As market reforms to the Mongolian economy continue and the country enjoys rapid economic growth, the environment has entered a period of unprecedented pressure. Mining, infrastructure development and tourism development, in particular, are undergoing rapid expansion, and all pose risks to Mongolia's globally important biodiversity.
This report is concerned with the development of the infrastructure which is required in order to support proposed mines in Southern Mongolia. In order for the mines to be developed, it will be necessary to provide towns for the new inhabitants, road and rail links to provide supplies and to transport the mines' products to markets, and electricity for the mines' operations. Water resources need to be investigated and supplied to the mines and towns.
The report looks critically at the water resources and the current and projected future water demands in the Southern Gobi Region (SGR) using the widely dispersed data and information that are currently available. An important conclusion of the report is that almost all the significant sources of groundwater in the SGR are 'fossil' or 'non-renewable', meaning that they are finite resources which cannot be replenished. Not only will that, but pumping water out of these fosil aquifers tend to cause a drop in the groundwater levels above them.
The primary objective of the Southern Gobi Regional Environmental Assessment (REA) is to provide guidance for sustainable management of environmental resources in the future development of the Southern Gobi Region (SGR), development that will be led by rapid expansion of mining.
The economic value of the Upper Tuul ecosystem in Mongolia reports on a study carried out under the auspices of the World Bank and the Government of Mongolia. The goal of the study was to improve understanding about the economic value of the Upper Tuul ecosystem for Ulaanbaatar's water supplies and how this might be affected by different land and resource management options in the future.
The purpose of this report is to examine development trends in the Southern Gobi Region (SGR) as they affect livestock and wildlife. It provides an overview of the environment and natural resources of the region, discusses existing relationships and interactions among humans, livestock, large herbivore wildlife, and the natural resources on which they are dependent. It then explores the impact that economic development of the region is likely to have if that development does not consider the needs of the current users.
This report, Strengthening Management of Natural and Cultural Heritage Assets to Scale-up Tourism and Stimulate Local Economic Opportunity was prepared in March 2011.
Mongolia was hit hard by the global economic recession, notably the fall in commodity prices. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 1.6 percent in 2009 after growth of 8.9 percent in 2008. The country is narrowly specialized in production of a few primary goods with minerals comprising 70 percent of total exports. Since mid-2008, the prices of main export goods, including copper, zinc, crude petroleum, combed goat-down and cashmere dropped by close to or more than 50 percent, though prices of coal and gold held strong.
Mongolia has very significant natural resources and a large part of the population is dependent on them for their daily living. The impact of the state of the environment on the living standards of herders is obvious, but also Mongolians living in the capital Ulaanbaatar have learned that air pollution, especially in winter, and other environmental problems have a deep impact on their living standards. The Government of the Netherlands has established a Trust Fund at the World Bank to support environmental activities in Mongolia.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth accelerated to an unprecedented 17.3 percent in 2011 from 6.4 percent in 2010 and the unemployment rate fell from 13 percent in 2010 to 9 percent in 2011. However, real wages for unskilled workers in the urban informal sector are starting to fall as the inflation rate reached 11.1 percent year-on-year in December. Sharply rising government spending is the root cause of overheating: government spending rose by 56 percent in 2011 and is budgeted to rise by a further 32 percent this year, fueled by sharply rising resource revenues.