Environmental Change Through Participation – A closer look at how Inclusive Engagement can achieve Environmental Outcomes
15 July 2019 3:09 pm
The Environment and Development Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in collaboration with the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) published a report titled ‘Environmental Change Through Participation – A closer look at how Inclusive Engagement can achieve Environmental Outcomes’.
The publication features an article from our Working Paper Series 3 (Business and Human Rights – Learnings from Asia) on the mining sector in Mongolia written by our member Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD).
Better Environmental Regulation in the Mining Sector through Participation – Ulaanbaatar City, Mongolia
The mining sector in Mongolia has expanded dramatically over the past 30 years, bringing along environmental and social consequences impacting the livelihoods of local communities and herders. While examining land rehabilitation cases, the Mongolian Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) found that there were no guidelines to assess environmental damage. In 2005, CHRD started to use public interest strategic litigation in the context of mining focusing on: the process of mineral licenses; Environment Impact Assessment (EIA); land rehabilitation.
CHRD engaged local governments, lawyers, communities, and herders affected by mining, in conducting fact-finding missions, organizing trainings and publishing manuals. The awareness raising and capacity development activities shed light on international and national standards, as well as gaps in existing regulations. Overall, it empowered affected communities and provided them with a tool – public interest strategic litigation, to advocate for justice and accountability. The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) has supported these initiatives by connecting CHRD with a broad network of Asian environmental and human rights organizations, as well through capacity building and joint advocacy activities at the national and international levels.
CHRD advocated for the adoption of a regulation providing public participation in the conduct of EIA processes. Public interest litigation has also been instrumental in supporting advocacy activities, empowering local Governments and communities and increasing their knowledge of existing regulations. The regulation was adopted by the Ministry of Environment and Nature on 6 January 2014. From 2015, CHRD has supported the Dornod local government establishing protected areas, by conducting advocacy and lobby activities with government and parliament, including collecting signatures from 3,032 residents calling for the recognition of such areas. In May 2019, a parliamentarian
resolution declared 9 locations within 6 different local districts in Dornod protected areas, where natural resources, unique animals and plants will be preserved.
To download the PDF version of this publication, click here.