Over the past 25 years, Mongolia has transformed into a vibrant democracy. With vast agricultural and mineral resources and an increasingly educated population, the country is quickly moving towards its long-term development goals. At the same time, it faces significant environmental threats, including land degradation, air and water pollution and increasing carbon dioxide emissions.

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.

Since then, PAGE work has culminated in several achievements including: the integration of 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:

 Learn more about PAGE work in Mongolia in our 2019 Annual Report

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PAGE country stories Mongolia

COUNTRY ANNUAL PROGRESS

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 an additional five 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.

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 to develop. This work contributed to SDG 12, target 12.7, by supporting the 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. 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 over 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. Finally, PAGE has contributed to 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, analyses 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.

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 has also informed the Government’s Action Plan for Education for Sustainable Development and the new Higher Education Policy;
  • Collaborating with educational institutions: PAGE has worked with Mongolian universities to integrate IGE into tertiary programmes and curricula, with a course of 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 is being offered by the University of Finance and Economics and the National University of Mongolia and will be 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 has been developed in partnership with several Mongolian Universities launched in October 2020;
  • Capacity-building in government: PAGE has built the capacity of national government stakeholders – including the Ministry of Finance, National Statistical Office (NSO) and MET – to carry policy work forward. In addition, it has worked with aimags 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 worked on 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 supported SDG 17, target 17.9 around international cooperation.

COUNTRY FOCAL POINTS

Partner Agency Focal PointsJamal Srouji (UNEP)
Lead Agency Focal PointAmrei Horstbrink (UNITAR)
Government Focal PointBulgan Tumendemberel, Ministry of Environment & Tourism

MATERIAL