TAI's Work in Mongolia to help mining communities bears fruit
WRI has been working since 2015, with TAI Mongolian partners, to support communities to use an environmental rights approach to address community concerns about the impact of mining on thier health. Together a coalition of community based organisations have successfully pushed officials to revoke licenses from companies who repeatedly violated Mongolia’s laws, and secure funding for local development priorities.
In 2015, with support from STRIPE’s Mongolian partners, local civil society organizations used WRI’s toolkit to support residents across Erdenetsagaan and three other communities affected by mining to advocate for strengthening and enforcing pollution laws. These organizations began by helping residents understand Mongolia’s environmental and mining laws, including policies that require officials to disclose environmental information and to consult the public before issuing mining licenses. Communities then used the toolkit to collect the data they needed to identify the legally mandated actions that government authorities had failed to take. With this information and continued capacity-building support from STRIPE partners, they formed a broad, nationwide coalition to fight against mining pollution.
Together, members of the coalition prioritized and then advocated for a wide range of changes –amendments to strengthen Mongolia’s national mineral and water laws, better enforcement of existing mining regulations and expanded access to environmental information. Their efforts successfully pushed officials to revoke licenses from companies who repeatedly violated Mongolia’s laws, and in Zaamar, one of the four mining communities, coalition members successfully renegotiated the agreement between communities and the mining companies to secure funding for local development priorities, including initiatives to support small businesses, build new housing, plant trees and protect families from the dust. Another affected community compelled local authorities to hire a local community leader to monitor mining companies and report violations to the national government. Partners have documented this work using social media and video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spZ7d8F8-ig