Selenge Aimag’s Efforts to Expand ForestsSociety
Ulaanbaatar, May 5, 2023 /MONTSAME/. Mongolia has about 18.6 million hectares of forestland occupying 11.8 percent of the country’s total land area. Selenge aimag, has 1.9 million hectares of forests, which is a large part of northern boreal forests that account for about 85 percent of the national forest estate across fourteen aimags.
On April 29, delegations led by Minister of Environment and Tourism B. Bat-Erdene, Director-General of the Forestry Agency B. Oyunsanaa worked in Selenge aimag and held a meeting with representatives from the Environmental Department of Selenge aimag, Department of Meteorological and Environmental Monitoring, Kharaa Intersoum Forest Unit, Intersoum Forest Unit in Selenge region, and the Management of Tujiin Nars Protected Area.
Tujiin Nars /pine forest/ is the southeastern end of the Siberian taiga and the continuation of the Khentii mountain range. Located at an altitude of more than 620 meters above sea level, the lowest point in Mongolia, the natural park was devastated by wildfires and poachers. That is why in 2002, it was taken under state special protection.
On the sideline of the meeting, delegations exchanged views with the representatives regarding the challenges and progress of ongoing works in the field of environment and guided the way forward.
Specifically, delegations mandated officials serving for Tujiin Nars:
-To prevent Tujiin Nars from wildfires,
-To pay special attention on implementing increased tolls for entering specially protected areas,
-To address the lack of equipment for forest rangers,
-To build sanitary facilities in tourism regions within specially protected areas.
Where there were only a few pines left in the sandy soiled land more than a decade ago, there is now a pine forest – Tujiin Nars. Although the forest was initially estimated to be 70 percent extinct, it has now been fully restored. Over a period of ten years (from 2003 to 2014), a total of 10,130,000 pine seedlings were planted on 3,250 hectares of land to support the restoration of the forest.
Furthermore, the meeting touched on several issues, including the fact that the forest unit does not have its building, the Department of Meteorological and Environmental Monitoring has not been provided with the operational expenditure, as well as there is a lack of equipment for forest rangers and the need for training of state inspectors, and the construction of sanitary facilities in tourism regions within specially protected areas.
In response to solve the abovementioned issues, Minister of Environment and Tourism B. Bat-Erdene mandated:
-B. Munkhtogtokh, the Head of the Department of Sectoral Management of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, to conduct joint training sessions with the judiciary and the Prosecutor's Office for state inspectors,
-B. Oyunsanaa, the Director-General of the Forestry Agency, to tackle the building issue of the forest unit in Selenge aimag with the assistance of the Governer’s Office,
-T. Munkh-Od, the Head of the Tourism Policy and Coordination Department of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, to build sanitary facilities in specially protected areas, enforcing the required standards.
Moreover, the Minister informed that discussions are currently taking place regarding two potential actions: an investigation of the actual costs associated with the Department of Meteorological and Environmental Monitoring in Selenge aimag and the provision of off-road four-wheelers and motorcycles to forest rangers.
The Minister also expressed his interest in providing opportunities for the servants of the Department of Meteorological and Environmental Monitoring to study abroad and gain valuable experience in foreign countries. To this end, he has submitted a proposal to several international organizations in order to secure funding and support for these efforts.
Governor of Selenge Aimag Signs Cooperation Agreements
On April 29, a Consultation meeting on the implementation and achievements of the “One Billion Trees” National Campaign was held in Selenge aimag.
Over the course of the meeting, the Governor of Selenge aimag N. Lkhagvadorj signed cooperation agreements with entrepreneurs and representatives from tree nurseries and mining companies, which are a strong impetus for the successful implementation of the "One Billion Tree" National Campaign. Specifically,
-Under the project “Reforestation and Rehabilitation of the Boreal Forest in Selenge Aimag,” “Nomgon Foresty” LLC to reforest targeted areas, create a shelterbelt to protect new trees and soil from wind erosion, and plant willows along the river to stabilize the bank and enhance wildlife habitat. To that extent, 50 thousand hectares of area in Selenge aimag will be reforested using tree-planting drones, resulting in the planting of 100 million trees.
- “Bold Tumur Yuruu Gol” LLC to plant trees in 250.8 hectares of areas in Yuruu and Khuder soums, Selenge aimag every year, aiming at planting 100 million trees by 2030,
- “Darkhan Metallurgical Plant” JSC to plant 300 thousand willows along the Yuruu river, creating a shelterbelt,
- “Khutul Cement & Lime” JSC to plant 10 thousand trees per year, aiming at planting 100 thousand trees by 2030,
- Mongolia-South Korean joint “National Monitoring Center” to plant 100 million trees,
- “Bugat Nandin” LLC to plant 100 million trees using seedlings planted in tree nurseries, reforesting the degraded forest areas of Yuruu and Khuder soums.
Also, tree seedling and sapling exhibitions were held during the meeting.