International Day for Biological DiversitySociety
Ulaanbaatar, May 23, 2023 /MONTSAME/. The International Day for Biological Diversity has been celebrated throughout the world since the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity on May 22, 1992. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Mongolia’s ratification of the Convention. The International Day for Biological Diversity was celebrated in Mongolia, under the theme of “From Agreement to Action: Let’s Strengthen the Protection of Biological Diversity”.
In anticipation of the Day, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism held a series of meetings on “Biodiversity and Flora,” “Biodiversity and Fauna,” “Biodiversity, Genetic Resources and Biosecurity,” and “Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation and Financing Mechanism for the Biodiversity” on May 16-22.
During the meetings, scientists and researchers presented and discussed their research and findings, and recommendations and guidelines on financing biodiversity initiatives, genetic resources, and biosecurity were issued as an outcome of each meeting.
Minister of Environment and Tourism B. Bat-Erdene said, “It is the pivotal time when it depends on us whether the many types of plants, animals, water, and natural resources of Mongolia, famous for its vast land, mountains, pristine lakes, and natural beauty, will remain the same for future generations.
Climate change has been adversely affecting not only the natural ecosystem, and biodiversity but also the agriculture sector, especially animal husbandry, leading to increased frequencies of weather-related natural disasters, such as drought, zud, snow and dust storms, and floods. So, we need to take immediate action on climate change.”
Expenditure on environmental protection of our country is financed from both the state budget and foreign aid, each accounting for 44.4% and 55.6%. From 2008-2018, expenditure on activities for protecting biological diversity stood for 0.35-0.79 percent of the state budget or 0.15-0.25 percent of the GDP, which was a considerably low rate. Moreover, according to the law, at least 15-85 percent of the revenue from natural resource royalties should be spent on the protection and restoration of the resource, but it is not totally grounded in reality. Unless immediate decisive action is taken, Mongolia may face biodiversity loss, the Minister continues.
Between 2019 and 2020, 168 weather and climate extreme events were registered, of which 32 were weather-related natural disasters, which caused an economic loss of MNT 22.7 billion. The updated “Atlas of Desertification in Mongolia” shows that 76 percent of the country’s total territory has been affected by desertification to a certain degree.