On June 5th, Mongolia played host to the United Nations’ World Environment Day. President Elbegdorj spoke at the event and said that Mongolia hopes to become a leader in renewable energy. He emphasized the potential of the country to harness wind power from Mongolia’s high mountains and the Gobi. Meanwhile a day earlier, Mongolia launched a wind farm on Salhit Mountain in Tuv Province.
The Minister of Nature, Environment and Green Development, S. Oyun, also spoke at the event and mentioned that Mongolia would require payment for the use of “non-extracted resources” such as water and timber. The revenue generated from these fees she said would go to the local communities that suffered from the loss of resources and be invested in programs related to reforestation and to the restoration of lands impacted by mining activities.
Mongolian government representatives promised that the country would implement stricter regulations on mining activities so that they would not have such an adverse impact on the environment. According to the website of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Mongolia would no longer award mining concessions until the country has further investigated how to best implement sustainable development.
Eco-tourism is another way the Mongolian government plans to protect the environment.
One of the central themes of World Environment Day was a campaign by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) called “Think. Eat. Save. Reduce your foodprint.” The campaign focuses on the fact that food is wasted in enormous quantities and that that waste has a huge toll on the environment.
(Edited from Reuters and UNEP.org)