The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced that World Environment Day 2013, whose theme is “Think. Eat. Save. Reduce your Footprint”, will be hosted by Mongolia.
UNEP says the country is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and has dramatically increased its green investment levels in recent years, especially in the energy sector.
“Mongolia is facing enormous challenges including growing pressure on food security, traditional nomadic herding and water supplies as a result of the impacts of climate change”, said executive director Achim Steiner.
“Yet its government is also determined to meet these challenges and seize the opportunities of a less-polluting and more sustainable future – from a moratorium on new mining pending improved environmental regulations to plans to become a renewable energy power-house and exporter of clean energy regionally.”
In 2011, Blue & Green Tomorrow reported on some of the steps that the nation was taking in order to realise a more sustainable future. These included an ‘ice shield’ technology that aims to help tackle the urban heat island effect and a wind farm project proposed by General Electric.
And over the last year, the country has made a considerable effort to switch to a greener economy.
In May 2012, during the Financial Mechanism to Develop Green Economy forum, the Mongolian minister for nature, environment and tourism proposed three initiative to ease the transition toward a more efficient economy.
These are the ‘polluters pay’ system, the improvement of environmental foundations to generate funds for green projects and the creation of a green loan to promote sustainable technologies.
World Environment Day will be held on June 5 and will focus on avoiding food and resources waste.
On its website, UNEP has presented the event as an ideal occasion “to take action from your home and then witness the power of collective decisions you and others have made to reduce food waste, save money, minimise the environmental impact of food production and force food production processes to become more efficient.”
Tulga Buya, Mongolian vice-minister of environment and green development, said, “We hope our leadership in terms of what we have done at home and hosting this important yearly event will show the world that change is possible.”