In April of this year, a delegation of six science educators and Buddhist lamas from Mongolia traveled to Montana, Wyoming, and Ohio to see firsthand how environmental conservation can be taught in their home communities.  Mongolia is experiencing rapid industrial, agricultural, and resource development, and Buddhist monasteries are becoming actively involved in mitigating the negative impact of such activities by including local residents in conservation efforts.  During the exchange, meetings were held with wildlife biologists, foresters, educators, ecotourism experts, and government officials, with the goal of developing community conservation strategies and one of the first environmental education programs in Mongolia.  The delegation also visited science laboratories, museums, and parks, including Yellowstone National Park, the Cincinnati Zoo, and the Berkeley Pit Superfund site in Butte, the largest Superfund site in the United States.  It is expected that conservation programs developed during the exchange and currently being implemented in Mongolia will serve as a model for projects in other regions of the country.  Mongolian travel to the United States was supported by a grant awarded to The Tributary Fund, in Bozeman, by the Trust for Mutual Understanding."Monks and local monasteries can and should play a significant role in conservation efforts.  Science can only succeed when embraced by informed communities.  What better spokespeople in Mongolia than their beloved Buddhist monks?"  -Excerpt from The Tributary Fund's newsletter, May 2009To learn more about The Tributary Fund, please visit

(All photos courtesy of The Tributary Fund.)