Ulaanbaatar, 6 October 2021 – With funding from the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a project in Mongolia entitled “Advancing health and environmental sustainability through action on pollution”. This is a three-year global project which aims to address the interlinked challenges of non-communicable diseases and pollutions in three countries, respectively Mongolia, India, and Ethiopia, with a total funding of 2.1 million EUR. The project will support the Government of Mongolia to address pollution as a key environmental determinant of non-communicable diseases, and as part of broader efforts to respond to environmental degradation and the changing climate.
“The European Union is committed to achieving zero pollution target by 2050, so that we could all live in a toxic-free environment. To secure this, we must ensure that pollution is reduced to levels which are no longer expected to be harmful for health and natural ecosystems, respect the boundaries our planet can cope with. This three-year project will support the Government of Mongolia to address pollution as a key environmental determinant of non-communicable diseases due to pollution and as part of broader efforts to respond to environmental degradation and the changing climate” stated H.E. Axelle Nicaise, Ambassador of the European Union to Mongolia.
“A clean and safe environment is integral to the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights and is vital for advancing the2030 agenda for sustainable development. Urgency of actions on pollution is clear as we all are witnessing its devastating impacts on human health, environment, and biodiversity as well as the economy” stated Ms. Elaine Conkievich, UNDP Mongolia Resident Representative. Ms. Conkievich also expressed her gratitude to the EU for their funding and the opportunity to implement the project.
On 29th Sep 2021, the project was officially launched in Mongolia with a virtual inception workshop during which a multisectoral dialogue was held on environmental threats such as pollution and its implication on public health. The workshop was attended by diverse key stakeholders, including representatives from the Government of Mongolia and its related agencies, NGOs from civil society, donor organizations, academia, UNDP, and other UN agencies.
The event opening speech was given by Mr. Erdembileg Ts, the State Secretary of Ministry of Health of Mongolia. Mr. Erdembileg highlighted the importance of the project as the environmental pollution is becoming an ever-pressing issue in Mongolia and stated that “When it comes to improving the environment and public health, multisectoral cooperation and coordination is a vital component” and expressed his willingness to further collaborate during the project implementation phase.
The project directly contributes to advancing the Sustainable Development 2030 Agenda as the environment-health-pollution nexus represents a set of issues which pose both a challenge,if not fully addressed, and an opportunity for accelerating progress across the majority of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Investing in this nexus can catalyze multiple medium- and longer-term benefits at the local and global level. The project will also ensure that national plans for multisectoral action at the nexus of health and environment are aligned with country specific SDGs targets and monitored accordingly.
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