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the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), or its Board of Directors, or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the source, originality, accuracy, completeness or reliability of any statement, information, data, finding, interpretation, advice, opinion, or view presented, nor does it make any representation concerning the same.
IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CLIMATE CHANGE, THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE POORT IN MONGOLIA
By Ganjuur SARANTUYA, Ph.D, Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, Mongolia
Climate change is already a real fact in Mongolia. The results of observations at meteorological stations in Mongolia show that the country’s annual mean temperatures have risen by 2.1°C between 1940 and 2009. Scientists are warning that climate in Mongolia will continue to change dramatically during the 21st Century. Because of its specific geographical and climatic conditions, Mongolia is likely to be more heavily influenced by global climate change. The impact of climate change on the ecological systems and the natural resources would have a direct and dramatic affect on almost all sectors of the national economy and all spheres of social life, i.e. it touches all aspects of the life support system. Among these climate change challenges faced today the country which located in dry and semi-dry regions, the issue of providing the increasing demand of food in the face of climate change is getting more important. Climate change response measures will help to address the inevitable need to adapt to climate change and to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, in order to meet the requirements of Mongolia’s sustainable development strategies. Mongolia must strengthen our ability to adapt to a changing climate. The Millennium Development Goals-based Comprehensive National Development Strategy (MDG-based CNDS) of Mongolia identifies the need “to create a sustainable environment for development by promoting capacities and measures on adaptation to climate change, halting imbalances in the country’s ecosystems and protecting them”. In addition, the MDG-based CNDS includes a Strategic Objective to promote capacity to adapt to climate change and desertification, and to reduce their negative impacts. In order to address challenges relevant to developed its National Action Programme on Climate approved by the Government in 2000 and updated includes the national policy and strategy to tackle change and to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. climate change, Mongolia has Change and the programme was in 2010. The action programme the adverse impacts of climate
The Government has established an inter-disciplinary and inter-sectoral National Climate Committee (NCC) led by the Minister for Nature, Environment and Tourism, to coordinate and guide national activities and measures aimed at adapting to climate change and mitigating GHG emissions. The Climate Change Coordination Office (CCCO), under the supervision of the Chairman of the NCC, has been established by the Government, in order to carry out day to day activities related to the implementation of commitments and duties under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, to manage the nationwide activities, and to bring into action the integration of climate change related problems in various sectors. 1
Climate Change and Food Security
Current trend The Mongolian economy has been growing in recent years. However, the growth is not translated into significant reduction of poverty. According to the 2007-2008 Household Socio-Economic Survey, the poverty level stands at 35.2% in Mongolia. This means a total of 930,000 people live in poverty and 35 out of every 100 persons cannot afford to buy basic food and non-food bundle (Table 1). Table 1. Poverty level, poverty depth, consumption and GDP per capita
1990b Indicators 2000b 2006b 2007b 2008b 2015a Poverty headcount 36.3 35.6 32.2 29.3 35.2 18.0 (percent) (1995) (1998) Poverty gap ratio 10.9 11.0 10.1 8.8 10.1 6.0 (percent) (1995) (2002) Share of poorest quintile 7.5 6.3 6.4 7.2 11.0 in national consumption (2002) Per capita Gross domestic 5.1 426.2 1440.7 1758.9 2305.2 6800.0 product (at current prices, thousand tugrug) Source: à. Parliament Resolution #13 dated in 2008: About Approval of MDGs Mongolia á. HSES, NSO, 2009
The poverty level was reduced from 30.3% down to 26.9% in urban areas. At the same time it increased from 43.4% to 46.6% in rural areas. The estimate of poverty level shows an increase in the eastern and southern dry regions by 7.9-12.2%. Poverty depth, which estimates the deficit in consumption relative to the poverty line, declined to 8.8% in 2007 compared to 2006 and regressed back to 10.1% in 2008. Thus, there hasn’t been a significant reduction in poverty and inequality, and the poverty level slightly fluctuates. If this trend continues further, achieving the goal of poverty reduction will be seriously challenged. Challenges The poverty level in Mongolia has reduced by a mere 1.1 point over the last nineteen years. Halving the number of people living below the poverty line in the remaining time is thus expected to present a major challenge. Although the economic growth has not translated into significant poverty reduction, it offers opportunities for poor people to mobilize their main resource - labour. International experience shows that sufficient job generation is one of the factors leading to poverty reduction. Main reasons why the growth of Mongolian economy is not translated into poverty reduction are increasing tendency of magnitude and frequency of natural disasters associated with climate change, as well as the prevalence of low employment intensity growth, which does not allow for substantial creation of new jobs. Therefore, in order to improve the social security of the population, measures aimed at delivering through effective mechanisms the funds allocated to the natural disaster management, health, education and social welfare services to the vulnerable and target 2
groups, as well as reform of the social welfare system and employment generation, need to be accelerated. Food security is not only an explicit concern under climate change; successful adaptation and mitigation responses in the agricultural sector can only be achieved within the environmental and economic sustainability goals set forth in both the UNFCCC and the Millennium Development Goals. Arable farming, animal husbandry and forestry are among the most climate-sensitive and vulnerable sectors. Therefore their production processes – whether for food, feed, fiber, beverage, or for livestock, poultry, forest products – will be heavily impacted by climate change. In the next decades, impacts in dry regions are expected to be negative, although there is still considerable uncertainty about how projected changes will play out locally, and projected impacts could also be altered by adoption of risk management measures and adaptation strategies that strengthen preparedness and resilience.
Policies and Measures on Adaptation to Climate Change in agricultural sector of Mongolia
Agricultural production is highly vulnerable even to current weather and climate variations and changes with major implications for rural poverty and for both rural and urban food security. The challenges posed by climate change to agriculture and food security require an approach that links knowledge and expertise with action in rural and urban food security. More frequent and more intense, extreme weather will have adverse immediate impacts on food production, food distribution infrastructure, on livelihood assets and opportunities in the country, in particular in rural and remote areas. Changes in mean temperatures and rainfall, increasing weather variability will affect the suitability of land for different types of crops and natural pasture, the health and productivity of forests, the incidence of pests and diseases, biodiversity and ecosystems. Loss of arable land is likely due to increased aridity and groundwater depletion in Mongolia. Changes in agricultural production patterns will affect food security in two ways. These are: 1. Impacts on all forms of agricultural production will affect livelihoods and ability to access food. Producer groups less able to deal with climate change, such as the rural herders and farmers in the country, risk having their safety and welfare compromised. 2. Impacts on the production of food will affect food supply at national and local levels. Dry climate condition and high frequency of weather and climate related natural disasters in Mongolia will limit the possibilities of the country to meet the increased food productions. Therefore, it is important to strengthen the more resilient food supply system to changed climate condition. Climate change will worsen the living conditions of herders, farmers, forestdependent people who are already vulnerable and food insecure. Malnutrition might be increased. Rural communities dependent on agriculture in a fragile environment will 3
face an immediate risk of increased crop failure and loss of livestock. Mostly at risk are people living along dryland, Gobi deserts and mountainous regions. In general, poor people living in both rural and urban areas will be at risk of food insecurity due to loss of assets and lack of adequate insurance coverage. In the new Millennium and in the era of globalization and climate change, the new technology needs to be introduced into the most vulnerable environmental components and economic sectors to make them independent of the environment and the weather hazards, through renovation and improvement of conventional methods and approaches. Today, it is impossible to provide sustainable development without providing a correlation of economic acceleration, human growth and natural resource utility. Mongolia has formulated and implemented a sustainable development policy as the milestone of the state development strategies. The measures to reduce the adverse affects on food security of the country caused by climate change are based on impact and vulnerability assessment of climate change on the natural resources and agriculture sector. Also, new developments and amendments of policies and legal documents are required in order align them with recent climate change and the latest socio-economic development updates. The most important climate change adaptation measures and actions that are very closely related to the food security strategies of the country are focused in the following areas of agricultural sector: • • • • • Land degradation, desertification and decrease of land fertility Natural disasters and communicable diseases Animal Husbandry Arable farming Water Resources
Implementation strategy of adaptation measures
The major part of adaptation is targeted on studies and assessments of climate change impact, including evaluation of the impact of climate change, its dangers and risks and the formulation of methods and measures to mitigate it. Efficient methods and strategies are needed in the first place in order to implement an adaptation policy on climate change. Implementation strategies must include factors related to legislation, structure, finance, human resources, science and media, and coherence with other policies and strategies. Also, it is vital to assess the subjective and objective impediments to the implementation of strategy and to take into the consideration how it is correlated with other socio-economic demands, while formulating a methodology to overcome or facilitate the removal of these impediments. The sustainable development of Mongolia is largely dependent on the beneficent cooperation of the environment and the economy, while the economy is closely related with natural resources such as pastureland, animal husbandry, agriculture and natural resource utility. Adaptation technology usually requires a considerable amount of investment at the outset. On the other hand, the efficiency of adaptation measurements
is not easily recognized in the short term and it takes a tremendous amount of effort and time before visible result are achieved. Hence the priority concerns are as follows: 1. Organizing broad activities on climate change such as public awareness campaign and many other kinds of trainings among decision making authorities, farmers, the people working in the agricultural sector and the entire nation; 2. Providing herders and farmers with information and new technology; 3. Inventing technology and conducting surveys and studies oriented towards resolving the issues efficiently and to provide sustainable agricultural development; 4. Taking management actions targeted on providing coherence between surveys, monitoring and information Apart from funding, the major factors in the successful implementation of adaptation procedures are ability, willingness and the concern of the people involved with the realization process. A successful completion is guaranteed only when there is provision for public participation in the action. The herders, farmers and local communities are the first sectors to benefit from a policy of adaptation. Also, it is crucial to have the participation and assistance of experts and specialists in training, fertilization, selection and invention of new breeds and irrigation construction. Currently the importance of taking action to increase public awareness of climate change is obvious, as well as the need to increase government willingness to cooperate with NGO-s and the public, to be supported by them and provide them with adequate information.
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