around the
world, has been added to an elite group of
gourmet food items whose names are
protected by the European Union (EU),
joining products such as Gruyere cheese
from France and Parma ham from Italy.
The coveted designation, known as
Protected Geographical Indication, or PGI,
works like a trademark protection that
certifies the origin of regional foods. It
means that any product sold in EU
countries calling itself “Kampot pepper”
must come from a designated region in
southern Cambodia that includes Kampot
and neighboring Kep province.
The recognition was awarded to Kampot
pepper on February 18, making it the first
Cambodian product to receive the label,
the EU office in Cambodia said in a
statement late last month.
The peppercorns, which come in white,
red, and black, are described by gourmet
chefs as having a complex flavor with floral
overtones. Cambodian farmers from the
seaside region on the Gulf of Thailand say
the area’s microclimate and mineral-rich
soil give the pepper its unique taste.
Like so many industries in Cambodia,
Kampot pepper’s production collapsed in
the 1970s during the Khmer Rouge era,
when an estimated 1.7 million people died
at the hands of the brutal regime and the
country’s farmland was largely replaced
by rice paddies.
The pepper industry’s revival came in
the 1990s, after peace was restored in
Cambodia following the Khmer Rouge’s
1975-1979 reign of terror and years of
subsequent civil war.
In 2010, Cambodia’s Commerce Minis-
try took a first step toward protecting
Kampot pepper by giving it a domestically
issued geographical indication status. The
government applied to the EU in 2014 to
expand the status to the European bloc.
“It is the first Cambodian product to
CAMBODIAN TREASURE. A vendor holds a
handful of Kampot pepper at a market in Phnom Penh,
Cambodia. Cambodia’s Kampot pepper, a go-to spice
for chefs around the world, has been added to an elite
group of gourmet food items whose names are pro-
tected by the European Union, joining products such
as Gruyere cheese from France and Parma ham from
Italy. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
receive this status in the EU, a single
market of more than 500 million consum-
ers and 28 countries,” Alain Vandersmis-
sen, charge d’affaires of the EU’s
delegation to Cambodia, said in an e-mail.
“From now on, (Kampot pepper) will
benefit from a very high level of protection
on the EU market,” he said.
The pepper is also known in Khmer as
Mrech Kampot and in French as Poivre de
Nguon Lay, president of the Kampot
Pepper Promotion Association, sees the
PGI designation as a seal of quality that
will boost sales of the spice, which is
currently grown by 342 families on 455
acres of land in Kampot and tiny Kep
In 2015, the region produced 60 tons of
Kampot pepper, of which 70 percent was
exported, mostly to the EU, the United
States, and Japan.
“We are delighted that our production
has finally been recognized by the world’s
biggest market, the EU,” Nguon Lay said.
“The status will help improve our living
standard as more and more customers
become impressed with our Kampot
Associated Press writer Jocelyn Gecker
in Bangkok contributed to this report.