Signing ceremony of UN- REDD Mongolia National Programme DocumentSep 18, 2015
Statement by Ms. Beate Trankmann, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative
UN-REDD Mongolia National Programme Document
- Your Excellency Mr. N. Battsereg, Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism
- Honourable Government counterparts,
- Partnering UN Agency representatives,
- Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honoured to speak at the signing of the UN-REDD National Programme Document. I am very happy to realize that the signing of this important programme document coincides with the (91th) Anniversary of the foundation of the Forestry sector in Mongolia.
On behalf of the United Nations, I would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to the Government of Mongolia for its commitment to the REDD+ Initiative and implementation of the readiness activities, including the preparation of its REDD+ Readiness Roadmap since joining the UN REDD as a partner country in 2011.
Today’s signing is a result of four years of tireless work by many people, some of whom are present here. My appreciation goes to all who contributed to make it happen, more specifically the line Ministries, especially the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, its Forest Policy Coordination Department, Forest Research and Development Center, former Forest Agency, academia, NGOs/CSOs and other development partners. I also wish to acknowledge the great effort put into the process by the colleagues at partner UN agencies in Mongolia and those who advised us at the regional and global levels.
In less than 10 days, the Post 2015 development priorities and Sustainable Development Goals are going to be formally adopted. The programme signed today will contribute to a number of SDGs, but more specifically:
- Goal 13. To take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
- Goal 15. To protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
In December this year, a new universal agreement will be adopted at the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) COP 21 in Paris setting ambitious and binding targets for emission reductions to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
Globally, an estimated 17.4% of the GHG (Greenhouse gas) emissions are resulted by the forest degradation and forest loss. As initiated by under the UNFCCC, the REDD+ initiative helps and aims at incentivizing developing countries to reduce the rate of deforestation and forest degradation and enhance forest carbon stocks through conservation and sustainable management of forest resources. As it encourages investment in natural capital to support the continued provision of ecosystem services even under changing climate conditions, it links the adaptation and mitigation efforts.
Mongolia’s unique geographic location and its socioeconomic conditions make the country vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Within the last 70 years, the mean air temperature increased three times faster than the global average in Mongolia. The climate change scenarios indicate conditions that are not suitable for forested areas, yet expansion of dry steppe and desert zones further to north. Therefore, Mongolia will need to adopt decisive and assertive policies and measures in relation to land use and forest management.
Within the UN REDD programme, Mongolia is the first country with boreal forest, the carbon stock of which is predominantly in its underground mass. Although a number of steps are being made towards sustainable forest management, forest loss is still an issue in Mongolia. As such, there is a high potential for Mongolia to benefit from the initiative in view of the changing climate.
In addition, the programme will contribute to the implementation of Mongolia’s Green Development Policy aligned with the global commitment to shift the current development trends to low carbon, socially inclusive and equitable development.
At last, I would like to highlight that today’s signing ceremony is a start of an intensive three years of work. We will complete the preparation of a national REDD+ strategy to enable national systems to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, at the same time also to monitor and measure, report and verify (MRV) these reductions and changes in forest cover to meet the requirements under the UNFCCC Warsaw Framework to receive REDD+ results-based payments.
I wish a great success in implementing the National UN REDD Programme. Thank you!