Mongolia

Joined PAGE in 2013

Over the past 25 years, Mongolia has transformed into a vibrant democracy, tripling its GDP per capita, increasing school enrolments and seeing dramatic declines in maternal and child mortality. With vast agricultural and mineral resources, and an increasingly educated population, Mongolia is progressing towards its long-term development goals. At the same time, it continues to face significant environmental challenges, including land degradation, air and water pollution and increasing carbon dioxide emissions, as well as lack of infrastructure, particularly in key areas of energy, transport and waste management. 

Confronted with these challenges, the country is firmly committed to alternative growth. PAGE work in Mongolia commenced in 2013, with its first action to support the conception of the National Green Development Policy (NGDP). Focused on environmental sustainability and socially inclusive development, this Policy sets clear goals to support the country’s green economy transition.

PAGE began the phase-out process in Mongolia in 2018, accompanied by the development of a comprehensive sustainability plan to safeguard the progress made over the five-year engagement. A number of achievements were counted during that time, including: the integration of Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) goals and targets into national economic and development planning; sectoral and thematic reforms in green buildings and construction, green finance, waste management and sustainable procurement; and strengthened institutional capacity of government institutions, the media, universities, research institutes and businesses.

The work in Mongolia has contributed to several Sustainable Development Goals, including:

Looking Forward

Following graduation, Mongolia stays closely tied to the partnership as an alumni country, sharing knowledge to help replicate its achievements on a global scale.

PAGE, together with the United Nations Resident Coordinator Office, is working on a strategic workstream to assess how to reform energy subsidies and support renewable energy development in Mongolia.

Additionally, to aid the country’s green economic recovery from COVID-19, PAGE is supporting Mongolia to develop a roadmap, national standards and an investment plan to further develop the community-based eco-tourism sector.

PAGE country stories Mongolia

 

In pictures:

Quick overview

Key thematic & sectoral areas

  • Green indicators and modelling
  • Green jobs
  • Gender mainstreaming
  • Green buildings & greening of construction sector
  • Sustainable public procurement
  • Sustainable finance
  • Green trade
  • Waste management

Capacity building

  • IGE included in university curricula
  • Online course on green economy
  • Multi-sectoral trainings on inclusive green economy

Mongolia & PAGE by numbers

  • Policies supported: 10
  • Assessments: 26
  • Consultations & workshops: 43
  • National institutions & ministries partnering: 29
  • Initiatives providing co-financing: 14

Find out more

Country focal points

Lead Agency Focal PointAmrei Horstbrink (UNITAR)
Government Focal Point Bulgan Tumendembererel, Ministry of Environment & Tourism

Green recovery fund

Thanks to a strong partnership and support from the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany, PAGE announces the second wave of green recovery funds for eight partner countries. Learn more

NATIONAL POLICYMAKING

NATIONAL POLICYMAKING

Mongolia has integrated IGE goals and targets into its SDG-aligned national economic and development planning. When PAGE began phasing-out its support in 2018, focus shifted on sustaining and further embedding policy efforts. Examples of PAGE support include:

Setting the foundation for transformational change

With the National Green Development Policy (NGDP), Mongolia has a national framework in place that sets clear goals for green development, centred on sustainable consumption and production, sustainable ecosystem carrying capacity, increased investment in natural capital, human development, green technology, and green lifestyle and education. The complementary Action Plan sets concrete actions to achieve these targets. This work supported SDG 17, target 17.14, by enhancing policy coherence for sustainable development and SDG 8, target 8.3 by supporting development-oriented policies.

Conducting green economy modelling

Both the NGDP and Action Plan are underpinned by the results of a modelling and policy assessment carried out by the Economic Policy and Competitiveness Research Centre (EPCRC). In addition to scenario testing, this provided specific policy recommendations for four selected sectors – construction, solid waste, energy and water. This work has contributed to SDG 17, targets 17.18 and 17.19, by developing measurements of progress on sustainable development and supporting capacity-building.

Developing green development indicators

In 2015, PAGE helped to define indicators for measuring progress towards the NGDP in collaboration with the National Statistical Office (NSO) and Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). The Government utilized national budgetary resources to operationalize these indicators in July 2017. This enables monitoring of implementation on a continual basis, including information on green jobs through the regular Labour Force Survey. This work was aligned to SDG 17, target 17.19, on developing measurements of progress on sustainable development.

Policy on the sub-national level

Four aimags (provinces) have adopted medium-term development programmes based on the principles from the Sustainable Development Vision and NGDP and five aimags are working on final drafts. This has supported SDG 13, target 13.2, by integrating climate change measures into policies and SDG 17, target 17.14, by enhancing policy coherence.

Post-graduation support: Sustaining results

Augmenting the five-year period of support, follow-up work is ongoing, which includes identifying synergies with complementary initiatives, as part of the effort to sustain PAGE’s work in Mongolia.

  • SDG-based environmental budgeting: UNDP is supporting a pilot project on SDG-based environmental budgeting, which received initial funding from PAGE. UNDP Mongolia worked with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to introduce a gradual integration of SDGs into its budget cycle — covering sectors as well as processes to ensure state and local budget decision-making account for the Goals. Following implementation at local government levels, the application of the SDG budgeting methodology and template was expanded by the MET to develop seven budget programmes along with performance indicators for the 2021 fiscal year. 

SECTORAL AND THEMATIC REFORM

SECTORAL AND THEMATIC REFORM

PAGE has supported the implementation of sectoral and thematic reforms in line with national priorities, as documented below:

Sustainable procurement

PAGE supported the Ministry of Finance (MOF) to incorporate sustainability principles into the national public procurement framework. A status analysis of public procurement, prioritization of goods and a market analysis were conducted. Sustainable public procurement tools and sample tendering materials were developed. The amendment to the Law on Procurement of Goods, Works and Services with State and Local Funds was adopted by the Parliament in March 2019, complemented by a supporting Action Plan that PAGE helped develop. This work contributed to SDG 12, target 12.7, by supporting sustainable procurement of goods and services.  

Sustainable finance mechanisms

PAGE supported the Mongolian banking sector to develop green and inclusive financial products and services in partnership with the UNEP Finance Initiative. In particular, it supported a study on demand for green credits and contributed to the establishment of a joint working group for creating a Mongolian Green Credit Fund (now Mongolian Green Finance Corporation – MGCF). A multi-partner agreement in support of the Fund/Corporation was signed at the 5th Mongolian Sustainable Finance Forum in September 2017. In October 2017, the government established a Green Development Fund with the aim to apply sustainability to development financing and large-scale public investment projects and since 2019, the Green Finance Corporation has started to provide green credits through three commercial banks. PAGE is also supporting the establishment of a public-private investment facility to ensure a more market-based value chain focusing on herders and cooperatives, including the critical cashmere market. These activities are aligned to SDG 17, target 17.3, on mobilizing additional financial resources, and SDG 8, target 8.10 by strengthening the capacity of domestic financial institutions.

Green buildings and construction

The goals of the National Green Development Policy (NGDP) around energy efficiency standards and a rating system for green buildings were translated into the 2019 State Policy on Construction. PAGE support has included the development of a handbook on green school buildings and the design for a green school building showcasing how to achieve energy efficiency standards. Completed in 2016, the design can be applied to the more than 220 schools that need to be built over the next 3-4 years, with a prototype school already built. PAGE also supported the formulation of a business case for green buildings and provided capacity-building for stakeholders in the construction sector to foster up-take of green design elements for public and private buildings. PAGE also supported the establishment of a multi-stakeholder Green Buildings Advisory Council. These efforts contributed to SDG 11, target 11.3, and SDG 13, targets 13.1 and 13.2, by integrating climate change measures into national policies and by enhancing sustainable urbanization. The focus on green and climate-resilient buildings supported SDG 7, target 7.2, by promoting renewable energy and SDG 12, target 12.5, through use of recycled building materials.

Waste management

Following a study on industrial waste management and the recycling industry, PAGE carried out a baseline study on waste from end of life vehicles to determine the feasibility for local SMEs to process and recycle waste together with financing solutions. This work was advanced through approval of the renewed Law of Mongolia on Waste Management in May 2017 that aims to reduce the negative impacts of waste. This work supported SDG 12, targets 12.4 and 12.5, by promoting environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes, as well as reducing waste generation. 

Green trade

PAGE, together with the UN Environment Trade Hub, completed a study on trade and green economy. The report takes stock of trade-related green economy policies, analyzes opportunities and barriers and provides specific insights into the meat and cashmere sectors. From the study, a policy brief was constructed to inform the development of a green trade policy. This work was aligned to SDG 17, targets 17.9. and 17.11, aimed at increasing green trade opportunities, including through South-South cooperation.  

Post-graduation support: Sustaining results

To sustain results from the five-year period of PAGE support to Mongolia, follow-up work is continuing and synergies with complementary initiatives are being explored.

  •  Public-private investment facility: PAGE – through UNDP – is supporting the establishment of a public-private investment facility. This will ensure a more market-based value chain focusing on herders and cooperatives, including the critical cashmere market. It will support companies that advance climate-resilient livestock management and help reverse long-term pasture degradation, complementing efforts funded by the GCF and GEF. This ongoing work is part of the PAGE Mongolia Sustainability Strategy and aligns with the NGDP and Sustainable Development Vision.

STRENGTHENING CAPACITY

STRENGTHENING CAPACITY

Mongolia has strengthened institutional and individual capacities for IGE action. It has also built public awareness through media training and communication campaigns and shared its knowledge and experience via lectures, press talks and interviews. Examples include:

Building institutional capacity

PAGE has taken an institutional approach to building capacity, supporting SDG 17, target 17.16, by enhancing multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilise and share knowledge and expertise:

  • Formulating a learning strategy: The National Green Economy Learning Strategy was developed and transformed into sub-programme of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET). It ultimately informed the Government’s Action Plan for Education for Sustainable Development and the new Higher Education Policy;
  • Collaborating with educational institutions: PAGE worked with Mongolian universities to integrate Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) into tertiary programmes and curricula, with a course on sustainable finance tested in April 2019. The textbook was distributed to other higher education institutions, with components integrated into six courses. A course on green modelling was also offered by the University of Finance and Economics and the National University of Mongolia and run at the Mongolian State University of Life Sciences from 2019-2020. Furthermore, a certified training on green buildings by the Construction Development Centre and Mongolian University of Science and Technology was established. Finally, a new introductory e-course on green economy was developed in partnership with several Mongolian Universities and launched during the “Green Technology Exhibition 2020” in October 2020;
  • Capacity-building in government: Through PAGE, stakeholders within the national government – including the Ministry of Finance, National Statistical Office (NSO) and MET – have built their capacities, enabling them to carry policy work forward. In addition, PAGE has worked provincially to strengthen capacities to develop and elaborate aimag policy documents. Training on green economy has been delivered to nearly 200 policymakers from the Aimag Governor’s office and other institutions;
  • Capacity-building of research institutes: With PAGE support, the Economic Policy and Competitiveness Research Centre (EPCRC) produced several reports on green development, including a stocktaking report, a green jobs mapping and a green economy policy assessment report. The Centre has developed the ability to run macro-economic models for assessing the impact of green investments on key parameters such as jobs, GDP growth and emissions; and
  • Capacity building of businesses: The national architecture and design company (NAP LLC) that delivered the green school buildings design is working towards becoming the first Mongolian green building architecture company. In addition, the Mongolian Marketing Consulting Group (MMCG) carried out the demand for green credits and worked on drafting the Green Economy Learning Strategy. MMCG has established the Green Business Council to promote sustainable production and environmental management among SMEs.

Building individual capacity

PAGE has carried out several capacity-building activities for individuals, in line with SDG 4, target 4.7, by ensuring all learners acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to promote sustainable development. Examples include:

  • IGE tools: In 2015, an IGE training manual was developed and used for several training events with the media and local and central government decision-makers;
  • Study tours: In December 2015, a study group comprised of government stakeholders visited Sweden and the United States to gain insights on implementing IGE policies;
  • SDGs and IGE concepts: A training event was organized in February 2016 for representatives from key ministries and the broader environmental sector on SDGs and the National Green Development Plan (NGDP);
  • Green building energy and water efficiency: A training was held in September 2016 for policymakers and professionals working in the construction sector;
  • SDGs and natural resource indicators: A workshop was held in May 2016 on SDGs and natural resource indicators for participants involved in policy development and monitoring; and
  • Material flow accounts: A workshop was held in May 2016 on material flow for policymakers, academia and researchers.

South-south collaboration

The exchange between Kyrgyz Republic and Mongolia is a leading example of South-South and Triangular cooperation recognized in September 2018 in a report highlighting best practices in South-South and Triangular cooperation throughout the entire UN system. Centred around two study visits and the yearly Green Economy Weeks, the exchange focused on a wide range of policy processes supporting a green economy transition, including the development of national plans, sustainable public procurement, sustainable finance and waste management. This exchange was continued between the two countries in 2021 with a focus on green finance. This exchange supported SDG 17, target 17.9 around international cooperation.

Materials and reports

Materials and reports

Reports

Country annual reports