Table of Contents
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PART ONE : UNDERSTANDING MONGOLIA
1. History and Geography
Geographic Characteristics. Located in Central Asia, Mongolia is positioned between Russia to the north and the People's Republic of China to the east, west and south . With more than 1.5 million square kilometers of territory, Mongolia is the fifth largest country in Asia and ranks seventeenth among all nations. Mongolia is divided into primary natural zones that include mountains primarily in the countryís north and west; basins, such as that in which the capital Ulaanbaatar is located; and a mixture of desert and steppe which together cover three-fourths of the country.
Mongoliaís Harsh and Challenging Climate. Mongoliaís average altitude is almost 1,600 meters above sea level. Its higher latitude combines with the altitude to intensify the semi-arid climate. Winters are long and cold. Average temperatures fall below freezing for six months of the year. Temperatures in January average about -25 degrees Celsius.
Mongoliaís Mountainous Terrain. Mongoliaís mountainous terrain plays a major role in its climate. The most productive grasslands and forests are found on the protected slopes of mountains These can receive a significant amount of moisture while the unprotected slopes remain barren and dry. Much of southern Mongolia where the Gobi Desert covers vast areas abutting China is among the harshest climates in the world.
Beautiful Lakes and Rivers. Mongolia is a land of many of the worldís most beautiful and pure freshwater lakes, most of which are spread across the northern section of the country. The largest lakes are in the northwest and are rich in fish. The river system is also most extensive in the northern part of the country. Several of the major rivers of Asia have their origin in Mongolia. Because of the mountainous terrain, there is a great concentration of potential hydropower in the north. Most of the rivers are unsuitable for navigation. Many are used as water sources for livestock and irrigation of fields and pastures.
Rapid Population Growth, Urbanization, and the Coexistence of Nomadic and Sedentary Systems. Mongolia's population is small (2.4 million, in 1997) in contrast to its large area, making it one of the worldís least densely populated nations. The rate of population growth is relatively high and with a significant proportion of the population now in their child-bearing years, is expected to increase rapidly, with some estimates projecting a doubling to almost 4.4 million by 2020. Ulaanbaatar holds 25% of the total population. The other urban centers are Darkhan, Erdenet and Choirówhich, like the capital, are all in the north. Roughly 50% of the total population lives in the urban areas. Beyond the cities the rest of Mongolia is largely pastoral, with animal husbandry (sheep, goats, cattle, camels and horses) representing the main economic activity. There are, in fact, approximately 32 million head of free-ranging livestock in Mongolia, an average of more than 12 head per person.
From Genghis Khan to Sukhbaatar. Mongoliaís history spans several thousand years. Most well known to the world is Genghis Khan who emerged to dominate Asia almost a thousand years ago. The accomplishments of Chinggis Khan as he is known to Mongols, united the far flung and competitive clans into a Mongol people as he then led his forces from the windswept steppes of Mongolia to conquer a continent. This achievement caused the New York Times to recently select him as the worldís Man of the Millennium in respect of his brilliant political and military capabilities. Following the decline of the Khans, for several hundred years Mongolia became closely associated with China, until that relationship was severed in 1911. In 1921, Mongolian forces led by Sukhbaatar created a political system based on Marxist principles, one allied closely with the Soviet Union.
The Challenge of a New Governmental and Economic System. After seventy years of a close political, security, and economic relationship with the former Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe, in 1990 Mongolia entered into a period of revolutionary change. This was characterized by a peaceful and successful movement to a democratic form of government committed to the development of a market economy. The loss of the trade relationships and development aid that had been in place with the Soviet Union and CMEA countries resulted in an immediate decline in GNP, but since 1994 economic conditions appear to be improving. Given the abundance of largely undeveloped natural resources, Mongolia holds great promise. There are, however, still significant challenges ahead for the Mongolian people. These include the continuing need to transfer resources from public control to the private sector; learning how to create and manage the institutions and infrastructure required to function effectively in a market economy; developing the new knowledge and technical skills that are required; learning how to build effective trading relationships with foreign markets, and protecting against the negative side-effects of market driven economic activity and its tendency to leave some people out of its benefits.
2. Political Conditions
The Constitutional Transformation to Democracy and a Market Economy. A new Constitution embracing democracy and the market system was passed by the Baga Hural in May 1991 and adopted by the State Great Hural in January 1992. The Constitution took effect on February 12, 1992, changing the nation from the People's Republic of Mongolia to Mongolia. The Constitution makes Mongolia a democratic parliamentary state with independent legislative, executive and judicial branches; guarantees citizens freedom of speech, religion, and other basic human rights, as well as the right to own property and engage in private business activity. The President and the Parliament are elected directly by the people.
Mongoliaís Existing Structure of Government. Mongolia is divided into 21 administrative units (provinces) called aimags. The population of cities range in size from 50,000 to over 600,000 in the capital of Ulaanbaatar. The cities are divided into districts. There are 9 districts in Ulaanbaatar. Urban population accounts for about 51 percent of the countryís total population and there is a strong tendency for migration from the rural to urban areas. The aimag populations range from 40,000 to approximately 100,000. They are divided into aimag centers and rural sums or districts around the centers. Sums are comprised of sum centers and bags. The latter (bags) are the lowest level rural administrative. There are a total of 333 sums and 1,564 bags in the country.
The National Debate Over the Provincial Structure. There has been a serious but unresolved debate nationally about whether the countryís administrative structure should be reorganized into a considerably smaller number of provinces. One quarter of the population and more than half of Mongoliaís industry have become concentrated in the capital due mainly to the lack of policies on population settlement and city planning and the inability of aimags to provide sufficient employment and social and cultural services of the kind required to retain residents. Together with the complete lack of proper coordination and regulation among towns and rural settlements in raw materials extraction and use and production, in technology and labor, finance and economy--coupled with a weak infrastructure for economic development--the essential conditions required to strengthen local areas did not exist. Without establishing an appropriate territorial and organizational structure that more efficiently and rationally is able to deliver better goods and services of all kinds to the dispersed rural population it is extremely difficult to raise the social standards of living of a given provincial region to develop industries or to protect and utilize resources efficiently.
3. Economic Conditions
The Need for Value Added, Deep Processing, of Mongoliaís Products. Sustainable development is achieved by providing deep processing of the countryís natural resources and major raw materials, through developing export oriented production, and through producing competitive and high quality products. Mongoliaís problem is that very little value added deep processing, or even intermediate processing of products, exists in its economy. On the whole, like nearly all developing countries, the nationís economy is raw material oriented, with raw materials of the agricultural and mining sectors and semi finished products providing the main export items.
Upgrading the Pool of Skilled Labor. Mongoliaís pool of skilled labor, including workers with knowledge of how the market economy works, is too limited at present. Those with such skills are in great demand, but there are, however, not enough people with the skills the country needs for achieving increased competitiveness.
Modernizing the Educational and Scientific Systems. Educational, scientific and technological capability is an essential element of achieving sustainable development in the increasingly global economy found in the modern world. Expansion and modernization of these sectors are critical in the effort to create a strong and sustainable Mongolia.
Replacing Obsolete Methods and Technologies of Production and Management. A serious difficulty is that the technology and methods of production and management of the state and non-state economic entities and organizations are obsolete in comparison with those readily available in more economically advanced countries. One of the most important challenges for Mongolia is the acquisition and use of modern equipment and methods.
Strengthening the Agricultural Sector. The Mongolian economy has experienced considerable industrialization in recent decades, but the troubled agricultural sector still remains the backbone of the economy. While eighty percent of the total land of Mongolia is suitable for agriculture, this is only in its broadest sense of the term. The land includes relatively fragile grasslands which must be carefully utilized and protected from abuse. Only 1.5 percent of the ìagriculturalî land is used for crops, 1.0 percent is mowed for hay, and 97 percent is used for pasture. The agricultural sector has important implications throughout the nationís manufacturing sectors, providing the essential material inputs into many processing industries such as leather and shoe manufacture, wool processing, cashmere production, milk production, and bread making.
Helping the Privatized Agricultural System. A privatization program for agriculture was begun over a decade ago and is now essentially complete, with more than 95 percent of livestock in private hands and most of the formerly state owned farms now joint-stock companies. The results of the changes have been uneven, and as the recent 1997 FAO study of Mongolian agriculture indicates, serious management and financial shortfalls exist in privately held agricultural operations. A serious difficulty is that agricultural production is subject to the harshness and unpredictable nature of the Mongolian climate. This is characterized by very low winter temperatures, a short growing season, and low, erratic precipitation. A significant amount of expertise and resources must go into ensuring the health of Mongolian agriculture. Mongoliaís long term economic strength depends more on its agricultural sector than any other area of activity since it is through agricultural productivity that food is produced and important value added manufacturing activities are supplied with raw materials for their end use products.
Carefully Developing Mongoliaís Bountiful Mineral Resources. In terms of volume and variety of mineral resources, most of which remain undeveloped, Mongolia ranks among Asia's richest countries. Although enormous potential exists in mineral resources, the economic viability of developing much of this natural wealth has not yet been demonstrated. The mining sector is of great importance for Mongolia's economic stability and for the physical infrastructure, especially in the energy sector which is heavily dependent on coal. Mongolia has witnessed an increased interest in the gold mining sector as well as in copper production and in recent years foreign companies have found a somewhat improved environment for investment. It is important to understand, however, that part of Mongoliaís development strategy involves identifying areas where value can be added to manufactured and/or processed products, and reducing the systemís dependence on commodities which are subject to enormous price fluctuations on world markets.
Upgrading the Transport, Financial, Investment, and Telecommunications Infrastructures. The transport, financial, investment, and communication sectors are characterized by an inadequate infrastructure. This is a serious impediment to economic growth and hinders the flow of production inputs and the distribution of outputs. Inadequate transportation infrastructure is a serious constraint on the development of the domestic market and a challenging obstacle to potential private investment programmes. Mongoliaís communications sector is in need of substantial investments in order to facilitate the increased demand for a modern functioning telecommunication system. Such a modern system of communications is essential to advance our economic, foreign trade and investment, educational, political, and social strategies.
Continuing the Structural Transformation to a Market Economy. Structural change measures have focused on downsizing the public sector, establishing a market-oriented economy; promoting the private sector through changes in the legal and institutional frameworks; and expanding and diversifying external relations, including membership in international financial organizations. These efforts have all been important elements in the national development process to date, but there are still steps that need to be taken to effectively implement the changes and to educate Mongolians in their implications and methodologies.
4. Social and Environmental Conditions
Population. The total population of Mongolia reached 2387.1 thousand at the end of 1997. A relatively high rate of annual population growth (about 2.6%) occurred between 1960-90. This began to decline from the early 1990s due to factors related to more difficult social and economic conditions. Forty five percent (45%) of the total population is composed of young children and teenagers under the age of 15. People under 35 constitute about 70% of the total Mongolian population.
Job Creation and Unemployment. By the end of 1997 the economically active population constituted 72.5% of the workforce. The number of unemployed people has been increasing despite the growth of the population leading to a rapid increase in the number of the economically active population, particularly among young people
Health and Health Care. Cardiovascular diseases and cancers have increasingly become major illnesses causing deaths among Mongolians. Among young people problems of dental and oral cavities, of the nasal and larynx passages, and allergic illnesses have rapidly increased. Among the most pressing health problems requiring aggressive efforts are those produced by hazardous waste, the consequences of wrong eating habits, increasing problems of excessive weight, cigarette and alcohol consumption, non-infectious and endemic illnesses, sexually transmitted diseases, and deaths of children and infants, among others.
Protecting Infants, Children, and the Most Vulnerable. Although there have been improvements in health care, a high priority must be placed on dealing with issues of infant mortality, acute respiratory infections, and non-infectious diseases. This should also be coupled with protecting against the greater vulnerability of children to harm from the negative social impacts that have increased for the most vulnerable segments of society.
Improving Maternal Health. Maternal mortality remains unacceptably high despite its decreasing rates. Mothers giving birth in remote sums and bags are still faced with too many difficulties in receiving emergency health care.
Improving Physical Rehabilitation Services. Physical impairment occurs too frequently among Mongolians due to the lack of an adequate rehabilitation component in the health care system. The number of people requiring physical rehabilitation health services is increasing.
Housing. Current housing conditions do not meet modern requirements for hygiene and sanitation, ecological protection, architectural quality, and zoning and town planning. Of the total number of Mongolian families, 33% live in gers and 44% in small self-constructed houses and shanties, 22% live in public apartment blocks, and about 1% in private houses built in accordance with professional standards.
Poverty. In 1997, 24.6% of the total population had incomes below the minimum guaranteed living standard. 54.6% of those below the minimum level were either elderly or children under the age of 16. Of particular concern is the fact that the poverty level has increased by 86% in last two years in comparison to 1995 figures.
Land Degradation and Declining Agricultural Productivity. While Mongolia is the seventeenth largest country in the world in terms of territory, much of the land is not productive, and the productive land is under rapidly increasing pressures that are leading to its increased deterioration. The land available for agricultural production is also decreasing. Grazing land was141million hectares in the1960s but has currently dropped to 117 million hectares while the number of livestock has risen to 32 million head.
Soil Erosion. During the past 30 years 46.5% of cultivated land has suffered high to medium levels of erosion and damage. 6.9 ml. hectares of grazing grassland has been destroyed. The productive capacity of overgrazed grasslands has decreased by almost 5 times and the number of crop species has lessened by nearly a factor of 4 times.
Threatened Forests. Forest reserves take up 17,516 thousand hectares. Over the last 20 years the forested area has decreased by 1.4 million hectares, mainly due to forest fires and timber production.
Increasing Desertification. Mongoliaís desert area makes up 41.3% of the countryís total territory. Over the last 40 years the desert area has increased by 38,000 hectares, of which 88% is newly desertified area located mainly in the Gobi region, with 12% in the northern part of the country. As much as 95% of Mongoliaís total land is considered to be highly vulnerable to desertification. In addition, droughts covering as much as 25% of the country occur every two to three years, and drought reaching half the land occurs every four to five years. Due to climatic changes the desertification process has spread even more widely, which is reflected in the increased numbers of lakes and rivers that are drying up, the worsened quality and growth levels of pasture plants, soil and water salinization and loss of productive capacity, and increasing sand movement.
Threats to Mongoliaís Biodiversity. Mongolia has over 3000 species of flower, 426 species of birds, 22 species of reptiles, 8 species of amphibians, 75 species of fish, 136 species of mammals, and 12 thousand species of insects. An estimated 200 species of Mongoliaís flora and fauna are at the brink of extinction. 100 species of animals classified as extremely rare and rare, and 128 species of plants requiring immediate protection have been identified and included in the Red Book of Mongolia
Threats to Mongoliaís Water Resources. The annual water reserves available for use in Mongolia total 34.6 cubic km. Although this is relatively low in absolute volume compared to other countries, given Mongoliaís small population the amount of water per person is substantial. This is deceiving given climatic trends and the increased process of desertification. It is likely that the amount of areas under constant snow cover will diminish significantly with the result that in winter time the nomadic people and their herds in rural areas will suffer water shortages. This will be coupled with an increase in surface water evaporation followed with higher rates of drying up of springs, oasis, and well water supplies.
Severe Threats from Natural Disasters. Loss of life and extensive damage are caused by natural disasters in Mongolia every year. Almost half of the atmospheric related disasters, totaling between 25-40 occurrences a year, result in substantial economic loss and some loss of human life. Over the last 30 years a total of 4260 fires have occurred covering about 2360 thousand hectares of forest land. Fires, heavy rains and snowfall, river flooding, sand and dust storms, drought, and blizzards are among our primary natural disasters.
The Increasing Dangers from Toxic Chemicals. Over 100,000 different chemical substances are being sold in the global marketplace. Only a few thousand have been evaluated to determine the ways in which they can harm people, plants, and animals. Many of the chemicals are toxic and have serious health and polluting effects that may take years before they show up as cancers or other diseases. As has now been discovered in industrialized countries such as the United States, it is absolutely vital that people be protected by government regulation of the use of chemicals. Mongolia imports more than 1000 chemicals, over 3000 medicaments and over 100 pesticides. Strong government regulation is required to protect Mongoliaís people and workers from the harmful effects of chemicals.
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PART TWO : MONGOLIA'S COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
1. The Rio Earth Summit and Sustainable Development
The Rapid Degradation of the Earthís Resources and Environment. The concept of sustainable development emerged from the work of the UN's World Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission), which in 1987 released its report on the relationship between poverty, economic development, rapid population growth, and the deteriorating conditions of the world's environment. Central to the problems identified in the Brundtland Report were the effects of explosive population growth and gross over consumption of the Earthís finite resources, adding to the enormous problems produced by poverty and unemployment. They include irrational over-consumption of resources of all kinds; rapidly increasing environmental degradation resulting from irresponsible and short-term economic activity and policies that subsidize pollution; unemployment and underemployment; unjust policies of gender and ethnic priorities that deny opportunity to deserving people; increased pressures on resources due to rapid population growth and/or migration in many nations to cities from rural areas; almost irresistible pressures on key natural resource systems of air, water, and land that are resulting in threats of declining productivity and destruction of an enormous range of species and cultures.
The UNís 1992 Rio Earth Summit and Agenda 21. The dire warnings of the Brundtland Report echoed what many official and unofficial voices had been proclaiming and led ultimately to the convening of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Our planet's leaders came together in Rio to agree on the centrality of the system of sustainable development to the health of the earth and to our long-term survival. As part of the Rio Earth Summit, the world leadersóincluding those of Mongoliaóagreed on what is now called Agenda 21. One hundred seventy eight nations consented to the adoption of Agenda 21 and accepted it as a blueprint for guiding their efforts to develop sustainable approaches to economic, environmental, and social systems as we enter the Twenty-first century. They promised to take the principles of Agenda 21 back to their countries and create processes and institutions that applied the ideas to the unique situations found in their individual nations.
The New Concept of Sustainable Development. The new concept of sustainable development represents a revolutionary shift in how societies work. For the first time, the world is being offered an approach to decision-making that reflects a coherent, comprehensive and powerful process that simultaneously advances economic well-being and the just allocation of wealth and resources while preserving ecological and environmental health, fundamental human values, and intergenerational equity.
Agenda 21 and the Commitment of Each Nation to Design Its Own Strategy. Agenda 21ís stated intent was that, ìDeveloping countries shouldÖbegin to draw up national plans for sustainable development to give effect to the decisions of the Conference (the Earth Summit)î, and that, ìEach country should aim to complete, as soon as practicableÖ, a review of capacity-and capability-building requirements for devising national sustainable development strategies, including those for generating and implementing its own Agenda 21 action programme. The strategy of individual application to each of the world's sovereign countries reflects the uniqueness of nations while understanding the commonality of challenges that all nations face both collectively and individually. This Report reflects the efforts of the Mongolian people to define the nature of sustainable development, a task made both exciting and challenging by the complete transformation of its economic and political system.
2. Mongolia's Approach to Sustainable Development
Mongolia is Committed to Sustainable Development for All Citizens. Sustainable development is the path Mongolia chooses to pursue in its efforts to attain world standards in human development and quality of life. At the center of Mongolia's commitment to sustainable development is the desire to create an harmonious social and ecological environment for Mongolia's people while doing so in ways that protect and advance the rights, quality of life, and cultural and economic interests of future generations. This Executive Summary, the full MAP 21 Report, and related documents represent the application of the general concerns of Agenda 21 and sustainable development to the specific context of Mongolia. Mongolia is determined to design and follow sustainable development strategies as it moves into the 21st century.
Sustainable Development is a Vision, But Each Country Must Design Its Own Strategy. First of all, it is important to understand that sustainable development is a vision of the kind of society Mongolia wants to have. This vision tells us what kind of society we want to achieve, but the concept of sustainable development by itself does not tell us how to get there. It tells us what we want to achieveósocial justice and the opportunity for full human development for all Mongolians, intelligent use of resources and conservation that not only benefits us in the present but protects the interests of future generations of the Mongolian people. It allows us to recognize that we need a dynamic, efficient, fair, and balanced economy in order to provide Mongolians with the quality of life to which all citizens are entitledójobs, education, health, social services in times of need, security, and opportunities and freedom to live rich and fulfilling lives.
Sustainable Development Requires a National Dialogue and Careful Strategic Action. Achieving sustainable development for Mongolia is a difficult and complex task, one that cannot be achieved without constant struggle, false starts, hardship, and mid-stream adjustments that reflect intelligent adaptation to the lessons we learn along the way. We face the shortages of financial resources and investment capital, as well as inadequate infrastructure and human capital, that create development problems for all developing countries. This dilemma is faced by many nations, including Mongolia, nations wanting to find ways to develop their economic and human resources in ways consistent with principles of sustainability, but who are gripped by seemingly intractable economic and political obstacles continually undermining their best intentions. Dealing with these difficult challenges demands national dialogue and careful strategic thinking and action. That is the purpose of the MAP 21 process.
Sustainable Development Requires an Integrated System of Policy and Management. Reaching the point where governments and economic entities can automatically build considerations of sustainability into their policies and decisions will not happen without attention being paid to the value and ethic of protecting the future while operating wisely in the present. The real challenge to Mongolia is to demonstrate ways in which the ethics and deeper principles of sustainability can reasonably be merged with a system of workable laws, economic rules, accounting procedures, incentive and disincentive devices, and other techniques of effective implementation in an integrated system of both policy-making and day-to-day management. Without such a merger the laws intended to lead to sustainable management will be derided and honored in the breach, while the ethical dimension of sustainability will represent nothing more than a belief system that has little impact on the political realities that create the conditions of unsustainable economic behaviors.
Mongoliaís Leaders Must Have Knowledge and Strategic Wisdom. Mongoliaís future depends on its leaders making the best decisions about how to achieve sustainable development. Mongolia is changing so rapidly that everyone suffers from a lack of knowledge about exactly what is occurring at any particular moment in time. Keeping the goals and paths of action in focus in the midst of reality when everything seems chaotic, confused, and intent on drawing us off on other roads is such a difficult task that military strategists have long referred to the condition as "the fog of war" in which the pressures and swirling nature of competition and conflict blind and confuse us into bad actions and wasted efforts.
Mongoliaís Sustainable Development Must Have Well Designed Means of Implementation. Similar to this is what in the MAP-21 Report is called the "means of implementation". The idea of "means of implementation" is extremely important because it represents what might be called the ability to be victorious in any area of activity, including the ability of Mongolia to achieve sustainable development. Means of implementation--include training, capability, supplies, quality of leadership and overall forces, strategic conditions and options, and weaponsóand represents a wide and integrated array of considerations. They represent the quality of our leaders and those to whom the leaders must delegate the more immediate responsibility for carrying out orders and policies, and leading forces on a day-to-day basis and in the midst of competition. Our ability to be successful therefore requires strong and wise leaders at the top, in the middle levels, and just as important in the conditions of actual implementation and action. If the overall means of implementation are wrong then the effort fails. If the means of implementation are right, but the leaders and other personnel are not properly trained, unwilling to work with others, or clumsily employed, then the effort fails. If the forces that must do the actual implementation are not supported or supplied adequately by their leaders or trained in the right tactics, and supported in the best strategy and given the chance to exercise their skills in situations where their training and ability can be best applied to increase their chances of victory--then the leaders have failed their people and the effort leads to defeat and wasted resources.
The Worldís Governments and Economic Systems Have Often Caused Problems Rather Than Prevented Them. Traditional approaches to economic activity, governmental policy, monitoring and enforcement have failed to prevent the massive and dangerous decay we are now experiencing throughout the world. In fact, governments have often been among the main reasons for the harms through unwise policies, laws that reward and subsidize irresponsible resource use and over-consumption, as well as failure to effectively implement those good laws that do exist. The ability of individual nations to develop their specific national Agenda 21 strategies, and their willingness to make these strategies a real part of the decision-making according to principles of sustainable development, is one of our most powerful tools needed to achieve strong, stable, and sustainable societies.
3. The Goals to be Achieved Through a Mongolian Form of Sustainable Development
Achieving sustainable development for Mongolia requires the combination of wise leadership, citizen participation, institutional reform, careful planning, and focused strategic action. An important part of the process for Mongolia is knowing what we want to achieve and the shared values this strategy pursues. These include:
Developing and strengthening our democratic system, one capable of ensuring human rights, responsible personal freedom, and the full development of the individual. The goals of Mongolia's National Strategy for Sustainable Development are based on the understanding that:
The pursuit of socially oriented state policies aimed at ensuring social justice, supporting economic growth with equity among citizens, and providing at least a minimum standard of living conditions and quality of life and opportunity for all Mongolians.
Creation of an effective legal basis for reliable environmental protection and associated enforcement systems, as necessary conditions for the harmonized relationship of human society and nature which is a central principle of sustainable development.
Building an intellectually diverse, powerful, and open national market economy based on the efficient use of Mongolia's resources, and creation of the mechanisms, educational systems, and infrastructure essential for the nation to take fuller advantage of international markets and other economic relations of benefit to Mongolia.
Concentration on nurturing the educational and scientific sectors to allow them to be better able to meet the diverse intellectual requirements of Mongolians as they strive to implement sustainable development.
Creation of an accepted vision and strategy directed toward achieving the goals of sustainable development as a continuing guide for Mongolian leaders and citizens in their efforts to achieve sustainable development.
Poverty is a fundamental threat to the well-being of the nation and the Mongolian people, and the nation is committed to overcoming poverty within 10-15 years by mobilizing all available means and resources. Examples of Mongoliaís Sustainable Development Strategy
Creation of economic, educational, cultural, information and social care processes and conditions that ensure positive human development and improved quality of life is an essential element of Mongoliaís strategy.
The mobilization of all necessary resources is required to alleviate environmental degradation--such as deforestation, desertification, degradation of agricultural lands, species loss, air pollution, increasing wastes and toxic chemicals, and reduction in the volume and quality of water resources, and to prevent or reverse adverse changes to Mongolia's exceptional natural bounty.
Sustainable development requires ensuring the compatibility of environmental protection and natural resource use with the requirements of social and economic development and external global changes with impacts on Mongolia.
Mutually beneficial alliances and collaborations must be developed or strengthened with other countries at global and regional levels in order to create a system to help prevent or mitigate environmental degradation and disastrous natural emergencies, and that create improved ability to cope with the harmful consequences of serious emergencies when the problems can not be prevented.
Beneficial alliances must be pursued with the economic partners who are most important to the health of Mongolia's emerging system.
Mongolia has the potential to become a regional hotbed of development, prosperity, and political stability.
An Energy Example. Sustainable development strategies require integrated planning and action that eliminate or mitigate the environmental and social consequences of economic development while ensuring growth that benefits all members of society. The MAP 21 strategy shows clearly how such strategic thinking can be applied effectively. The approach includes energy strategies that use Mongoliaís natural resources of coal, hydropower, solar, wind, and petroleum to create a strong energy future that will simultaneously reduce balance of payments problems, create jobs and enhanced technical skills, reduce air pollution in cities, upgrade the energy supplies in rural areasóallowing an improved population distribution, quality of rural life, hygiene and health improvements, and greater economic development in the agricultural sector. The use of Mongoliaís extensive coal reserves, for example, will be done along with a shift from obsolete coal burning power plants that produce significant amounts of unhealthy air pollution to new clean burning plants of the kind that have been developed in modern industrialized nations. Processing of raw coal into charcoal briquettes for much cleaner burning in ger stoves also will reduce air pollution in urban areas and protect the health of ger residents. One simple set of strategies can therefore have enormous impacts on the economic, human, and environmental sectors simultaneously. This is the essence of sustainable developmentóthe focus on key areas of activity that are fundamental to strong economic development but have the added ability to resolve human and environmental needs.
An Example in Agriculture. The same kind of integrated thinking is being used in the agricultural sector, on which so much of the nationís economy depends. Pastoral grasslands are under enormous pressure due to population growth, inadequate agricultural financing and credit systems, need for improved quality of livestock through genetic breeding programs and higher quality protein feeds, outmoded methods and technologies, climatic conditions, and the rapid and unsustainable increase in the total livestock population even while the amount of grazing land is declining in both absolute and qualitative terms. The MAP 21 strategy approaches these problems of economy and environment through approaches that include a breeding and genetic engineering program, credit strategies, greater use of protein feeds derived from food production waste materials, reduction in the total livestock herd as the quality improves and profitability per head rises, and better development of value added agricultural processing activities for both domestic use and export. This integrated strategy creates jobs and economic development, increases profitability of the overall agricultural sector, enables herders to have a higher quality of life, reduces pressures on grasslands by using waste products for alternative feed and by the reducedóbut more productive and profitableónumbers of head dependent on grazing.
A Model for Strategic Information. Many examples of such sustainable development thinking can be found within the full MAP 21 Report. One final example to be offered at this point includes the need for systematic information monitoring and assessment. No system can function effectively if it doesnít possess accurate information to base its strategies and actions. An important effort to create a model process of information acquisition, modeling, and projection has been a part of the MAP 21 process. A very few of its tentative projections are presented in the Appendix to this Summary. While very preliminary, it represents the kind of process that is an essential part of any comprehensive and effective sustainable development strategy. Intelligent decisions can not be made without information that is accurate, comprehensive, and regularly updated. The Mongolian government recognizes this, and is committed to continuing to develop systems of reliable data that will allow the adjustments through all effective strategies are tested and adapted.
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PART THREE : THE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT OF THE MAP 21 REPORT
The MAP-21 Report is divided into four main parts and more than twenty chapters. The parts are:
Sustainable Social Development,
Sustainable Economic Development,
Proper Use of Natural Resources and Protection of Nature and the Environment,
Means of Implementation.
1. Sustainable Social Development:
Population settlement and improved city planning are components of sustainable social development. This includes action in areas such as:
population settlement policies; Population growth and sustainable development are intimately related. For Mongolia the challenge is more one of where people are located than of too many people. There is a need to slow down the movement of people to Ulaanbaatar and to supply better services of all kinds to Mongolia's more dispersed population. This creates a very different situation in Mongolia than is found in most countries, since although 30% of the population lives in the capital city, almost 60% still live in traditional gers or equivalent dwellings, many of them spread around the country.
city planning and zoning;
expansion of the housing supply and improved techniques and funding for constructing higher quality residential units;
an improved program for domestic production of materials and tools required in housing construction;
improving the social services, employment and educational opportunities, and overall quality of life available in urban areas other than Ulaanbaatar;
upgraded engineering and architectural methods.
An important part of Mongolia's policy should be to strive to redirect the flow of population from the capital to other urban centers that would then increase the nation's ability to supply services not only in Ulaanbaatar but in other areas of Mongolia. Poverty eradication is at the center of Mongolia's program. The target should be to greatly reduce urban and rural poverty within five years and eliminate poverty in the next fifteen years. Economic growth and environmental quality are important aspects of dealing with the increase in population, a significant portion of which is in the 15-24 year age range. The young population is growing and will need jobs in the new economy and serve as the force for rapid growth. They will also require health and extensive education and training services as well.
Promoting human health must take place through:
education; Promoting human development, equity, and fairness requires:
preventive approaches to health care;
eradication of infectious diseases;
hygiene practices in food preparation;
modernization of physician and hospital services;
meeting the requirements of a primary health service, particularly in rural areas;
prevention and control of epidemics;
protecting the most vulnerable groups of the population;
solving health issues in cities and towns;
ensuring a healthy and secure environment.
meeting educational demand for all citizens;
creating the legal systems required to guarantee equality and freedom;
encouraging public participation in the ethical and moral dimensions decision making and policy;
reducing unemployment rates and poverty;
ensuring sufficient food and nutrition levels for all citizens;
substantially improving the quality of life in urban areas, including reducing air and water pollution;
allowing all Mongolians free access to the global information system;
increasing gender equality, including the opportunities for women to participate fully in management and decision-making.
2. Sustainable Economic Development:
Mongolia's economic policy for sustainable development includes:
promotion of economic development; The Primary Structural Actions Within the Economic Strategy Are Diverse. They include:
effective use of economic instruments to promote sustainable development;
effective use of market mechanisms to promote sustainable development;
establishing systems for integrated environmental and economic accounting.
transforming the manufacturing and industrial sectors of the economy into a development model that uses resources at higher technological levels, are financially self sufficient, and apply high levels of knowledge;
meeting energy demand by using renewable and ecologically clean sources and production technologies to supplement existing sources;
implementing policies that achieve more complete and profitable processing of natural resources with no unnecessary waste;
implementing policies that satisfy primary demands with renewable natural resources and that use non-renewable and slowly regenerating resources only as a supplement to economic activity;
when non-renewable natural resources must be used, a policy will be implemented to protect and preserve the interests of future generations in those resources by charging an appropriate user fee;
prices and fees for the use of natural resources will increase as specific resources become more scarce, and the principle of the "user and polluter pays" will be consistently applied;
foreign trade and investment policies will be closely connected with national interests, ecological security, and human development issues;
the exporting of unprocessed natural raw materials will be increasingly limited as we move toward more deep processing of our products;
conditions will be created that cause Mongolia to become an important destination for ecotourism;
Mongolia will become a regional international and financial centre through establishing an economic free trade zone;
foreign investment will be encouraged that develops industries that use high level knowledge and advanced technologies.
Promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development are main parts of the MAP-21 analysis. Even with the significant growth potential that is represented in manufacturing, mineral extraction and processing, energy, and tourism, Mongolia's first strength--in both its economy and culture--lies in the agricultural sectors.
Mongolia's sustainable agriculture and rural development strategy must therefore:
promote sustainable growth of agricultural production; Sustainable development in Mongolia's industrial, transportation, and communication sectors requires:
reduce the risks of agriculture;
enhance food security;
target primary regional export markets for processed agricultural products;
improve the agricultural management system;
create an environment for a more modern market-based agricultural system involving value-added processing and product manufacturing, sales, and distribution;
the agricultural sector will be fully encouraged to increase the volume and quality of its food production to fully satisfy domestic food and raw material needs;
traditional animal husbandry approaches will be protected and improved, and financial guarantees will be created to assist that sector in efforts to adopt market system approaches.
significant industrial restructuring that retrofits obsolete equipment and invests in modern manufacturing systems; Sustainable production and consumption of energy requires:
development of ecologically clean production methods and technologies;
concentration on waste minimization, recycling, and control;
application of environmentally sound technologies;
promoting sustainable development in transportation through a transportation policy that uses more efficient vehicles, and rail transport;
promoting sustainable development in communication that creates the quality of infrastructure needed for communication, investment, finance, and modern information systems
the transportation and communication infrastructure will be improved to levels compatible with international transportation and communication standards.
comprehensive energy planning;
comprehensive energy management;
comprehensive energy development;
improving energy efficiency and conservation;
developing new energy resources including coal, petroleum, and natural gas;
developing renewable energy resources of solar, wind, and hydroelectric power.
3. Sustainable Development in Environmental Protection and Natural Resource Use:
Protection of the atmosphere, and reduction of current unhealthy air pollution levels, require actions that:
seek to resolve scientific issues; Sustainable use and protection of Mongolia's precious land resources should be achieved through:
support atmospheric protection through improved energy production and use;
utilize less-polluting transportation technologies;
achieve upgrading or replacement of old facilities and use non-polluting technologies in new industrial and manufacturing activities;
establish land use and zoning policies that expose fewer people to pollution;
protect the atmospheric ozone layer;
reduce transboundary air pollution;
honor treaty commitments dealing with global warming.
creating an integrated approach to land use planning; Combating desertification requires:
effectively managing Mongolia's land resources through such approaches as strengthening planning and management systems;
raising awareness of the need for effective land use planning and management;
promoting public participation;
improving research on land resources;
strengthening information systems;
increasing land protection and restoration activities;
developing special protected areas;
emphasizing the proper use and conservation of natural resources.
allocation of needed resources in the annual budget; Protecting biodiversity requires:
the creation of the essential legal and economic mechanisms;
development of a comprehensive management system;
programs designed to help local people most affected by desertification;
investigation into the primary causes and consequences of desertification;
public involvement in actions against desertification;
reduction of pressures on grasslands in areas known to be most vulnerable to erosion and desertification;
conducting afforestation and shrub planting programs in vulnerable areas;
irrigation in selected areas;
improved water management system;
renewable energy systems in vulnerable areas to protect against tree cutting;
improved road design to reduce off road traffic that is damaging vulnerable areas and increasing erosion.
an accurate evaluation of the current conditions and threats to biodiversity; Waste and sewage management requires:
identify causes of species decline, and define trends;
develop species protection policies and programs;
create species preserves;
improve training in species protection;
create monitoring systems to detect movement of people, economic activity, and settlement patterns that threaten Mongoliaís biodiversity;
economic activity in areas of the most vulnerable species must be waste free and of the kind that does not disrupt the habitat;
monitor and regulate hunting and fishing;
cooperate with other countries to save species;
enact and enforce rules against mining activity in vulnerable areas.
new industrial and other production systems must be designed to eliminate or minimize waste; Management of radioactive wastes requires:
developing waste recycling systems;
using relevant wastes as materials for other products;
waste collection and treatment facilities;
creating a waste management infrastructure in both the governmental and private sector;
reducing wasteful patterns of consumption;
systems for managing hazardous and toxic wastes.
improving radioactive waste management and knowledge capabilities; Sustainable utilization and protection of mineral resources requires:
training waste management personnel;
upgrading standards to international level;
effective laws on the transport of radioactive wastes;
evaluate the existing conditions of radioactive waste management;
create a nuclear waste use, storage, and disposal strategy to deal with high-level, low-level, and mixed wastes;
improvement of the nuclear waste inspection system;
conduct of a detailed study on the extent and causes of nuclear-related illnesses in Western Mongolia.
developing and using mineral resources essential to the needs of the national economy; Protection and careful use of forest resources involves:
minimizing the environmental costs created by exploitation of mineral resources by requiring fees and other actions designed to ensure that developers pay the full costs of resource exploitation;
minimizing the health effects of mineral development;
improving the cost-effectiveness of mineral development while minimizing environmental effects and increasing social benefits.
educating people about the importance of protecting Mongolia's forest reserves; Biotechnology development should be approached:
strengthening management and organization;
dealing with the financial and economic factors that lead to irresponsible forest exploitation;
developing better human resources in forest management;
achieving greater scientific understanding and conducting forest-related research;
creating information and promotion systems;
improving use of forest reserves and reforestation;
establishing a program for extensive afforestation of areas without forest reserves;
assistance in evaluating forest raw materials and the proper use of reserves;
creating conditions for the development of forest tourism;
strengthening the various systems of forest activities, planning, evaluation, and control.
as a program that includes improving food security and biodiversity conservation; Policies, laws and program related to the use and conservation of water resources must:
establishes an office for Biotechnology Affairs in Mongolia;
develops guidelines and activities for a Mongolian Biotechnology Association;
creates development projects and conducts basic research on Mongolia's biological resources.
encourage actions that lead to the proper use and conservation of water resources; Reducing the dangers of natural disasters requires:
reduce the use of water resources for other purposes;
concentrate resources on upgrading the drinking water supply and hygiene.
taking advantage of the world's scientific and technological progress in anticipating and dealing with natural disasters; Ecologically sound management of toxic chemicals is increasingly important as Mongolia expands its manufacturing and mining activities. A sound program to deal with the prevention of the effects of toxic and hazardous waste involves the ability to:
providing support to sustainable development approaches that manage resources in ways that limit the effects of some disasters;
improving Mongolia's system of warning, mitigation, management and response to natural disasters;
create programs to help those harmed by natural disasters.
evaluate toxic chemical and product risks; Means for Implementing Mongoliaís System of Sustainable Development:
implement chemical classification and labeling;
exchange information on toxic chemicals, risks, and harmful effects;
establish programs to reduce the level of chemical risks;
extend national capabilities and managing capacities in controlling and regulating the use of toxic chemicals;
prevent illegal international traffic in toxic and hazardous chemical products.
Mongoliaís National sustainable development strategy for the 21st Century will provide a strategic core of Government and public policy and will be implemented by cooperation between Government, NGOs, the private and academic sectors, and grassroots members of Mongol society. Implementation of sustainable development requires:
effective laws and enforcement aimed at setting the legal rules required for sustainable development; National capacity building is essential. It requires:
assignment of clear ministerial and local governmental responsibility;
capability for monitoring and investigating compliance levels and potential offenses;
effective systems for inspecting, regulating, taxing, and fee collection;
effective clean up and pollution response systems;
appropriate sanctions for civil or criminal violations.
strengthening management and coordination for sustainable development; Financial resources and mechanisms are needed that:
development of education, culture, and the arts;
human resource development;
enhanced science and technology;
public education programmes;
strengthened private sector and NGO awareness and capability;
information systems for sustainable development.
integrate the MAP-21 Programme with the national priorities and plans; Strengthening the role of major groups must occur if democratic participation and management is to take place and so that all members of Mongolian society understand the importance of pursuing sustainable development. The groups and interests to whom the government should reach out include:
develop financial, tax and other instruments for sustainable development;
create funds for sustainable development.
women; More specific actions to implement the MAP 21 strategy include:
children and youth;
workers and trade unions;
the scientific and technological communities.
implementation of the national, regional and international strategy objectives will require financial support from donor countries and international organizations;
the MAP 21 strategy will continue to provide full public and NGO participation in the processes of implementing Mongoliaís sustainable development strategy;
technological innovation in all industrial sectors will be advanced by developing ecologically cleaner technology which is appropriate to the Mongoliaís unique conditions and natural resources and to achieve this goal technology transfer from abroad will be an important focus;
the national scientific capacity will be significantly enhanced and the results applied to create benefits at the local level;
science and industry will become more cooperative enterprises through connections that expand intersectoral study and research;
more emphasis will be given to development of national traditional technology, biotechnology, new materials, information, and chemical technology to promote high technology products and production;
the financial resources given to the high priority sectors of the sciences and technology will be significantly increased;
a national information system on the conditions and quality of human life, environment and ecological systems will become a regular part of the governmentís activities;
the national capacity for implementation of the sustainable development strategy will be advanced through a combination of existing ministries a