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Camels may be our saviors!

In Inner Mongolia, China, on the southern edge of the vast Gobi Desert, bounded by Badain Jaran Desert at northwest, lies the Tengri Desert. The name “Tengri” means “heavenly father” in Mongolian language. In the Tengri Desert, an accelerated desertification has caught some international attention. Some scientists said that it is caused by climate change and human activities[1], due to the rapid economic expansion in the recent decades. At an unprecedented pace in the recent decades, Tengri is growing. Many native villages have been forced to move away.

The Bactrian camel specie, also known as two-humped camel, is indigenous to the Gobi Desert. These camels are unique creatures and can survive extreme harsh environments, such as extreme cold and hot climate in the Gobi Desert. Bactrian camels are primarily herbivores, however, they can feed on anything they can find in extreme conditions. Once they are fed with enough food and water, they can go without eating for several weeks. Their dietary habits make them one of the few surviving species on earth from many climate changes in the past history. However, today they are facing new challenges from human activities and urban expansions.

Camels play an important role in the sustainable ecosystem of the Gobi Desert. Camels are natural gardeners of the desert vegetation. Proportional number of more camels can slow down the desertification.

Camels are migratory and don’t stay in one place for too long, they like to graze the top of the vegetation. This behavior very much resembles what gardeners do to trim the plants to help them grow. Camels can thrive on wide range of desert vegetation, mostly thorny and salt-watered, like tamarisk and saxaulon, which are commonly found in the Tengri Desert. Camel herding has been an important tradition, a transportation necessity, and a sizable income to the native Mongolians for thousands of years. But in the recent decades, things are different; camels no longer generate more income than other livestock like goat, sheep and cattle. Camels need a vest area to roam, dislike the other livestock that can live in a small fenced area. Camel herding involves training techniques and distant chasing, which historically were done by young men. Unfortunately, in the contemporary days, the younger generations prefer new opportunities and life style in urban cities. Many remaining farmers are mostly older generation. More families have given up camel herding.

Alxa Gobiwear is a recently formed small garment enterprise, which is determined to help the camel herding tradition in Tengri and other area in the vast Gobi Desert. By utilizing 100% organic Camelrong to make customized outdoor-wear, Alxa Gobiwear wants to make the functional outdoor-wear more stylish and desirable, in order to generate more interest and awareness for supporting a sustainable camel herding tradition in the Gobi Desert.

Alxa Gobiwear believes that a small act could make a big impact. Alxa Gobiwear is willing to reach out to creating alliance between small acts among the global communities, in a joint effort to tackle a big challenge.



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