MONGOLIA: SDGs and NATURAL RESOURCE INDICATORS WORKSHOP AND TRAINING

Mongolia, 25 May 2016 - The National Registration and Statistics Office of Mongolia (NRSO), jointly with PAGE, Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism and Ministry of Finance, organized a 3-day event on 23-25 May 2016.

The event started with the workshop “SDGs and Natural Resource related indicators” which was attended by sixty policy makers, government officers, members of academia, think tanks, researchers and practitioners from a broad range of organizations. The workshop aimed to explore, exchange views and provide recommendations on recent policy development in Mongolia, focusing on coherence between different policies, existing tools and mechanisms for policy monitoring and review. Participants discussed practical implementation of an SDG monitoring framework, including SDG indicators, natural resource efficiency indicators, methodology, data availability and institutional capacities challenges.

During the morning session, participants discussed harmony between national and sectoral policy documents and the global agenda for sustainable development. Presenters from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism focused on Mongolia’s long term policy documents – the Sustainable Development Vision and Green Development Policy of Mongolia - and their alignment with 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, while officers from the Ministry of Mining and the Ministry of Energy provided a sectoral perspective on mining and energy policies and their importance for Mongolia’s economic growth and social development.

Mongolia is a country whose economy is based on natural resources, in particular mineral resources. Even though the minerals’ commodity prices have fallen on the international market the mining sector alone made 18% of the state budget revenue, 17% of the national GDP, 80% of the production of the industrial sector in 2015.  The Government of Mongolia has recently approved the State Policy on the Minerals Sector, updated the law on investment and amended the law on minerals. Despite this significant progress, the Government of Mongolia is facing continued challenges to remain competitive in the sector in the global market, and needs to take measures to expand the railway network, improve the supply of the energy sources, solve transit transportation issues, and improve taxation policies. It was also noted that the material footprint from the mining industry is high, therefore the indicators to monitor environmental impacts need to be well developed.  

Mr. B, Yeren-Ulzii  from the Ministry of Energy highlighted that approximately 80% of the consumed electricity is generated in coal-fired power plants, 4% is produced by diesel generators and 3% by renewable energy sources (mainly hydropower). The remaining 13% is imported, mainly from the Russian Federation.  The State Policy on Energy (2015) outlines energy sector development for 2015-2030 including electricity and heat production, transmission, distribution and consumption as well as the fuel supply sector.  In the policy document, priority areas for the energy sector have been identified as safety, efficiency and environment, and the policy further elaborates support to innovation and advanced technology in energy sector, implementation of a conservation policy, increasing the production share of renewables and reducing negative environmental impacts from traditional power generation.  It has also been highlighted that Mongolia has rich resources of solar, wind and hydro and can be competitive in the region to provide renewable energy.

The afternoon sessions focused on indicators for sustainable consumption and production, resource efficiency and green economy, and their applicability in Mongolia. Ms. Janet Salem from UNEP explained that natural resources such as water, water, energy and emissions are the basis of all social and economic activities, and that indicators for resource efficiency inform issues and trends, help agenda setting, ensure informed public debate, underpin policy goals and policy statements in the form of targets, and measure progress in achieving policy objectives. The natural resource indicators include indicators for natural resource use, resource productivity, consumption, trade dependency, eco-efficiency of production and adjusted resource productivity.  

Indicators are valuable tools for tracking progress on policy priorities and targets, and for monitoring outcomes and impacts.  At the national and sectoral levels Mongolia has adopted a number of important policies and plans to promote the SDGs and an inclusive green economy. Monitoring and evaluating these policy instruments is essential to ensuring the successful implementation of national goals and the global sustainability agenda. The Mongolian Government has recently established 9 working groups to develop SDGs and Sustainable Development Vision indicators for measuring progress. Over 280 indicators have been proposed at the initial stage and these indicators will be reviewed and updated in the coming months.

Following the workshop, NRSO Mongolia will organise the 2-day technical training on physical flow accounts. The training will be led by Mr. James West from CSIRO.

See the link below:

http://ubseg.gov.mn/content/1309#.V0SGnjUrLIU