Welcome address by Daniela Gasparikova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative
At the closing workshop of "Mongolia's Network of Managed Resource Protected Areas" project
Corporate Hotel and Convention Centre
Time & date: 9.00 AM, 14 June 2018
Distinguished Vice-Minister Batbayar,
Dear ladies and gentlemen,
Today, we conclude 5-years of strong, shared efforts to better manage Mongolia’s protected areas.
From the beginning, our goal was to expand the geographical area being protected and run by local communities in Mongolia, as well as better safeguard under-represented, terrestrial ecosystems in these critical areas.
We also aimed to showcase community management practices, partnerships and funding means, that could become a feasible, formally recognized model for sustainably managing protected areas.
In this regard, I would like to highlight three results we are especially proud of:
· Firstly, together, we have demonstrated a viable model of governance and cooperation for managing locally protected areas in Mongolia. We also helped integrate these principles into the draft Law on SPA, along with two related regulations;
· Secondly, our work led to decisions by local governments to grant the management of two LPAs (Gulzat and Khavtgar) to legal entities, while ensuring wide involvement of Community Based Organizations, including agreement on re-distribution and re-investment of locally generated income from hunting, for example. We recognize that many areas do not necessarily have potential to generate direct income from their ecosystems. So we are encouraged by the model from the Tumenkhaan-Shalz LPA, which shows that by allocating even a small budget to protect ecosystems and partnering with herders, local governments can gain greater oversight over a vast area.
· Thirdly, I am pleased to report that together, we have also established an LPA database. This is something the government is committed to using and maintaining, as set out in the 4-party agreement.
We also recognize more work is needed to achieve some of the planned objectives. For example, after the project ends, we at UNDP will continue to follow up on the adoption process of the Law on Special Protected Areas. We’ll also assess the extent to which the final text allows ground work laid by the project to be brought to scale, along with an amendment to the Law on Environmental Protection.
Mongolia’s Sustainable Development Vision 2030 and the Green Development Policy committed to: “including at least 30% of each main ecosystem and ecosystems vulnerable to climate change into the National PA network and ensuring their management.”
By adopting the improved legal framework – which recognizes local protected areas as part of the national system, and formalizes the legal status of CBOs that manage them – Mongolia has the potential to make great progress in achieving this target.
Dear guests and colleagues,
I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation of the partnership forged by the neighboring SPAs (Khan Khentii, Dornod, Onon Balj and Uvs Lake Basin), which provided continuous, hands-on capacity development to LPA volunteer rangers and strengthened cooperation between the LPA and SPAs.
This project would not be possible without the contributions, motivation and commitment of the herders and volunteer rangers who, for example, helped us reintroduce marmots and reduce threats of illegal hunting, steppe and forest fires.
Thank you also to the Ministry of Environment, local governments and NGOs represented in the project board for your excellent cooperation, guidance, and continuous feedback as we executed this project.
Last, but not least, thank you to my colleagues in the project management unit and UNDP – past and present – for translating this project from paper to reality.
Together, we have helped ensure that much more of Mongolia’s spectacular, and vital environment will be protected for generations to come.