National Workshop in Mongolia Advances Green Development and Implementation of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE)

16 May 2014

The 2014 National Implementation Workshop to Advance a Green Economy and Green Development in Mongolia took place on 15 -16 May 2014 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.  It brought together more than 100 participants from numerous ministries and government departments, UN agencies, universities, research centers, international organizations, as well as representatives from the private sector. The workshop was organized by the Government of Mongolia and the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), a joint initiative between UNEP, ILO, UNIDO, UNITAR, and UNDP. One of the main objectives of the workshop was to take stock of green development and PAGE implementation activities in Mongolia, seven months after the official launch of PAGE in November 2013, and to identify further PAGE actions for 2014 and beyond. The workshop was chaired by Mr. A. Enkhbat, Head of Division of Clean Technology and Science, Ministry of Environment and Green Development (MEGD), and national PAGE focal point in Mongolia.

In her opening remarks, Ms. S. Oyun, Minister of Environment and Green Development, highlighted the momentum in Mongolia to advance green development, referring in particular to the Green Development Strategy, which is expected to be adopted by Parliament in June 2014. “Green economy and green development are not only the priority for MEGD, but also becoming important for other ministries” Minister Oyun stated, citing the construction of green and energy efficient buildings as an example, where collaboration of Government, the private sector, and international partners such as PAGE is valuable to advance green development.

Mr. G. Batkhurel, Deputy Director of Development Policy, Strategic Planning and Regulation Department, Ministry of Economic Development (MED) referred to the new planning law under development, which will establish a comprehensive planning system at the national and local level to advance policy coherence, including for green development. The law has the potential to become one of the most significant piece of domestic legislation since Mongolia’s transition in the early 1990s.

Ms. Sezin Sinanoglu, UN Resident Coordinator and Senior PAGE Representative commended the Government on progress made since the launch of PAGE in November 2013, such as the establishment of a technical inter-agency PAGE committee, co-chaired by MEGD and the Ministry of Economic Development to guide implementation of PAGE activities. She also highlighted the value of mainstreaming green development and green economy objectives in key sectors.  

Following panel presentations by various Government ministries and private sectors organizations, the workshop took stock of activities and deliverables supported by PAGE during the inception phase and  identified follow-up action and next steps. Under the strategic policy analysis work area, the Economic Policy & Competitiveness Research Centre (EPCRC) presented key findings of a Green Economy Stock-taking and the Green Jobs Mapping reports prepared in 2014. The reports provide analytical input to the Mongolian Government to advance green development, put the Green Development strategy into the context of other development trends, and identify knowledge gaps and activities that need to be taken into account when setting priorities and determining objectives for PAGE interventions.

The two reports will be complemented by macro-economic modelling during the second half of 2014 undertaken through collaboration of MED, MEGD, and PAGE. The modelling is expected to provide an analysis of how various investment scenarios in a green economy can contribute to economic growth, job creation, and environmental sustainability in Mongolia. The current T21 Mongolia in Mongolia covers basic sectors. Under  PAGE, renewable energy, urban development, natural resource management and agriculture will be added to examine different investment and policy scenarios linked to the Green Development Strategy.

Complementary to strategic policy analysis, PAGE is responding in 2014 to a number of green development policy priorities identified by the Government of Mongolia. These work streams, which are led by respective government institutions include (1) Green and Energy Efficient Buildings (Ministry of Construction and Urban Development), (2) Sustainable Public Procurement (Ministry of Finance), (3) Green Economy Indicators (National Statistics Office, (4) Green Agriculture (Ministry of Agriculture), and (5) Green Economy Learning (Ministry of Education and Research).

The workshop concluded with a discussion on partnerships and presentations by development partners active in green and sustainable development in Mongolia. Presentations were made by representatives from the Swiss Development Cooperation, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Asian Development Bank (ADC, the Germans Cooperation for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Ecological Sequestration Trust, and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) . By engaging into a regular dialogue with development partners, PAGE is seeking to facilitate inter-linkages and synergies of international support for green development in Mongolia.

As a follow-up to the workshop, PAGE will support a range of activities in the second half of 2014, both in the strategic policy analysis work area, and in support of the substantive policy work-streams. These action and related medium term objectives of PAGE in Mongolia will be summarized in the 2014 National PAGE Implementation Report which is scheduled to be completed in June 2014. 

The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) is a response to the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), entitled The Future We Want, which recognizes the green economy as a vehicle for sustainable development and poverty eradication. The four founding UN agencies of PAGE – the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) – will provide a comprehensive suite of green economy services that will enable countries to transform their national economic structures to meet the growing demands and challenges of the 21st century. More specifically, PAGE will build enabling conditions in participating countries by shifting investment and policies towards the creation of a new generation of assets, such as clean technologies, resource efficient infrastructure, well-functioning ecosystems, green skilled labour and good governance. Mongolia joined the PAGE in 2013 as one of the first countries. Generous support for PAGE activities in 2014 has been provided by the Governments of Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Republic of Korea.