Speaker Series – Sanchir Jargalsaikhan
June 19, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Environmental Governance in Mongolia: Challenges and Prospects
The biggest challenge Mongolia faces in the present is how to limit the negative consequences related to overexploitation of the environment and unsustainable use of natural resources. An effective legal system that regulates human activities is essential in achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs). Given the high dependence of Mongolia’s economy on the exploitation of natural resources, effective environmental law and policy, along with the capacity to implement those laws should be of utmost priority. Since the mid-20th century, Mongolia has seen rapid social development and industrialization in line with the Soviet Union’s modernization policy. An economy based on nomadic pastoralism was transformed towards a semi-industrial economy in a span of a few decades. As was the case with many rapidly industrialized countries of that time, environmental management practices were generally absent. Since the 1990’s, over 30 environmental laws, as well as several hundred environmental regulations and bylaws were approved. However, effective environmental governance includes, not only laws and policies, but enforcement mechanisms and bureaucratic capacity to implement the former.
Country Safeguard System (CSS) assessment is designed to tackle the above issues by taking into account intersecting environmental, economic, and political factors to gauge the effectiveness of the country’s environmental governance. Safeguards cover a variety of substantive areas in environmental and social management. It refers to a country’s “legal and institutional framework, consisting of its national, sub-national, or sector implementing institutions and relevant laws, regulations, rules, and procedures that pertain to the safeguard policy areas. More specifically, “laws, regulations, rules, and procedures on the policy areas of environment, involuntary resettlement, and indigenous people’s safeguards, and their implementing institutions” are regarded as CSS mechanisms. CSS also covers domestic legal systems, which include laws aimed at protecting the environment and natural resources and laws that protect procedural rights, including access to information and grievance procedures. Finally, it covers international safeguard standards, which are regulated by international environmental and human rights agreements. This presentation is based on a first comprehensive study that analyzes its environmental governance.
About the Speaker: Sanchir Jargalsaikhan
Sanchir is a political scientist, activist, and development policy specialist broadly concerned with the economic and political development in Mongolia and in the Global South. His main area of research focuses on, but is not limited to, problems of late and uneven development, democratization process in post-socialist countries, issues of trade, investment, extractivism, poverty and debt in the developing world. His work experience includes security studies, election observation, trade and investment, sovereign debt analysis, academic and popular publishing, as well as consultancy to Mongolian government agencies. His research experience includes guest fellowships at University of Bonn, University of Vienna, Lomonosov State University and University College London..
The American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting scholarship in Mongolian Studies. The ACMS Speaker Series are organized in partnership with the U.S. Embassy and the Natsagdorj Library and provides an important platform for researchers engaged in Mongolia to share their experiences and findings with the public. The event promotes information exchange on a variety of subjects related to Mongolia and is free and open to the public.