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Mongolia is located in the east Asia with area of 1.56 million km2 and population of 3.5 million. Mongolia is a landlocked country bordered with China on the south and Russia on the north. Administratively, Mongolia is divided into the capital city, provinces and counties.

The capital city, Ulaanbaatar, is the main administrative, political, economic and industrial centre with a population of approximately 1.4 million, which is nearly half of the country’s total population. There are 21 provinces in Mongolia and each province consists of 13-27 counties.   

Major environmental problems in the country

Mongolia’s unique landscapes support rich natural resources and rural livelihoods. However, economic growth and a growing population, combined with impacts from climate change, are contributing to the decline of its natural resources, including forest and water; and causing air, soil, and water pollution. The urban areas of the provincial and county centers generally have centralized heating, water supply, and wastewater infrastructures. The main energy source in these urban areas is raw coal, which is a potential source of lead, mercury, arsenic, chromium and other heavy metals, and possibly radiation (depending on the geological conditions of the coal deposits in Mongolia). Mining activities, tanneries and small-scale industrial plants such as steel ball forgery and coal processing appear to be the main sources of pollution in province centers.

Dr. Erdenesaikan Naidansuren 

Mongolia Country Coordinator

EHPMI Member Organization

Environment and Security Center of Mongolia (ESCM)

ESCM has been working on environmental assessments, sustainable development, and environmental health issues for over 15 years and implemented more than 60 projects.

List of selected implemented projects:  
  • “Sustainable Textile Production and Ecolabelling

    Natural resources depletion reduction and sustainable use of cashmere fibers and pasture, energy and water resources,” 180,000 EUR, European Union 2018-2022;

  • “Sustainable Plastic Recycling in Mongolia, Soil and water pollution reduction and sustainable use of natural resources through recycling of plastic wastes” 224,300 EUR, European Union 2020-2024, Caritas (Czech Republic) and ESCM;
  • “Toxic Sites Identification Program,” the program purpose was to provide decision-makers at all levels of government and within the international development community with information on the location, sources and potential impacts of sites contaminated by chemical pollution,” 100,000 USD, USAID/Pure Earth 2016-2020;
  • “Tannery area soil heavy metal contamination study,” a study of horizontal and vertical distribution of chromium pollution in soil near tanneries in Ulaanbaatar, 2019-2021, USAID/Pure Earth and Environmental Department of Ulaanbaatar Municipality;
  • “Building the capacity of Mongolian non state actors to promote sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction in rural artisanal gold mining areas,”

    Mercury pollution reduction through introduction of mercury-free gold processing   technology for small scale miner communities, 800,000 EUR, European Union, 2014-2016, Blacksmith Institute & ESCM;

  • “Hexabromocyclododecane in insulation products and wastes from construction and demolition in Mongolia,” Inventory of Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in insulation products in construction and demolition sectors for reduction and management of hazardous waste volumes, 33,000 USD, Secretariat of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Financed by Government of Japan and Government of Germany, 2018-2019