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Following the request by the Government of Mongolia, the "National Workshop on the Development of Water Action Plan
(2002-2006)" was held from 12-13 June 2002 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The workshop was sponsored by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
(UNESCAP) and was jointly organized by the UNESCAP and the National Water Committee of Mongolia. The workshop was attended by about 80
participants, including governmental officials and representatives of international, governmental and
non-governmental organizations, industry, academic and scientific community, and
the private sector.
The meeting was part of a consultative and advisory process undertaken by the
UNESCAP to encourage strategic planning in water resources management, to facilitate the participation of stakeholders in
the decision-making process, as well as to promote collaboration and information sharing. The primary aim of the workshop was to develop the National Water Action Plan, the implementation tool of the National Water Programme.
The individual and plenary sessions were organized around specific themes that were considered important as a basis for the discussion leading to the strategic planning and development of the Water Action Plan. Prior to the workshop, background papers were prepared by the water policy experts, including officials and specialists from
ministries. Keynote addresses and background papers dealt with the present global situation of
the water sector in Mongolia, water supply and sanitation conditions nationwide, strategic planning and management of water resources, water conservation, rural and agricultural use of water, and the
need to integrate water issues into the sustainable development context. The opening addresses, keynote and background papers and other relevant material have been prepared both in Mongolian and English languages and have been published as workbook
at the workshop. These workbooks were distributed to the participants of the workshop.
The overall programme of the workshop was designed as an interactive event based on the participatory approach. Hence, most sessions were organized as working group discussions.
Plenary and working group sessions were conducted in Mongolian language although some presentations were given in English with translation into Mongolian language. Mr. D. Basandorj, Permanent Secretary of the National Water Committee of Mongolia, chaired the workshop.
Working groups were organized on the basis of the expertise of the individual participants. Chairpersons of the working groups were drawn from the participants. The working groups sessions considered the following:
- institutional framework and legislative aspects of the water sector in Mongolia;
- safe drinking water supply and sanitation both in urban and rural areas, and wastewater treatment efficiency;
- rural water supply for agriculture and livestock breeding; and
- water conservation
Outcomes of the workshop
The workshop examined the major issues that should be included in the Water Action Plan
The main recommendations drawn from the workshop are as follows:
- to revise and reform water-related legislation;
- to strengthen the institutional framework of the water sector;
- to improve the water supply and sanitation conditions in peri-urban and rural areas in order to improve the
quality of life;
- to promote policies that will facilitate overcoming financial and institutional barriers to the development of the
- to raise public awareness on crucial water issues;
- to promote the participation of stakeholders in the decision-making processes;
- to increase the role of strategic planning and management in water resources management.
The workshop stressed the necessity of increased cooperation and interaction among national and local governmental agencies, industry, education, public and private sector,
as well as the importance of information sharing.
The workshop also emphasized that water policy and management institutions would have to evolve and adapt their focus to meet a wide range of new needs
and demands, within a continually changing institutional environment. They also need to adapt
to complex, emerging human-water relationships at the same time as changing relationships between people and governments. These conditions should lead to improved systems of governance in
the water sector.