Environment & Energy: In-depth

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Photo: UNDP Mongolia

Mongolia’s rapid economic growth driven by natural resource extraction, is amplifying threats to the environment leading to land degradation, water and air pollution, loss of biodiversity, in addition to overexploitation of forests and pasture. Environmental degradation combined with rising climate change impact makes the highly natural resources dependent local people and the fragile ecosystems most vulnerable. Strengthening human and financial capacities for sustainable natural resource management and enhanced coordination within and across sectors become highly important for increased resilience of ecosystems and  adaptation to climate change.

UNDP’s Environment and Energy portfolio focuses on the development of a range of strategies that enhance the country’s ability to conserve and protect its environment, and to empower local communities and enhance institutional capacity for sustained environmental management and climate change adaptation. UNDP also supports Mongolia in accessing international environmental financing.

Current Programme

UNDP’s Environment and Energy portfolio focuses on the development of a range of strategies that enhance the country’s ability to conserve and protect its environment, and to empower local communities and enhance institutional capacity for sustained environmental management and climate change adaptation. UNDP also supports Mongolia in accessing international environmental financing.

UNDP supports capacity strengthening of concerned national and local institutions to fulfill their commitments to implement the provisions of international conventions, implement and monitor related policies, and enhance coordination among them. UNDP supports institutionalizing Environmental Auditing as an effective tool to enable stronger enforcement of environmental laws and introduction of environmentally friendly standards that have become legally binding with approval of package of environmental laws. UNDP also cooperates with local governments, civil society organizations, academia and media for wider awareness of environmental issues. UNDP continued promoting informed decision making in many areas such as the development of a national green development strategy and the development of mining cost benefit analysis tool.

Environmental Governance

UNDP supports capacity strengthening of concerned national and local institutions to fulfill their commitments to implement the provisions of international conventions, implement and monitor related policies, and enhance coordination among them. UNDP supports institutionalizing Environmental Auditing as an effective tool to enable stronger enforcement of environmental laws and introduction of environmentally friendly standards that have become legally binding with approval of package of environmental laws. UNDP also cooperates with local governments, civil society organizations, academia and media for wider awareness of environmental issues. UNDP continued promoting informed decision making in many areas such as the development of a national green development strategy and the development of mining cost benefit analysis tool.

Natural Resources Management

In partnership with the Government of Mongolia and Government of the Netherlands and GEF, UNDP supports empowerment of community-based and local institutions in the area of sustainable management of natural resources and strengthening the protected areas system (national parks). In addition, UNDP focuses on biodiversity conservation in “hot spots” such as the Altai-Sayan and Gobi regions. These regions host a number of species threatened by extinction, such as the snow leopard, gobi bear and Bactrian camel. A focus of UNDP’s work is to identify self-sustaining financing options.

Climate Change

For climate change adaptation and mitigation, UNDP supports the implementation of the national action programmes for climate change and combating desertification, nationally appropriate mitigation actions and capacity development of the capacity development of the Climate Change Coordination Authority.

UNDP prioritizes demonstration of proven adaptation measures to maintain ecosystem functionality and minimize vulnerabilities of local communities, including protection and sustainable management of forest assets to produce globally significant lessons considering Mongolia’s considerable size of boreal forest.

In a country beset by long, harsh winters, heating of buildings requires a substantial amount of individual households’ income. Reducing Mongolia’s reliance on wood and coal-based fuels for household heating is paramount for reducing air pollution in Mongolia but also for the overall preservation of the global environment and the reduction of carbon-based greenhouse-gas emissions. UNDP supports energy efficiency through alternative materials for insulation and in strengthening the national system of building codes, norms and standards. UNDP’s support is also extended to formulation of appropriate pro-poor policies and strategies in the energy sector.

Water and sanitation

With the support of donors such as Australia, Korea and Japan, UNDP is improving the capacities of State and non-State actors, at national and local level, to deliver safe drinking water and sanitation services. This also includes the construction of demonstration sites in rural areas. To promote better water and sanitation technologies, support will be provided to update the system of building codes, norms and standards (BCNS).

Disaster Management

In partnership with the Government of Luxembourg, UNDP supports capacity  building of the Government of Mongolia for effective disaster management. UNDP supported the establishment of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in 2004 as the nodal institution to manage and coordinate all aspects of disaster management from disaster risk reduction to fire-fighting. UNDP continues to support institutional and human capacity development of NEMA the central and local levels, provides technical assistance for planning disaster management including cross border threats such as Avian Influenza and mining related environmental disasters such as chemical spells and promotes partnership with key stakeholders to improve public education and awareness for disaster prevention.

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