Locale : North America (English)
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image showing group of villagers View of valley scene

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 contribution to the project as environmental and social oversight consultant.

outside view of typical Mongolian yurt dwelling

view of stove chimney

Key projects supported in this way focused on property rights, peri-urban range land, 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. Our key objective was to increase the capacity for implementing the MCA-Mongolia Compact in government agencies in Mongolia.

Our responsibilities included:

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

  • Monitoring compliance of EMP implementation

  • Developing a resettlement policy framework

  • Preparation and implementation of resettlement action plans (RAPs) including compensation measures

  • Preparing hazardous waste materials management plans

  • Public consultation and stakeholder engagement

  • Needs assessment and capacity building

  • Gender integration plan

Challenges and solutions

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

Property rights

Goals included strengthening 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 also monitored social aspects during implementation of the project’s cadastral upgrading.

Peri-urban rangeland

Excessive grazing pressure near larger cities meant 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 risks. We developed a pastureland management training module for environmental officers and a compliance monitoring and assessment programme to evaluate the effects of the various components of the project such as training, 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 aim was to develop training standards and curricula for vocational education and strengthen the institutional framework to support a demand-driven vocational education system. The project also included the renovation of several buildings. We developed a framework EMP and HWMPs for building reconstruction. 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.


This project focused on non-communicable disease and injury such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, road accidents, and alcohol abuse. To support vaccination and prevention programmes, autoclaves and a number of large instruments were 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 disposal facilities, and the adherence to guidelines during the installation of new equipment.

North-South Road

This involved the completion of a 176.4km section of the road from Ulaanbaatar to the Chinese border, from Choir to Sainshand, and the design of a new 260m 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 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 the:

  • 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 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 these activities, prepared the relevant EMPs and trained project staff and producers on health and safety issues. Compliance monitoring covered the carrying out of health and safety measures in factories, waste management, the subsidy programme for energy efficient products, 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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