Changes to regional borders supported

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During its plenary session on May 1, the resolution on taking some areas under state special protection and altering regional borders was discussed.

Lawmaker L.Eldev-Ochir introduced the proposals and conclusion on the resolution issued by the Standing Committee on Environment, Food and Agriculture.

Members of Parliament expressed their views on imposing certain restrictions on “chaotically” issued mining permits, cracking down on illegal gold mining, and resolving issues related to businesses operating near Gutain Davaa. In addition, they expressed a requirement to simplify the work process.

The resolution was transferred over to the Standing Committee on Environment, Food and Agriculture for preparation for final review.

Resolution on state protection supported 

During the session, Minister of Environment and Tourism N.Tserenbat introduced the draft parliamentary resolution on taking some areas under state special protection.

The draft resolution stipulates that Noyon Mountain nature reserve in Mandal soum of Selenge province and Noyon Mountain monuments in Bornuur and Batsumber soums of Tuv province were expanded, upgraded and classified as Strictly Protected Area. 

The areas are considered as having untamed nature, natural unique formations, as well as historical, cultural, scientific and ecological significance. 

As the areas are taken under special protection, the total size of protected area will be expanded by 10,483 hectares (or by 0.11 percent).

In accordance with the resolution, an administration of Noyon Mountain Strictly Protected Area will be established and the required funds will be provided through the state budget.

Minister N.Tserenbat said, “A holder of a mineral license must compensate for the damage caused to the environment. Therefore, the ecological and economic assessment of the forest will determine the damage, companies will be compensated for the environmental rehabilitations, and other issues will be resolved in accordance with the Minerals Law of Mongolia.”

The draft resolution received support from 71.4 percent of the members of Parliament and was submitted to the Standing Committee on Environment, Food and Agriculture for initial discussion.

Revision of Law on State Audit ratified

Parliament approved the revision of the Law on Audit. Lawmaker D.Oyunkhorol introduced the conclusion issued by the Standing Committee on Budget.
The revision includes standardization of the citations, numbering and terminology in connection with the amendments to some articles and provisions, and reflects changes of legal and technical nature.
None of the lawmakers had questions or comments on the revision. The revision of the Law on State Audit was ratified by lawmakers during the plenary session. 

The amendments to the Criminal Code and amendments to Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Code on War Crimes and Crime of Aggression, were discussed. 

In accordance with Article 13 (a) and (c) of the Rome Statute, Article 15 has been added to regulate the conduct of court proceedings for crimes of aggression. Article 15 imposes two types of restrictions on the conduct of criminal proceedings. First, if a citizen of a country that is not a party to the Rome Statute or a crime of aggression is committed on its territory, the court will not decide the case. Second, it stipulates that the International Criminal Court (ICC) will not prosecute a crime if the ICC does not agree on the crime of aggression.

The amendments to Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Code on War Crimes and Crime of Aggression were also passed.

Amendments to resolution appendix on approval of the customs duty rate adopted

The draft parliamentary resolution on amendments to the resolution appendix on approval of the customs duty rate on imported goods was ratified during the session.
Introducing the conclusion issued by the Standing Committee on Budget, lawmaker N.Amarzaya said, “In order to protect domestic production, the resolution provides for an approval of a ‘Safeguards Regulation’ in accordance with the ‘Safeguards Agreement’ of the World Trade Organization, and the imposition of limits on the number of imports and the customs duty rates under the agreement.”

The majority of the members of Parliament supported the draft parliamentary resolution.

Anti-air pollution measures reported

Minister of Environment and Tourism N.Tserenbat reported on the measures being taken to reduce air pollution during the session.

The government approved the National Program to Reduce Air Pollution through Resolution No. 98 in 2017, which enabled the coordination of air pollution reduction activities, increased participation of other sectors, and integrated management and coordination of activities.

Minister N.Tserenbat noted that the program envisages cessation of raw coal consumption of households and public entities, which is being implemented effectively.

The minister continued to introduce the measures taken to increase the capacity of energy production sources. In accordance with Government Resolution No. 199 of 2017, the nighttime electricity tariffs for households of ger areas during the cold season was reduced by 100 percent in the capital city and 50 percent in rural areas.

“In order to improve monitoring, the air quality monitoring system in Ulaanbaatar has been completely overhauled. Currently, there are 15 air quality monitoring stations, 12 of which are automatic stations, and three to six indicators are regularly measured every 15 minutes,” the minister said.

With the funding of the National Committee for Environmental Pollution Reduction, 2,000 pit latrines will be renovated in accordance with the relevant laws in 2020.

Lawmaker D.Lundeejantsan mentioned that outdated vehicles and equipment have a significant impact on air pollution. The minister of energy responed that the usages of electric heaters are being studied as potential solution.

Lawmaker M.Oyunchimeg said, “Parliament and the Standing Committee on Petitions have paid attention to reducing air and environmental pollution, and have taken measures to make relevant decisions and monitor the implementation of legislation.”
The plenary session ended with questions and answers from members regarding the report on measures to reduce air pollution.

Misheel Lkhasuren