Mongolia’s National Statistical Office Takes Leadership in Measuring Progress towards Green Development

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 30 November 2015Mongolia has adopted a Green Development Policy setting out an ambitious vision for inclusive economic growth while safeguarding the sustainability of ecosystem services. The country is also committed to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) endorsed at the 70th UN session in September 2015. The question of how to measure progress towards achieving the objectives of GDP growth and the SDGs through a coherent set of indicators was at the heart of the discussions at a workshop organized by the National Statistical Office of Mongolia with support from PAGE entitled “A Road to Sustainable and Green Development: Policy, Planning and Measurement”, on 30 November 2015 in Ulaanbaatar.

The workshop was opened by the Chairman of NSO, Mr. S. Mendsaikhan; the State Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism (MEGDT) of Mongolia, Mr. Ts. Tsengel; and Mr. Fulai Sheng, Chief of Research and Cooperation Unit, Economic and Trade Branch, UNEP. Key messages highlighted by all speakers were the importance for countries to develop their own national development goals and the need to integrate Mongolia’s Green Development Policy into the national long term development planning in harmony with the SDGs. The workshop involved over 60 participants from 26 different organizations including ministries, government agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector, academia and international organizations. 

The workshop was structured around four sessions. The first session was “From Brown Economy to Green Economy” and in this session speakers from different ministries, the Mayor’s Office of Ulaanbaatar, and the Chamber of Commerce and Business presented. The second session focused on measuring green development and presentations included green development policy indicators developed by NSO Mongolia and international experience of developing and applying green economy indicators. The third session was centered around measuring SDGs, data availability, challenges encountered by Mongolia and opportunities and solutions.

The final panel discussion raised a number of points including:

  1. Opportunities for providing incentives for the implementation of Mongolia’s Green Development Policy and related challenges given the economic downturn, debt and budget deficit.
  2. The importance of agreeing on a limited set of green development indicators that is measurable and for which data is available.
  3. The need for further capacity development support for collecting and analyzing data to measure progress towards green development.

The workshop was broadcast by the following channels:

  • Mongolian national TV
  • Mongolian radio
  • Ekh oron TV
  • Parliament TV Channel
  • Aist Mongolia TV
  • MNC TV
  • Bloomberg TV
  • Radio Khurd

 

Background: PAGE Support for Green Indicators

The National Statistics Office of Mongolia and MEGDT, together with PAGE partners are developing and supporting the adoption of green economy indicators and measurements, taking into account the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2015 a series of meetings were organized with officers of relevant ministries who are working on the development of an implementation plan for Mongolia’s Green Development Policy. As a result a series of indicators were identified related to measuring the implementation of the six goals and 52 strategies outlined in the Green Development Policy. The indicators have been compiled in a report, differentiating between three groups:

1)    Indicators that can be measured in the short term, i.e. the basic data is available.

2)    Indicators that can be measured in the medium term, i.e. the basic data should be improved and this work can be done in the near future

3)    Indicators that can be measured in the long term, i.e. it requires special surveys and censuses, creation of data collection systems, etc.