The Inception Workshop on “Improving Adaptive Capacity and Risk Management of Rural Communities in Mongolia” was held via online, which was organized by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry (MoFALI) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The project is funded by a grant from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and will be providing a concrete support in implementing the Government of Mongolia's climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives.
The workshop participants were joined from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the National Agency for Water, Meteorology and Environmental Monitoring (NAMEM), the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Agency for Land Management and Geodesy and Cartography, the National Federation of Pastureland Users Groups, Representatives of non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, development partners, the Asian Development Bank's project implementation unit, four Aimags and soums’ governors, and representatives of relevant agencies, a total of about 170 people. The workshop was opened by Mrs. N. Urtnasan, Minister of Environment and Tourism (MET), Mr. Ts. Bolorchuluun, Director of the Policy and Planning Department of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Light Industry (MoFALI), Dr. Z. Batjargal, National Designated Authority of Green Climate Fund (GCF), and Mrs. Nashida Sattar, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative. The inception workshop provided information on the main goals, objectives, outcomes, results framework, GCF operating and reporting requirements, monitoring and evaluation criteria, the project implementation structure, roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders, as well as the exchange of views on project implementation, directions on how the parties would be able to collaborate.
Mrs. N. Urtnasan, Minister of MET, in her speech:
Researchers have identified Mongolia as one of the 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change due to its geographical location and extreme continental climate. Over the past 80 years, the annual average air temperature has increased by 2.25°C, annual precipitation has decreased by about 8 percent, and 76.9 percent of the total area has been affected by desertification in certain degree. In the last 30 years, the number of livestock in our country has tripled, and the results of research have shown that pastures are overgrazed. In line with this, it is necessary to reduce desertification and land degradation, protect biodiversity, and create sustainable livelihoods for herders by developing sustainable management of the livestock sector and creating a system to adapt for changing climate. She noted that the project would make a significant contribution to address these challenges, and thanked the Green Climate Fund, a funder of the project, and the co-implementing parties, MET, MoFALI and UNDP.
Dr. Z. Batjargal, National Coordinator of GCF:
The project stands out in many aspects, including the amount of investment, the scope of the issues covered, the novelty of the methods used, and the level of technology being introduced. Previous projects have focused on mitigating climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), but this is the first project to focus on climate change adaptation. It is a project in which the government raises funds from its own and other sources as a co-financier of the fixed assets provided by GCF. This is the first project developed by the Government of Mongolia in cooperation with UNDP which was submitted to GCF for approval. He stressed that the project goes beyond the responsibilities of one sector and one ministry and requires the highest level of inter-sectoral coordination and collaboration amongst the project implementing unit and four Aimags, Soums governments and associated parties.
Mrs. Nashida Sattar, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative:
By implementing this project, the use of climate information in water resource management and agricultural planning will help the sector to improve sustainable management by increasing productivity in the agricultural and livestock sectors, strengthening the access to markets while help Mongolia to achieve its goals under the Paris Agreement. Despite the involvement of MET, MoFALI, NEMA, NAMEM, Local Governments, Agency for Land Management, Geodesy and Cartography (ALaMGaC), the participations of other various stakeholders such as herders, groups of resource users, local and international organizations and associations of the livestock product value chain are important in order to implement the project successfully.
Ts. Bolorchuluun, Director of the Policy and Planning Department of the MoFALI, said:
Desertification, ecosystem degradation, increasing natural disasters, and their associated impacts are major challenges to the sustainable development of pastoral livestock. As herder households are most vulnerable to the risks, scale, and impact of climate-related natural disasters, it is important to take appropriate responses to protect and support the livelihoods of rural people. Our ministry will pay much attention to the successful and efficient implementation of this project, and the Aimag and Soum authorities and specialists should be actively involved.
The project will be implemented in Dornod, Sukhbaatar, Zavkhan, and Khovd aimags between 2021 and 2028 with the main three objectives of building climate information integrated into land and water use planning at the national and sub-national levels, improving resilience of ecosystems and ecosystem services, and strengthening herder capacity to access markets for sustainably sourced, climate-resilient livestock products.