Photograph courtesy Goldman Environmental Prize/William Foerderer Infante
Name: Tsetsegee Munkhbayar
Place of birth: Khadan khoshuu bagh, Saikhan-Ovoo soum, Dundgobi province, Mongolia
Current city: Bayanzurkh district, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Occupation: Head, Onggi River Movement
What did you want to be when you were growing up?When I was a child my dream was to become a great herder.
How did you get started in your field of work?The first thing I did in my work was to expose the typical livelihood of the local people who are living along Onggi river. I then started my struggle to protect my river.
What inspires you to dedicate your life to freshwater?
When the Earth gets too damaged because of humans' unlimited and greedy needs.
What’s a normal day like for you?
A normal day to me is very simple: it consists of my morning prayers, my day-work and in the evening, my family environment.
Do you have a hero?
My hero is Chinggis Khaan.
If you could have people do one thing to help save freshwater, what would it be?
Refusing sedentary life as much as possible
What's been your favorite experience in the field? Most challenging?
My favorite experience were when I had to make decisive statements before the public, and when we were working on the law and its implementation.
What do you do in your free time?
I like traveling to beautiful and natural lands with my family, and I also enjoy ice-skating.
More About Freshwater
Rivers run through the heart and soul of countless communities. But, increasingly, they run on human terms rather than on Mother Nature’s.
Tsetsegee Munkhbayar spent his childhood herding yaks on the banks of the Onggi, one of Mongolia's largest rivers. But in the early 1990s this essential life source began shrinking, grew contaminated, and by 2001 its waters had vanished. Tsetsegee has started a movement to bring the river back.
Learn More About Where to Find Freshwater
Freshwater fish are dying, but scientists have a rescue plan. Joel Sartore photographs rare freshwater species in an effort to save the last of their kind.
Help Save the Colorado River
You can help restore freshwater ecosystems by pledging to cut your water footprint. For every pledge, Change the Course will restore 1,000 gallons back to the Colorado River.
Sandra is a leading authority on international freshwater issues and is spearheading our global freshwater efforts.
He's paddled the Colorado River from its headwaters to the delta in an effort to bring awareness to this mighty river at risk.
For more than 15 years, Osvel Hinojosa Huerta has been resurrecting Mexico's Colorado River Delta wetlands.
Change the Course Infographic
Check out this infographic and learn how you can conserve water and save the Colorado River, as well as other freshwater ecosystems.
Water Currents, by Sandra Postel and Others
Arizona's Verde River gets a boost from an innovative partnership.
Farmers in the Verde River Basin employ new technology to benefit a desert environment.
Funny viral video series hopes to get people thinking about the importance of water.