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15

UB Post 19-01-99

It's their year, but poverty stalks
many of Mongolia's senior citizens
BY N. OYUNBAYAR-

A s Mongolia's Year of
/\ the Elderly begins, 60
X ~ X s e r cent of Mon-
^fc's seniors live in poverty.
Tta's the figure given by
the Mongolian Seniors'
, which says the
mt should use the
year to attack
among the nation's

M9S has been designated
iMenutional Year of the
B4erN by the United Nations,
mm me Mongolian govern-
•nt has followed suit by
ng a Year of the
• fcr this country.
A mational organizing
smmmtrtK. headed by the
fame Minister, has been
sac jrec. and a budget of
50 million (U.S. fly mpMttMr «M*n. bin • m«iority,of them IIv« In powrty. Photo by 5. ENKHJARGAl
1WJH1T) Jnntrrl for events said Tsendsuren. "We need to 200,000 and Tg 500,000. and social welfare of the million restoration of the
•taodtofce year. abolish the enormous dif- But, says the Association, elderly, and a programme to Tarina sanitarium in Tov
MMgatia is home to more ferences between pension it is not nearly enough. implement this policy," he aimag, which served Mon-
rates." Still, says Tsendsuren, the said. golia's seniors in socialist
Mi ^S.OOO seniors, defined
He said the many seniors Seniors' Association does "The legal framework is times, and the establishment of
« *B coBcery as women over
who were sacked or laid off have one advantage. Unlike there. The job of organizations seniors' culture and recreation
i. : ~ i - r v e r 60. Most lost not only their jobs but the most of the country's 500 like ours is to pay attention to centres in Ulaanbaatar and all
on pensions of support of their unions or NGOs, the MSA has a con- the implementation of the aimag capitals.
i Tg 12,000 and Tg professional associations. The crete law around which to programme and the law." The national committee
5~ :- :5-$66) per Mongolian Seniors' As- lobby the government. Year of the Elderly acti- charged with organizing Year
sociation could be a unifying "There's a government vities that have already been of the Elderly events is slated
I the majority who body for the nation's seniors, policy on improving the health announced include the Tg 45 to meet this week.
: pensioners before he said.
The Association's deputy
1 5 pension-reform law
chief, L. Chuluunbat, argued
i kss than their that society was hurting itself
4 counterparts. Some by failing to draw on the
n seniors are experience and wisdom of its
cly poor. elderly citizens.
•s' Association Mongolia has a long
'tradition of respect for its
fcB afed on the government
elders. This emerges most
- • -; - - ~ _ m pension forcefully at Tsagaan Sar, the
m*m » Tg 30,000 (S33) per lunar new year, when all
^•fc-Araesentonly 18,000 Mongolians pay respect to
mmjif receive pensions of their seniors.
mmrmm Tg 30,000 monthly. Business lay on parties
-jsociation'shead,J. and gifts for their senior Mongol Messenger 28-10-98
tmmmmta, told a press con- workers. Even the President

Wasted water taking
mtooe aa veek that seniors personally greets the nation's
30 or so centenarians.
And seniors do receive a
ec BZ k« Mocgolia's transi-
number of concessions, in-
•• » a capitalist economy,
i who were
i state-owned
; collapsed often
cluding the right to free or
subsidized public transit and
some free medical treatment.
Veterans also receive one-
a toll on Ulaanbaatar
time payments of between Tg Hydrologists report that of water reserve and 6.1 million
Ulaanbaatar's water table has been cubic metres of water depth.
reduced by 30 percent over the In related news, an ongoing
past 30 years due to human impact. project to drill 45 new wells in
One expert reports that an central and southern regions is in
typical household uses 350 litres its second stage. The three year
of water a day, most of which is project is assisted by the UNDP,
wasted. Other impacts are the governments of Austria and
deforestation and erosion from Holland and the Swedish
mining and logging. It is estimated International Development
that Mongolia has 34.3 cubic km agency.
16

UB Post 22-10-97

Week-long campaign puts poverty
in the national spotlight
The United Nations has Asian Development Bank, single mother of four, The principle of tN
called poverty the world's it has implemented 900 received a loan of Tg loan is to pay 20 per cert
most pressing problem. projects throughout the 650,000 four months ago. back in the second yeal
And according to the UN- country. She works as a crafts- 30 per cent in the! 1C thirt
II M"
backed Mongolian Human The key to those woman making jewelry ntinW
year and 50 per cent in 1
Development Report, pub- projects is microcredit - from silver, copper, brass fourth year.
lished last month, poverty small loans designed to and leather. "The purpose of thi
in this country is on the help poor families, She has been able to week-long campaign is tt
rise. especially those headed by buy a two-room house prove that poverti
That was the sobering women, start small with a yard, and can now eradication is possible
message delivered by rep- businesses. pay her daughter's there is the will," sa ;
resentatives of the B. Chuluuntsetseg, a university tuition fees. South.
Mongolian government
and the United Nations
Development Programme
at the October 17 launch IB Post 11-11-97
of Poverty Eradication
Week, which runs through
October 24.
"Today there are 1.3
Mongolia needs emergency
billion people in the world
living on less than $1 a food aid, says report
day," said UNDP spokes- Mongolia's food-supply Union, Mongolia produced Japan.
person David South. crisis is serious enough to sufficient cereals - mostly Grain production - con-
According to the UN's call for emergency food wheat — to meet domestic centrated mainly in the six
research, poverty in Mon- aid, says a report by the demand and even to ex- aimags of the Central
golia increased 40 per cent United Nations' Food and port. Agricultural Region (0-
between 1990 and 1996. Agriculture Organization. But both crop yields rkhon, Tov, Bulgan,
It estimates 19.6 per cent An FAO mission to and area harvested have Darkhan, Ovorkhangai and
Mongolia in September and plummeted since then. Selenge) - is a vulnerable
of Mongolians are poor.
October assessed the The 1996 harvest was 70 sector.
In addition to
country's food-supply sit- per cent lower than pre- Fertilizers and insect-
highlighting the problem of 1990 levels. icides have not been used
uation, which special at-
poverty, the week is also tention to the crops sector. The FAO report fore- in several years, and the
intended to showcase the Its conclusions are so- casts the 1997 harvest at good harvest this year is
work of the National bering. 282,000 tonnes - 28 per due largely to favourable
Poverty Alleviation Pro- One in four children is cent higher than in 1996, precipitation.
gramme. chronically under- but still only 40 per cent Mongolia's flour mills
Launched in 1994 in nourished. And while Mon- of 1990's harvest. are working at oniy 50 per
collaboration with the UN, golia doesn't face the The reliance on im- cent capacity.
the World Bank and the threat of widespread fam- ported cereals is creating "The future of grain
ine, it "now faces a serious a dangerous situation. For production looks bleak,"
food deficit and only pro- the 1997-98 marketing says the report, without
duces some 60 per cent of year, the report predicts a substantial investment in
its estimated cereal 90,000-tonne shortfall machinery, chemicals,
needs." between requirements and marketing, training and
And the report warns imports, "for which the research.
of "a growing population country needs emergency The report has warn-
of vulnerable, low-income and programme food as- ings, too for the livestock
people who have been sistance." sector, which accounts for
experiencing a dramatic fall It calls upon the Nat- 88 per cent of Mongolia's
in nutritional standards due ional Poverty Alleviation agricultural production.
to a major deterioration in Programme to find 23,000 Crumbling infrastructure,
their economic circum- tonnes of emergency food cuts to veterinary services
stances." aid for society's poorest, and a decline in fodder
The study paints a as well as 67,000 tonnes production are creating an
picture of an agricultural of programme food aid. increasingly vulnerable
sector in dire straits. It In 1996, the country situation for the nation's
notes that, before the received 6236 tonnes of herders.
collapse of the Soviet food aid, largely from
17

UB Post 20-10-98
Week
shines the
spotlight
on poverty
According to the United
Nations-backed Mongolian
Human Development Report,
one in five Mongolians is poor.
Since the democratic transition,
poverty has been rising steadily
in this country.
The government of Mon-
golia used the launch of the
international Poverty-Eradi-
cation Week (October 17-24)
to tout the work of its National
Poverty Alleviation Pro-
gramme.
The United Nations-
backed programme was laun-
ched in 1994 and is slated to
run until the year 2000.
Programme chief S. Onon
told reporters that NPAP has
. implemented 2600 projects
aimed at increasing the income
of the most vulnerable, as well
as job-creation, health and
education projects.
Its core activity is micro-
credit, small loans designed to
help the poor, and unemployed
start up small-scale businesses.
Since March 19%, NPAP has
distributed U.S. S2.2 million in
start-up loans, ranging from Tg
75,000 to Tg 1 million, to more
than 21,000 people.
At the launch of the week's
activities, journalists were led
on a tour of several successful
projects in Ulaanbaatar, in-
cluding a bakery and a sausage
factory in Bayangol district, a
shoe workshop in Chingeltei
district and flood barriers in
Chingeltei district constructed
by the unemployed.
"Our goal is to support, in
particular, disabled people and
poor women heads of house-
hold who have no jobs but have
the ability and desire to work,"
said Onon.
The week culminates in a
charity concert on Friday (Oc-
tober 23) at the Youth Palace
in Ulaanbaatar.
On October 26, NPAP will
present Russian jeeps to a
number of soums for use as
ambulances.
18

Mongol Messenger 22-10-97

Locals mark Poverty
Eradication Week
by B. Ihdra

Forty-year-old G.
Chuluuntsetseg has four daughters
and is head of the family.'Four
months ago she took a loan of
Tg496,000 from the National Pov-
erty Alleviation Programme's
Women's Development Fund.
By purchasing silver at the
black market and making and sell-
ing jewellery, Chuluuntsetseg has
earned Tg600,000, bought a house
and yard, and also paid for her
children's schooling. Previously
the family of five lived in a one
I room flat.
Chuluuntsetseg took the loan
over four years and is required to
pay back 20 per cent in the second
year, 30 per cent in the third year,
and the remaining 50 per cent in An exhibition and sale of small business goods was held at the
the fourth year. Elba Centre in Ulaanbaatar last week.
The success stories of the
Women's Development Fund were tre in Ulaanbaatar. Bayanzurkh district. Tsekh bor-
highlighted last week during the Included in the display were rowed TgSOO.OOO from the Fund
second annual Poverty Eradication children's clothes and shoes made in April 1996 and since then has
Week. of felt and leather, handmade car- sold goods valued at more than
To mark the occasion a media pets, traditional Mongolian boots, Tg9 million. About Tg2 million
breakfast was held at the Mongo- vegetables and sleeping bags - was spent on workers' salaries.
lian Press Institute. The ceremony made by 42 projects in seven dis- A charity concert to aid the
was attended by MP tricts. Blind Children's Kindergarten, was
Sharavjamtsiin Batbayar and Most of the other women who held on Saturday to commemorate
United Nations Resident Repre- took loans are generating a Poverty Eradication Week.
sentative, Douglas Gardner. monthly income of between An exhibition of paintings and
To honour the work of women's Tgl5,OOOandTg30,000. photographs will be displayed at
small business under the Among these, is the bed-sheet the Children's Palace (opposite
programme, a two day exhibition manufacturing Tsekh company, lo- the Bayangol Hotel) until Novem-
and sale was held at the Elba Cen- cated in the 7th region of the ber 1.
ca
o

Micro-Credit Summit Breaks new Ground
on

A. GELEGBALSAN the prime minister, who There are many nations S. Onon, head of the
informed delegates that and peoples who can be Poverty Alleviation
any micro credit system saved from poverty by the Program Office (PAPO)
Mongolia's first micro- had to be carefully introduction of presented a profile of her
credit summit was held monitored. appropriate micro credit organization and the
June 2 5 / 2 6 at Nuht "This micro credit loan projects. I would potential of micro credits
tourist complex near system has to be used as hope that Mongolian to the delegates.
Ulaanbaatar.The summit a means of increasing delegates participating in President Bagabandi
opening was attended by standards of living across this summit will sign an also sent a message of
Prime Minister the country, not just a ambitious declaration, support to the summit,
Enkhsaikhan, head of the method of loaning money which was one of the wishing the delegates
In Hural Economic and having it returned decisions taken at the every success. The
Standing Committee Da. within a given time span. February '97 Washington summit was broadcast on
Ganbold, head of the A sophisticated system of DC summit. I wish the the Internet. Health
Social Policy standing distribution needs to be delegates luck and Minister Zorig and
committee H. Hulan, employed, with careful success". Gardner also Douglas Gardner signed a
Health Minister L. Zorig, monitoring by the spoke in his own microstart pilot micro
Minister of Agriculture L. government of exactly capacity, saying credit project on June
Nyamsambuu and UNOP how the money is being Mongolia's natural 26th, which will target low
Resident Representative utilized". UNDP resident resources "have the income Mongolians and
Douglas Gardner. Also in representative Douglas potential to develop the especially women. It will be
attendance were Orlando Gardner reiterated a national economy. But the used to "strengthen the
Sakei and Fazael Hussein, message sent to summit most important aspect is capacity of a range of local
who are international participants by UNDP development of human organizations, including
micro credit advisors, headquarters administrator resources. The aim of this PAPO. UNDP has agreed bouglas Gardner & Health Minister Zorig signing th« micro'credH pilot project
delegates from the World James Speth, which summit is to improve the to invest an initial $1 stablishment of loan operating on loans issued delegates attended stated its aim to develop
Bank, Asian Development described the summit as living standards of the million in the pilot study. unds in rural areas and by micro credit projects". international micro credit micro credit systems
Bank and the International nother "encourages There's also an emphasis seminar in Washington amongst 100 million of
"one method of elevating poorest members of the A national micro credit ooperation between on training .locals to DC in February. The the poorest people in the
Monetary Fund. More the poor from their low Mongolian community. To declaration was also tate and private manage micro credit delegates signed a micro world before the year
than 100 delegates from standard-of living.Today, enable them to fulfill their signed by the summit rganizations which are schemes. Mongolian .credit declaration which 2005.
Mongolia's 21 provinces poverty is one of the potential, not just to delegates. The main
were invited to and arrived reasons for conflict issue credit, but assist emphasis is future micro
at the summit. Minister between people and them in maintaining profit trends in Mongolia. Of the
Zorig opened the summit, nations and represents a and hence raising their eight objectives, one
followed by a speech from threat to global stability. own living standards". addresses the O
K)

Human
Development
ENVIRONMENT
UB Post 09-07-97

Rendering the Land Barren
country, which have
continued relentless logging
in forested areas. Soil has
been eroded and forests
destroyed in the name of
exportation. It is estimated
by environmentalists that
even if logging ceased
today, it would take 70-100
years for Mongolia's forests
to recover. Pine trees make
up a full quarter of
Mongolia's surviving
forests. There is a wood
export tax, although wood
is classified as a basic and
not luxury item. If wood
exports were subject to
luxury tax, irreversible j
damage could be avoided.
However this change of
taxation status has to be
swiftly introduced.
Once aware that duty
will be introduced on wood
exports, logging companies
will accumulate massive
stockpiles to be freighted
out of the country before
the tax change. Last year
there were approximately
386 fires across the steppe
- 173 were attributed to-
human carelessness and
altogether 2,163,600
hectares of for.est were
completely destroyed.
Damage was conservatively
estimated at Tg 1.4 billion.
Despite this destruction of
almost a quarter of
Mongolias' forests, people
are still being issued with
D. Enkhtaivan Government included majority of wood is permission to log by the
limiting wood exports in immediately exported to Environment Ministry. 1
Just over 8 percent of their annual program. The China. Consequently the square meter of wood is
Mongolia is forest. UNDP decision has been passed, price of wooden products worth around Tg 150,000
has placed Mongolia on the but not implemented. has increased - wood has in Mongolia. During this
critical list as regards natural Sustainable change has yet become a national spring between 21-32 train
wood reserves for the first to be introduced. An commodity. State sales of carriages of wood left for
time this year. estimated 1 .4 million logs to those living in ger China almost daily. The
Ten years ago an hectares of forest have been horoolols and rural districts national export of wood has
embargo on exporting wood logged in the last seven has ceased - there isn't to be stemmed while
was suggested, but over years. Ironically furniture enough wood available. Mongolia still enjoys and
ridden and the " w o o d production has slumped and Instead, new wood benefits from its natural
industry has subsequently wood factories have been exporting businesses have forest reserves.
expanded. This year that the forced to close as the vast been established across the
Violating Hie M< mi n(\
Stnl, mi and wnl« t in Imtl
m , m I, lift [I ....In [fill *lr vr|o|.in. nl , , , . 1 ml, ,m ,1,,,,, '. I ,,|. lnl, r ,, „ |
' ' "' ...... ' IH

I >«m,i.uloi| (In* itu|ut I on tlir l.nul .m.l i|- ( |H <>p|r
d
"0
inm« hat
national pride in Mongolia's
I .mm Is no monitoring
and few penalties for those
to limit • ilm% anil mi ihn
ateppe. Tho United Nation!
I
vast, unspoiled territory. who are careless with their Development Program
Even today, the country packages and bottles and Biodiversity Project, which
boasts 35 Specially although violators of the initially started in '93 is
Protected Areas, divided Specially Protected Areas hoping to receive funding
into four separate are officially penalized, this for its second phase in
categories sites according depends on the individual September. If the Global
to their natural resources, park keeper and his Environmental Facility
historical and scientific employees. Each soum comes through with the
interest and sheer natural (local administrative money, a new project
beauty. district) has its own focusing on protected
These areas are legally environmental protection areas in Sukhbaatar,
protected by the 1992 officer, but unarmed and Dornod and eastern Hentii
Mongolian constitution. with few legal powers, will start in the autumn.
The country is also known they can effectively do United Nations' Volunteers
for its air quality and lack little against wanton will assist local
of heavy industry. But damage, ranging from environmental inspectors
environmentalists are still open waste disposal to with protected area
raising the alarm illegal hunting of management and public
ncemed at stemming the endangered species. The awareness campaigns.
"tio'w of pollution before environment has long been This public awareness may
Mongolia has to combat taken for granted and there be as simple as
environmental problems are gradually signs that discouraging people from
akin to those being faced vigilance has to be called washing their cars in local
in the industrialized on. rivers, driving directly
western world. Mongolian school across the steppe and
Already, an estimated children receive no breaking the traditional
sixty percent of Mongolia's environmental training and bottles of arkhi. which all
power stations deposit alternative sources of have a limited but
their industrial waste as power have been little consistent impact.
raw sewage without burial explored, although Tov province's more sophisticated lifestyle western province mainly transportation costs are content. they are forced to transport
or processing. 64 percent ant] advanced sanitation resettle in Erdenet, high and traders make a When Gobi-Altai was water for up to 40
Mongolian companies ABE Mother Rock is a classic
and employment Darkhan and Ulaanbaatar. considerable living from first established as a kilometers from outside
of these power stations and the Renewable Energy example This natural, Altai. There have been
opportunities. Local residents have cited charging over the odds to province in 1940 there was
emit smoke which isn't Institute (REt) manufacture sacred site has been those who have no choice no discussion of how to several confirmed reports
Mongolians are economics, education,
filtered and therefore and sell solar panels. REI devastated by rubbish piled moving from their pristine health and employment as of where to purchase their supply the province with of .people draining their
contains chemicals such as prduces small 30 watt up against the brick tea rural environments .to their incentives for flour and rice. water and this has never home radiators to extract
carbon and nitrogen solar panels which can be walls surrounding the rock urban settlements, which resettling and the media The lure of a in fact been resolved. The the water inside. Local
dioxide. used in gers to generate icon. A clean up operation are now struggling to cope have joined the voices potentially ' more provincial capital Altai doctors say the provincial
Power station officials electricity and portable has stemmed the flow of with the steady human raised in protest at comfortable life tempts relies on supplies from water carries stomach and
deteriorating living people to pack up their Eson Bulag well, which liver health risks. Visitors
such as D. Bayarbaatar
(director of Ulaanbaatar
TV's or radios.
A legacy of taking the
bottles, rotting food and
paper which gathered
influx. The State Statistical
Office claims 90 percent of standards in the provinces. nomadic lifestyles and doesn't have sufficient to the province often p
M
power station NO.4) admit pristine Mongolian those moving to Those who choose to head to the uncertainty of water .reserves to supply complain of stomach
around the monument, but o
Ulaanbaatar are from remain in the provinces urban life. the population. Human upsets and diarrhea and
they are forced to use environment for granted a stench still hangs in the
western provinces, where have to face increased Then there is the numbers have diminished the doctors say many
antiquated equipment has led to carelessness and air over the rock as the as people have moved deaths have been
standards of living have prices for goods question of water. In
which can't filter pollution, damage to the countryside. rubbish slowly rots into the IOP-J traditionally been transported from the four western provinces and eastwards, although the attributed to liver and
while they have no There has been little ground. lower than the rest of the major cities and collapsing especially in Gobi-Altai the local population is stilt stomach complaints and
designated, sealed foresight and foreign Environmentalists say country. Approximately 80 local facilities. quality of water is higher than the original the blame has been laid on
dumping sites. experts have eventually one of the biggest factors percent are from Gobi- Food is often more appalling. Gobi Altai's 1940 numbers. the province's poor quality
Meanwhile, been drafted into the in Mongolia's Altai province. The expensive in the limited local water supply As a result of the of water.
Mongolians are renowned country to repair damage e n v i r o n m e n t a l residents of this one countryside than the cities- has a particularly high salt water quality, locals claim
for scattering their rubbish as Mongolians have on the deterioration is
across the steppe whilst whole been urbanization, with the
visiting rural areas. environmentally negligent consequent demands for a

Environment
22

Mongol Messenger 10-06-98

UNDP heaas Dornod
biodiversity project
By Montsame Correspondent
B. Purevsuren
The Dornod
Mongolian Steppe
Project, which fo-
cus' on sustainable
development and
protection of ani-
mals, will be
implemented by
the Mongolian
Government and
United Nations
Development
Programme
(UNDP). Project
contracts have
been signed by the
Minister of Envi-
ronment S.
Bayarsogt and UNDP Resident Represen- will provide the bulk of the financial aid
tative Douglas Gardner. for the seven-year project, contributing
The World Environment Foundation US$4.1 million; UNDP wilt assist with an
additional US$1 million.
Researchers involved with
the programme hope to cre-
ate a management plan for
the area by studying its
biodiversity. The project
also aims to improve the
lives of local people, by pro-
viding efficient ways to co-
exist with their environ-
ment.
The Eastern Mongolian
Protected Area contains
rare wildlife, minerals,
grasslands and rolling
plains. It is home to 25 spe-
cies of mammals, domi-
nated by herds of Mongo-
lian gazelle and birds in-
cluding the rare white-
naped crane.
23
IB Post 16-02-99

Tragedy strikes
teppe gazelles
LAWLESS At the request of admin-
istrators at the Eastern Mongolia
•iecuoa has Protected Area - the vast
•tBeariyallthc national park that's home to
[ban last year many of the country's gazelles
i j casern steppe. — the Environment Ministry
> the tra- has banned both commercial
i a "mff-icnn danger and household gazelle hunting
^•» of the fleet-this season.
While that suggests the
I by a government is taking the prob-
land foreign lem seriously, it's not a uni-
• found versally popular move in the
• •a*d 90 per cent area. Gazelles are an integral
E born to 1998 part of the local economy in the
I • x rrsait of necro- eastern aimags. Their skins and
. a Bin of foot rot meat are used by local residents,
illy heavy and also exported to China.
i August The meat of the animals - A fee* totelteft ha* liliM *e*i**«l* *iptB«if«wMgng
r-wfckh causes considered plentiful and easy to Bf»»*MM»S, •
r iBtition that kill - is even used to feed
•i walking prisoners and border troops in
9 blamed for the area.
t Dumber of "People do poach, and that's
; through a problem," says Enkhbold.
"Government organizations
predict have a budget to buy livestock Mongol Messenger 24-02-99
mortality for food. But they save money
s over the by using gazelles.

Results of biological
"Atjd some big companies
•'»••& mniiver- that do commercial hunting are
•Bfal B 73 mil- not happy.
"The aimag, soums and the

diversity project to
ps S. Enkhbotd, a
B«KB*st with the Protected Area all have inspec-
ffc Biodiversity tors. But, especially in the
CiBiirrl Sations- scums, the rangers lack petrol
•hidi is moni- or money to get around."
popuUtion
JBJ arteroative
easkn-steppe
In the meantime, biologists
are pinning hope on a number
of upcoming gazelle-friendly
be discussedin May
•or there was initiatives, including an inter- The first year result of the ern part, including east and south
national research project and a "Eastern Mongolian Biological Hentii Aimag province and two
rtbe exact study of gazelle hunting by Diversity" project, being imple- other aimags, Dornod and
: result is that Germany's GTZ organization mented by the Mongolian Minis- Sukhbaatar.
taac;.otBg-age class
that's aimed at establishing try for Nature and Environment The project is being imple-
r *•» other popu- sustainable hunting levels. jointly by the United Nations De- mented with an aim to improve
, lower than They say further monitoring velopment Programme (UNDP) management of Mongolia's strictly
t »e expected." will be needed before they can and the Worldwide Nature and protected areas, simultaneously
rfMvs exactly how say whether hunting can be Environment Foundation will be giving support to people, residing
*s-ME Mongolia's resumed next autumn. And they discussed in May, this year. the environs, to solve their social
. A H96 study using stress that protecting the gazelle The project, costing 6.1 mil- problems, as well, to protect bio-
I there will require an international lion US dollar, will be imple- logical diversities in the territory
effort
"What we're trying to do
mented for seven years, involving and develop the matter on proper
says the 1998 vast territory in the country's east- use of natural resources.
Mongolia's now is find out what's hap-
fcr years to pening across the border in
China and Russia, "says Sanna-
i be worried Kaisa Juvonen, a wildlife bio-
tt it's a big logist with the Biodiversity
L Two age Project
The "We're going to have a
I would have meeting in April of all three
rin three countries to talk about con-
. S* • afewyears servation issues-and what we
r a tog effect on the can do to protect the gazelles in
the border region."
24

Mongol Messenger 21-10-98

®1$A$TBR Relief
By D. Narantuya fence Office often fails to report
pertinent information. "They keep creasing world-wide, a phenom-
At the beginning of this de- it a secret,"from
said Ts. Shagdarsuren, ena which has been influenced
cade, the United Nations an- a reporter Mongolian Radio.
A Civil Defence Office repre-
significantly by human impact.
nounced to the world that the sentative Despite its remote location and
1990's would be the 'International sive. "Wethen went on the defen- sparsely populated land, even
Decade for Natural Disaster Re- tion when there istoagive
refuse informa-
cause for na-
Mongolia has been severely af-
duction.' Each year would carry tional security. For example, the fected by hum°n influenced natu-
its own theme and slogan. 1998 Fall marmot plague could not be ral disasters.
was branded 'Natural Disaster publicised Mongolian disasters include
Prevention and the Media.' until we had detailed drought - the worst recorded
and valid information," he said. years being 1945,1955 and 1968.
With the slogan "Prevention Observers note that specialised More than a million livestock
begins with information," the journalism is developing in Mon- were lost during these three years.
idea is that journalists can play golia, including environmental
an active roll in saving lives by journalism. Yet many are critical In 1993, a drought coupled with
educating people through their that the field is young in Mongo- heavy snow killed 840,000 head
medium. of livestock, a Tgl.4 billion loss.
lia and poorly developed. For this
This message was discussed reason, Fire has also been a hazard in
on October 14 - the international a handbook it has been confirmed that Mongolia, 1065 blazes have been
dedicated to the sub-
day for natural disaster reduction. ject will be released. triggered over the past 15 years,
Representatives from Mongolia's destroying 20 percent of forest
United Nations office hosted a latedEnvironmentalists
that natural
have calcu-
disasters are in-
lands. The Spring fires of 1996
caused Tg32.6 billion in losses.
round table discussion with me-
dia to mark the occasion.
Former Minister of Environ-
ment and current advisor to the
same ministry Ts. Adiyasuren in-
dicated that Mongolia must stop
waiting for disasters to happen
and then cleaning up. Rather, it
should plan ahead and create di-
saster prevention programmes.
He added that the media can
greatly assist with this campaign.
"The media has a tendency to
inform the public of an event af-
ter it happens," said one represen-
tative. Journalists at the meeting
admitted that there is intense
competition to report on sensa-
tional events, but little motivation
to inform the public on preven-
tion measures.
The discussion had its share
of confrontations. One journalist
complained that the Civil De-
Mongolia's earthquake plans: are they shaky at best? 3
-0
O
By Jill LAWLESS The Civil Defense Board is ards were introduced in 1960, but defense plan. Bui when prcswd
Earthquakes in Mongolia, 1964-1995 the guardian of Mongolia's enforcement fell apart in the early for details, he says ihe plan i ,

T
he January 10 earthquake National Emergency Plan. Of- 1990s. So many new buildings secret. Getting details requires
in northern China, which ficials there are reluctant to give are structurally shaky, and un- permission from the Ulaanbaatur
killed 10 people and left details about the nation's regulated apartment renovation . mayor's olTice.
as many as 50,000 homeless, set disaster-relief scheme. could be harming older resi- Mongolia also needs new
off aftershocks in Mongolia. "We have a plan of measures dential buildings. earthquake-monitoring equip-
The tremor, whose epicentre which will be taken in the event "We need special con- ment. The Astronomy and
was located 180 kilometres of an earthquake," says Bold- struction for buildings in Ulaan- Geophysical Centre has 16 moni-
northeast of the Inner Mongolian baatar, a senior trainer at the baatar," notes Ulziibat. He says toring stations around the
capital of Hohhot, triggered a CDB. "This plan covers the enforcement at the moment is, country - but only four of them,
series of small quakes, measuring country as a whole, as well as "not so good. If we have a major installed since 1994 with French
two to three on the Richter Scale, each aimag." earthquake. I think there will be aid, give data in real-time. The
that were picked up by seis- ——country But the plan dates from the many damaged and destroyed others take a week to get in-
mological stations in this *. station days of- central planning and buildings. formation back to Ulaanbaatar.
country. - M<=3.0 centralized authority. "It needs to "Just now we are beginning "The Americans are be-
Alongside the physical rip- « M-3.5 be changed," admits Boldbaatar. new work to make an assessment ginning to be able to predict
ples, it raise's troubling questions O M=4.0 The United Nations De- of buildings - are they OK or not earthquakes using GPS tech-
for Mongolia, an earthquake- O M=5.0 velopment Programme's Disast- OK? The Building Construction nology to study the movement of
prone country with a shaky O M=6.0 er Management Project is work- Institute has equipment to check faults,'.' notes Ulziibat. "We need
physical and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e O ing with the Civil Defense Board whether buildings are OK or not research in this area, so we know,
infrastructure. on a disaster-management for earthquakes. So we'll see in if there is an earthquake of 6.5
Mongolia has a busy and The map shows the frequency and Intensity of quakes fn Mongolia. database that will help set the three or four years." or 7, how will we protect Ulaan-
active earthquake history. In this framework for a new disaster- "We have a detailed account baatar?
century, the country has ex- ronomy and Geophysical Centre not so many people," says Ulzii- there are some dangerous regions preparedness plan. But the pro- of the damages that will be Still, he confesses excitement
perienced five quakes measuring of the Mongolian Academy of bal. "In the 1957 earthquake, near Ulaanbaatar. In 1967, there ject has yet to produce concrete incurred and how people will be at the prospect of a major quake.
seven or higher on the Richter Sciences, with something like only 10 people died." was a large earthquake mea- results. affected by earthquakes for every "It's my job. I like big earth-
Scale. Those rank as large earth- pride. But if a large quake hit suring 7.2 on the Richter Scale And what if a major quake district of Ulaanbaatar," says quakes."
quakes - this month's quake in The most recent big quake Ulaan-haatar, it would be a 300 kilometres from Ulaan- does hit Ulaanbaatar? Ulziibat Boldbaatar of the capital's civil
China, by comparison, rated 6.5. was in 1991, when a tremor different story. Mongolia's capi- baatar." says buildings constructed before
Two of the quakes measured measuring 6.5 hit Khovsgol tal does not lie in the country's Two major fault lines slice 1960 were not built with
higher than eight - the very top aimag. ' most earthquake-active zone, but through Mongolia - one in the earthquake-proofing in mind.
end of the earthquake scale. A Mongolia's sparse and scat- it does sit on several faults. Gov-Altai mountains in the That means many of the city's
quake in the Gov-Altai moun- tered population prevented these "Normally in Ulaanbaatarwe southwest, the other in the Bulnai best-known landmarks —
tains in 1957 reached 8.2. major earthquakes from amas- don't have large earthquakes, but mountains in the northwest. including Government House,
"That's very large —r the sing huge death lolls. we have some small ones," says These are sparsely populated the Opera and Ballet Theatre and
whole world knows about this "There was not much death Ulziibat. areas - but they're also remote, the Drama Theatre - could be
earthquake," says M. Ulziibat, a or many destroyed buildings, "Although Ulaanbaatar has whtch makes disaster relief a levelled by a severe quake.
research worker with the Ast- because in Mongolia there are not had any big earthquakes. potential nightmare. Earthquake-proofing stand-

00

Environment
26

UB Post 06-10-98

Quake rattles a
sleeping UB
U laanbaatar residents
were shaken from
their sleep at 4 am on
September 25 when a mod-
thought I was going to wake
up in a pile of bricks."
Engineers warn that many
Ulaanbaatar buildings cannot
erate earthquake struck cen- withstand a severe quake.
tral Mongolia. Buildings constructed before
The tremor, centred on 1960 were not earthquake-
the border of Deren and Del- proofed, and those built or
gertsogt soums in Dundgov renovated after 1990 are often
aimag, approximately 250 not up to standard.
kilometres south of the Although Ulaanbaatar
capital, measured 5 on the does not He in the most earth-
Richter scale. quake-prone region of Mon-
It was felt in the aimag golia, it does sit on several
capital of Mandalgov and faults. And the country as a
across Ulaanbaatar. Minor whole lies in an active earth-
damage to buildings was quake zone.
reported in Deren and In this century, Mongolia
Detgeiitogt soufhceritres anrf h'B*experTerice3Tfve major
in Mandalgov, where the quakes measuring seven or
aimag administration offices, higher on the Richter scale.
library and a school suffered Two of them measured more
cracks. than eight - the very top end
Ulaanbaatar emergency of the earthquake scale.
services reported only three The closest of the big
calls to ambulances during quakes to the capital was
the quake. In the most serious centred 300 kilometres from
incident, an already ill old Ulaanbaatar.
man died during the quake. Earlier this year, an of-
Another tremor, also ficial with the Civil Defense
measuring 5 on the Richter Board admitted to the UB
scale, struck between Dar- Post that Mongolia's outdated
khan and Erdenet at 11 am on National Emergency Plan,
September 25. which dates from the days of
Seismologists say it is central planning, "needs to be
unlikely the tremors are pre- changed."
cursors to a bigger quake. But change is slow in
Mongolia plays host to fre- coming. A plan by the Build-
quent, albeit frequently small, ing Construction Institute to
earthquakes. check the earthquake-
But the tremor has start- proofing standards of UB's
led many Ulaanbaatar resi- buildings will take several
dents into thinking about the ears to complete.
impact of a major quake on The United Nations De-
Mongolia's capital city. velopment Programme's
. "It shook our building," Disaster Management Project
said one Sansar resident. "It aims to work with the CDB
was scary, I tell you." on a disaster-management
"Car horns were going .database and a new disaster-
off, dogs were barking," said. preparedness plan. But it is
another apartment-dweller. "I still in the preliminary stages.
27
Mongol Messenger 14-01-98

MAP-21 programs:
setting the standard
By Laura Ryser
Since its creation in May
1996, the Mongolian Action
Programme tor the 21st
Century (MAP-21) has
promoted sustainable
development in Mongolia.
The Capacity 21/United
ons Development
Project (UNDP) project is
creating a national strategy
tad has implemented three
pilot projects and twenty-
one small projects
throughout the country.
Sustainable devel-
opment can be promoted
•rough equal access to jobs,
education, and social
services. It is also enhanced
through a sustainable use of
natural resources, while
protecting the integrity and A stich in time: Residents of Mandalgobi, Dundgobi Aiamg,
sability of the environment. learn to sew through a MAP-21 small project.
A draft of the MAP-21 Mongolia's strengths in and a greenhouse, is an for sustainable development
report was issued last August m i n i n g and agriculture, attempt to improve the water in Mongol ia. The forum will
and is expected to be although recognising that supply which has been also be open to the general
completed by May of this productivity needs to be polluted by agricultural, public,
- The document is increased. There are also waste. Local people are The backbone to MAP-
Mongolia's response to the many weaknesses that the being trained in straw-bale 21 projects is rural
1992 Rio Declaration document will attempt to construction, composting, development.
; :ed by the United address. and sustainable agriculture When rural aimags
N a t i o n s Commission on A costly energy sector practices. become more self sufficient,
Environment and Devel- can be improved by A MAP-21 small project pressure will be taken off the
opment. developing clean burning in Dundgobi focuses on capital, which has suffered
The report is expected to stoves for gers, ana training youth in various from an influx of rural
help leaders and citizens encouraging the construc- skills including sewing, shoe people in search of better
focus on steps that will tion of straw-bale energy making, carpentry, and hair life. This issue has created
determine the future of efficient buildings. dressing. Products are sold intense competition for
Mongolia. Consultants and locally to help pay for the housing, jobs and social
Under the project, each researchers have suggested costs of teacher salaries and services.
aiaug will develop their. developing a petrochemical raw materials for training. The Mongolian Action
r*Ti Aimag Action Plan.' industry to develop oil and MAP-21 has also Program for the 21st
The agenda 21 process gas reserves to be used as developed the Aimag Action Century is funded by UNDP
will also help Mongolia substitutes for expensive Development Fund, with and the Capacity 21
coring its economic foreign energy imports. loans of up to US$5,000 to initiative.
i i t i o n to a market pne of MAP-21's pilot be given for selected
economy. The document projects is the Urban projects. Training in
will be a reflection of the Sustainable Agricultural managing and repaying the Laura Ryser gradu-
background of our nomadic Settlement Project which loans will be provided for ated from the University
people who are settling into enhances waste manage- the chosen participants. of Northern British Co-
a dmerent style of life. ment while providing One of MAP-21's goals lumbia in Canada and is
"We need to know how fertilizer. is to improve public in Mongolia on an in-
ID Make Mongolia a more The fertilizer and awareness and participation
.rsdustrialized country, to greenhouse demonstration in sustainable development ternship from the Sus-
complement our traditonal project is located in activities. tainable Development
[•i>n ijrtir society," said Gaachurt - 20 kilometers In the February 5-7 Research Institute. She is
MAP-21 National Coord- outside of Ulaanbaatar. youth eco-forum, young working with the UNDP
:=ator, Mr Khuldorj. The project, which people will be asked to environmental team on
The document considers includes two straw-houses contribute their own ideas the MAP-21 project.
28

UB Post 26-05-98

Forest fires: a
community response
By A. DELGERMAA cent for China. Yet Mongolia
exports wood to all these coun-

M
ongolia's forest cover tries.
is shrinking every In addition to working out a
day. The devastation disaster-management scheme to
has crept up on the country. reduce the damage caused by
Forest fires are an annual event, natural disasters - in part by
and logging is a longstanding setting up an information net-
tradition. work at the Civil Defence De-
But the devastating fires of partment to provide quick access
1996, which scorched 10.5 to information — the UNDP
million hectares of forest and project targets community-based
pasture in 16 aimags, woke the reforestation.
country up to the urgent need for Community forestry is new
a disaster-management plan, and to Mongolia, but has proved
for some way to fix the damage. highly effective in Southeast
In the wake of the 1996 fires, Asia. It's aimed at increasing
the United Nations Development public participation in pre-
Programme and the Ministry of venting fires and protecting the
Nature and the Environment forest.
established a U.S. $329,000 In 1997, the pilot com-
project to address the economic munity reforestation project
and ecological cost of the fires. covered 147 hectares of forest in
While the years since 1996 Arkhangai aimag and 124 hec-
have not been quite so deva- tares in Selenge aimag - a start,
stating, fires in 1997 and 1998 but still a drop in the bucket.
have damaged 5 million hectares Four groups consisting of up
of forest and pasture land.
to 22 families in Arkhangai and
And unrestrained and often
Selenge aimags have been au-
illegal logging continues to
thorised to run forest-related
shrink Mongolia's forest cover.
business, such as picking
Forests officially cover 7.5 per
berries, tax-free in return for
cent of Mongolia's territory,
carrying out environmental
though the unofficial figure is
around 12 per cent. That com- protection and fire-prevention
pares to 66.2 per cent for Japan, measures and reforestation.
65.1 per cent for South Korea, The problem is that land is
44.9 per cent for Russia, 30 per not privately owned in Mongolia
cent for Germany and 13.6 per - so most people fee! they have
a right to use the foresi as they
like.
"In other countries, land is
owned by people," notes project
consultant Arnold Ahlback. "In
Mongolia they are allowed to
use the land. But that is nearly
an ownership."
He is enthusiastic about the
future of community forestry,
but underlines the importance of
proper guidance and financing
to lay the foundation
The project's term finishes
at the end of this year "But the
draft programme of national
disaster reduction would guide
future activity in the field."
emphasises J. Batbayar, the
project's national co-ordinator.