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MCA-Mongolia Compact environmental and social oversight

We provided continuous support over five years as environmental and social oversight consultant for the Millennium Challenge Account Mongolia (MCA-M), set up between the US and Mongolian governments to reduce poverty through economic growth.

At the official closing ceremony of the MCA-M our team received a Recognition Award for our significant contribution to the project as environmental and social oversight consultant.

outside view of typical Mongolian yurt dwelling
MCA-Mongolia Compact
MCA-Mongolia Compact Key projects supported through our environmental and social oversight consultancy included property rights and peri-urban rangeland.

view of stove chimney
MCA-Mongolia Compact
MCA-Mongolia Compact The Millennium Challenge Energy Efficiency Innovation Facility (MCEEIF) provided consumer subsidies for the purchase of energy efficient and cleaner burning stoves and energy saving products for yurts and homes.

Key projects supported in this way focused on property rights, peri-urban rangeland, vocational education, health, energy and environment and the north-south road project.

The Environmental and Social Oversight (ESO) officer of MCA is responsible for oversight of environmental and social compliance and monitoring of the programme. Mott MacDonald, as ESO Consultant (ESOC), provided support to the ESO officer. Key objectives were to increase the capacity for implementing the MCA-Mongolia Compact in government agencies in Mongolia.

Our responsibilities as ESOC included:

  • Preparation of environmental impact assessments (EIA) and framework environmental management plans (EMPs)

  • Compliance monitoring of EMP implementation

  • Development of a Resettlement Policy Framework

  • Preparation and implementation of Resettlement Action Plans (RAPs) including compensation measures

  • Preparation of Hazardous Waste Materials Management Plans (HWMP)

  • Public consultation and stakeholder engagement activities

  • Needs assessment and capacity building

  • Gender integration plan

Challenges and solutions

Our activities covered the six main projects. For each project we developed a comprehensive compliance monitoring programme for all aspects of the EMPs. To increase their effect, we organised training sessions for MCA-Mongolia project staff and contractors. The six projects were then handed over to the Mongolian government.

Property Rights The goals were the strengthening of the cadastral system to improve the registration and transferring of land rights and the granting of 75,000 land titles to suburban landholders. We carried out public consultations, developed a framework EMP and HWMPs for building renovations. We carried out various monitoring visits during the renovation period to ensure compliance with health and safety and hazardous waste management regulations. We monitored social aspects during implementation of the project’s cadastral upgrading activities.

Peri-Urban Rangeland Due to excessive grazing pressure near the larger Mongolian cities an improved land management system was required. The project introduced a long-term leasing system covering 398 tracts of rangeland. We carried out baseline investigations via public consultations and environmental assessments, and developed environmental and social plans to avoid or mitigate environmental and social risks. We developed a pastureland management training module for environmental officers as well as a compliance monitoring and assessment programme to evaluate the effects of the various components of the project such as training programmes, the effect of well drilling, the effect of fencing on wildlife migration, third party grazing rights, the lawful procurement of wooden building materials, herder group membership and gender issues.

Vocational Education The goal was the development of training standards and curricula for vocational education and the strengthening of the institutional framework to support a demand-driven vocational education system. The project also included the renovation of various buildings. We developed a framework EMP and HWMPs for building reconstruction. building. We monitored adherence to health and safety regulations and hazardous waste management instructions during building renovation, and developed a compliance monitoring programme for health and safety for classroom and practical training. The implementation of our Gender Integration Plan had specific significance, given the age of the students and its importance for career development.

Health This project focused on non-communicable disease and injury (such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, road accidents, alcohol abuse). To support vaccination and prevention programmes, autoclaves and a number of large instruments were to be installed. A framework EMP was developed to ensure adherence to building guidelines and compliance with national medical waste management regulations. Training of medical waste management managers was implemented and a medical waste management handbook produced. Compliance monitoring for this project covered the monitoring of the effect of the training, correct handling of medical waste including preparation of adequate disposal facilities, and the adherence to building guidelines during the installation of new equipment.

North-South Road Comprised the completion of a 176.4 km section of the road from Ulaanbaatar to the Chinese border, from Choir to Sainshand, and the design of a new 260 m bridge over the Tuul riverand the adjoining road. We developed an EIA and EMPs, a Resettlement Policy Framework and a Resettlement Action Plan in conformity with World Bank Operational Plan 4.12. Compliance monitoring covered such issues as avoidance of involuntary resettlement, the environmental effects of excavations, mineral oil product handling, health and safety of road workers including awareness of human trafficking, and safeguarding of artefacts in ancient burial sites.

Energy and Environment Consisted of three activities:

  • Millennium Challenge Energy Efficiency Innovation Facility (MCEEIF), providing consumer subsidies for the purchase of energy efficient and cleaner burning stoves and energy saving products for yurts and homes, and providing assistance to greening of the city and neighbourhood heating.

  • Wind power electricity generation activity, providing critical infrastructure upgrades for the introduction of renewable energy into the national grid and technical assistance to the establishment of a renewable energy fund.

  • Public awareness campaign, to increase consumer awareness of renewable energy, energy efficiency, benefits, timeliness and availability of subsidies, and the identity of participating partners.

We assessed the effects of the various activities, prepared the relevant EMPs and trained project staff and producers (stoves, felt for insulation and building materials) on health and safety issues. Compliance monitoring covered various issues such as carrying out of health and safety measures in factories, waste management, the subsidy programme for energy efficient products via Mongolian banks, procurement of planting materials via legal channels and monitoring of adherence to the mitigation guidelines concerning the installation of a equipment for renewable energy.

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