N.Battsereg: Ministry proposed taking Noyon Mountain under special protection

2015-10-29 17:41:26

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism N.Battsereg attended the weekly press meeting “Hour of Minister” to give general information on the three sectors’ issues.

Specially protected areas cover 17.4 percent of the total territory of Mongolia, which is 27.2 million hectares of land guarded by 33 protection administrations. The Ministry has been working for taking eight more areas under special protection in order to bring up the size of protected areas to 30 percent, he said.

A draft resolution has been submitted to  parliament on taking under special protection the Noyon Mountain area, occupying 11 thousand ha and crossing Bornuur soum of Tov aimag and Mandal soum of Selenge aimag, the Minister said.

Noyon Mountain is where Gatsuurt gold deposit is located. The expected mining operations in this deposit have been causing debates, for the mountain stores tombs and historic findings that date back to the Hun Empire.

He briefly spoke about the expected projects on green growth in 2015-2016, green growth policy of Mongolia, legal frameworks, policies on water and forest reserves and on tourism, as well as reduction of air pollution and waste.

On exporting Mongolia’s natural resources, the Minister touched upon the matter of cedar nuts. Ordinarily, the permissions to gather these nuts are allowed from October 15 to November 15. However, due to the early ripening this year, the permissions were granted from October 1, he said. Cedar grows in 14 soums of six aimags of Mongolia, eight of which have obtained permits to gather the nuts for factory use.

For example, he noted, Ovorkhangai’s Bat-Olzii soum has accumulated to the local budget MNT 720 million from the nut production and sales of the nuts by individuals have made revenue of some MNT 3.0 billion. Ministry will consider exporting the nuts, he went on.

Ministry will focus on reducing air pollution as much as possible from that of last year, said Mr Battsereg. The National Committee on Air Pollution Reduction has recruited the governors of Darkhan, Erdenet, Arvaikheer and Moron, where air pollution rates are at the highest.

Accordingly, obligations have been given to the local governors to reflect funding for fighting air pollution in the Citizens Khurals’ budgets.

There are 3,200 low-pressure furnaces, some 130 thousand chimneys and 400 thousand automobiles are contributing to air pollution in Ulaanbaatar. Potential solutions still need to be discussed carefully, the Minister said.