Redevelopment of environmental damage calculation methods

by Erdenbayasgalan Ganjuurjav (ELP 2009), Mongolia

While participating in the ELP, I gathered a lot of experiences which laid the foundation for the objective of my work in 2014-2016: to improve and amend the environmental damage and compensation assessment methods for landscape projects in Mongolia. This was done by evaluating its shortfalls and necessary improvements using the biotope valuation method (BVM) as a benchmark, currently widely accepted and proven to be effective in Germany and the Czech Republic. The current method in use by Mongolia was adopted in 2010, and though it is well-grounded in theory and detailed, in practice, it involves a very detailed and complex process that has been proven to be vulnerable to a high degree of subjectivity and thus resulting in different assessment values depending on who is conducting the calculations, parameter variables being used, any assumptions made in the absence of data that is not always available, and the time consuming procedures used in the assessment. Since it proved difficult to create a fully satisfying and innovative method with noticeably improved levels of accuracy, it was deemed more suitable to redevelop and amend the current method to lower complexity and subjectivity levels to improve its objectiveness and accuracy, which will result in more uniform and reliable assessment results. A well-developed compensation method in Mongolia could mean a notable improvement in local capacity for environmental economics in the valuation of environmental degradation and a new point of reference for environmental priority setting. On January 12th of 2016, the Minister of Environment, Green Development and Tourism of Mongolia passed and approved (reference: Order A-14) this calculation method for environmental damage caused by surface mining and infrastructural projects for temporary use in the period of one year on testing. After the testing period, we will decide if we can further utilize this method.

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