Photo: Tsetsegee Munkhbayar

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.

Learn more about Tsetsegee.

Read about other freshwater heroes.

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