Monday, February 17, 2014

[Friedland says exercised 100%, jail for ex-Clean Air heads, and police tracking social media to fight illegal hunting]

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Monday, February 17, 2014

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Headlines in Italic are ones modified by Cover Mongolia from original


Overseas Market

Turquoise Hill Founder Friedland Restructures Holding, Says Participated Fully in Rights Issue

By Alex MacDonald

LONDON, February 16 (WSJ) —Mining tycoon Robert Friedland said Sunday his exposure to Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (NYSE:TRQ, TSX:TRQ) is much larger than initially disclosed in a U.S. stock exchange filing after he exercised all his options to participate in the company's $2.4 billion rights issue.

A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regulatory document filed Friday showed Mr. Friedland was no longer a beneficial owner in the company, having dropped his stake below the requisite 5% threshold to 3.6%. Mr. Friedland owned 10% of the company's stock in December, when he announced that he had arranged his affairs to participate fully in Turquoise Hill's $2.4 billion rights issue.

"I exercised 100% of my options in the recent TRQ rights offering. For technical reasons, additional long derivative share positions that I possess are not included in my 13-G filing, and thus my cumulative share exposure, including my long derivative exposure, is significantly larger than the common share position enumerated in the 13-G filing," Mr. Friedland told The Wall Street Journal Sunday.

Mr. Friedland is the founder of Turquoise Hill, the Canadian company that discovered the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold deposit. Over the years, Mr. Friedland's stake in the company has dwindled as Rio Tinto PLC, the project operator, has exercised rights to increase its stake in Turquoise Hill.

Separate SEC filings last week show that Fidelity Investments has decreased its holding of common shares in Turquoise Hill below the beneficial ownership level of 5% to 2.47%, while Pentwater Capital Management LP owns 7.38% and RS Investment 6.35% of the company's shares following the rights issue.

Link to article


Mogi: My apologies. But without there wouldn't have been .

Valentine Surprises: Friedland, Fidelity Fail to Exercise Turquoise Hill Rights

February 16 (Cover Mongolia) Contrary to his own statements that he will fully exercise his Turquoise Hill Resources (NYSE:TRQ, TSX:TRQ) rights, Robert Martin Friedland looks to have chosen not to, according a Valentine s Day SEC filing submitted by Friedland, stating that he has ceased to own more than 5% of TRQ. He was previously believed to hold 9.8% stake in TRQ, when he was quoted to be saying that he will "fully" participate in the rights offering. Robert Friedland now controls a 3.6% stake.

Another substantial holder that didn't partake in the offering was Fidelity Investments. Fidelity now owns 2.471% of TRQ, according a similar SEC filing.

On the other hand, substantial holders who did chose to exercise their rights were RS Investments (6.35%) and Pentwater Capital Management (7.38%).

Previously, Cover Mongolia reported that Temasek also partook in the offering to maintain its 8.5% stake

TRQ shares closed +1.88%, +1.71% to US$3.25, C$3.56 respectively on Friday.

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Oyu Tolgoi financing up in air

February 16 (Business Spectator) The Mongolian government's investment arm, Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi LLC, said Friday that the $US4.2 billion ($A4.6 billion) financing package for the underground expansion of the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold project is dependent on the completion of a feasibility study, due in the second quarter of this year.

Erdenes, which owns 34 per cent of the massive Mongolian Oyu Tolgoi project, said that it is working with Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd, the owner of the remaining 66 per cent of Oyu Tolgoi, and Rio Tinto Limited, the project operator and Turquoise Hill's major shareholder, to resolve all outstanding issues, including those that led Rio Tinto to suspend the underground mine project last summer.

Turquoise Hill said Thursday that an option to restart the underground development has been proposed, subject to certain conditions being met, but cautioned that the project could still face further delays if all issues weren't resolved before the expiration date for the signing of a $4.2 billion financing package by the end of March.

Erdenes said the timing for project approval and restart of the underground expansion project are dependent on the completion of the project's feasibility study. "We understand that Feasibility Study for the underground development (including the underground investment proposal) will be delivered by Rio Tinto in" the second quarter, Erdenes said in a statement.

Erdenes said it supports full financing of the project. Erdenes is working with Turquoise Hill and Rio Tinto towards the finalization of the project-financing package and said it remains fully committed to the continued operation of the open pit mine, and to the terms of the investment agreement that underpins the mine's development.

In 2014, Oyu Tolgoi is forecast to produce 150,000 to 175,000 tons of copper in concentrates and 700,000 to 750,000 troy ounces of gold in concentrates, after starting commercial operations in the second half of last year.

Link to article


ResCap Research: Kincora Copper – Speculative Buy: Drilling to Discover in 2014

February 13, ResCap --

In our view, the risk/reward pendulum of Kincora Copper (TSXV: KCC) has shifted to a point that is too good to be ignored. The 2014 exploration season at its Bronze Fox project has the potential to be a game-changing period with a number of similarities  to Ivanhoe Mines program in 2001 that lead to the discovery hole at Oyu Tolgoi. This note provides detail of the build-up of Kincora s past and a synopsis of the investment merits (notwithstanding the obvious exploration risk).

The Kincora Opportunity in a Snapshot:

Analogies to Oyu Tolgoi

·         Drilling at Bronze Fox is planned based on extremely promising previous drill results, new geophysical and other "long lead" time / technical activities undertaken in 2013

·         A follow up phase of target drilling at Oyu Tolgoi focused on similar untested geophysical targets, with often-supportive previous drilling, & lead to the "discovery hole"


·         The only listed copper junior in the same copper belt as Oyu Tolgoi and Tsagaan Suvarga copper mines

·         Under-explored copper belt, geochemical footprint matching other major globally significant porphyry deposits, typically occurring in clusters

Close in 2012, closer in 2013…

·         2012 drilling included >800 meters @ 0.4% CuEq, 37 meters >1% CuEq.  The last hole drilled had 4% localized copper 

·         2013 activities re-interpreting past drilling, "explained" previous results and refined large targets at Bronze Fox

Triangulation of past exploration results

·         In 2012, the >800m  @ 0.4%) intersected the fringe of an IP anomaly derived 2013. The 37m  @ >1%) hole came within 500m of the anomaly with 2013 studies proving this a less prospective are of the porphyry system  within ~1.5km).

·         2014 drilling targets = a combination of IP targets  2013), integrated with positive known of copper grades/geology (pre 2013); surface and down hole fertility  2013); geochemical, alternation and veining analysis  2013)

2014 drilling targets


·         9 targets, strike +1L2km, identified for 2014, triangulated and de-risked to the stage of drilling at Bronze Fox

·         Oyu Tolgoi, one of the worlds largest porphyries, is 10 deposits/zones consistent with +1L3km strike IP anomalies

Multiple positive verifications

·         2012: " positive independent technical review 

·         2013: " three separate positive independent reviews by leading global copper experts for purposes of 3rd party DD

Blue sky potential


Discoveries drive share prices – case studies: OT in Mongolia

·         Sirius Resources: 12x on 5 holes, 51x in 3 months in 2012 

·         Sandfire Resources: 41x in 2009 on drilling success

Insiders are buying

·         2H 13 buying from all directors. Significant on market purchases in JanL2014 following the exploration update

A direct play on exploration success

·         Backed by the best technical team in Mongolia, arguably one of the best in the junior copper space  ex RT & BHP)

·         Valuation trading discount to peers

·         Not to be confused as a  play  on Mongolian politics/macro

Link to report

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Local Market

Mogi: 6,450 BNG shares block traded at ₮46,000 worth 296.7 million. But just 15 BNG shares exchanged hands at 58,000 on regular trading to close +8.41% from ₮53,500₮. Seems like the 15 did the rest of BNG shares a big favor. BNG market cap thus 24.5 billion.

MSE News for February 14: Top 20 -0.58%, Turnover 311.7 Million, Bayangol 296.7 Million Block Trade

Ulaanbaatar, February 14 (MONTSAME) At the Stock Exchange trades held Friday, a total of 36 thousand and 969 shares of 22 JSCs were traded costing MNT 311 million 707 thousand and 034.00.

"Remikon" /27 thousand and 119 units/, "Bayangol hotel"  /6,465 units/, "Khokh gan" /1,597 units/, "Gobi" /1,040 units/ and "Nako tulsh" /200 units/ were the most actively traded in terms of trading volume, in terms of trading value--"Bayangol hotel" (MNT 297 million and 570 thousand), "Gobi" (MNT six million 130 thousand and 800), "Remikon" (MNT four million 169 thousand and 707), "Talkh chikher" (MNT one million 050 thousand and 700) and "Suu" (MNT 588 thousand).

The total market capitalization was set at MNT one trillion 695 billion 576 million 653 thousand and 628. The Index of Top-20 JSCs was 16,704.29, decreasing by MNT 98.01 or 0.58% against the previous day.

Link to article

Link to MSE daily trading report


FMG Mongolia Fund Down 3.7% in January 2014, Down 34.86% in 2013














































Link to fund page

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BoM MNT Rates: February 14 Close





































January MNT Chart:


Link to rates


BoM issues 263.1 billion 1-week bills, total outstanding -3.4% to 1.08 trillion

February 14 (Bank of Mongolia) BoM issues 1 week bills worth MNT 263.1 billion at a weighted interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum /For previous auctions click here/

Link to release


Mongolia looks to Chinggis bonds for export boost

February 13 (Oxford Business Group) The government in Mongolia has revealed plans to support domestic export manufacturers, with the aim of reducing a burgeoning import bill and boosting the country s economic foundations.

Prime Minister N. Altankhuyag said at a press conference in early January that the government would allocate MNT360bn ($209m) from the $1.5bn raised by the 2012 sale of "Chinggis bonds" to provide loans to local businesses in the primary export industries of minerals and cashmere (Mogi: now looks like it ll spend the remaining Chinggises, $230 in export-oriented, import-replacing projects).

Mongolia s much-anticipated first sovereign bond, which was strongly over-subscribed, was dubbed "Chinggis" by members of the local media after the country s founding father, Genghis Khan (Mogi: was dubbed Chinggis by the issue GoM itself).

Since the offering in November 2012, the funds raised have financed infrastructure growth, helping to reduce the economic impact of falling coal exports last year.

Applications for the latest initiative are now with the authorities, with the selection process due to be finalised by March 1. The state-run Development Bank of Mongolia (DBM) will then allocate funds to successful candidates, while setting terms and conditions with borrowers.

High imports a concern

Mongolia s hefty import bill climbed to $6bn last year, with the country importing 88% of its consumer goods. According to the local media, the nation buys 74% of its dairy products from abroad, despite producing 45m head of livestock, alongside 41% of flour-based products and 62% of its textiles and clothing. Minerals, machinery and electrical appliances also feature on the list of imports.

The plan to boost export industries squares with the "Let s Construct and Create in Mongolia" programme, announced by Altankhuyag on January 9. The initiative is spearheading a national drive to increase the value of exports by MNT1trn ($595.2m) in 2014, with "support for manufacturing replacing support for imports". In December, the National Statistical Office of Mongolia revealed that exports fell 4.2% in the first 11 months of 2013.

Infrastructure boost

A drop in mining revenues caused by reduced demand from China weighed on Mongolia s economy during 2013. However, investment in infrastructure helped to drive growth in other areas of the economy. Annual GDP growth accelerated to 14.3% in the second quarter, buoyed by infrastructure spending, particularly the construction of roads linking six of Mongolia s provinces.

The Chinggis bond has helped finance more than 200 projects, including roads and railways, air transport, energy and housing, across the sectors.

A total of MNT256.3bn ($149m) was used to construct 700 km of paved roads, while MNT837.9bn ($487m) went towards financing a wave of new railways, the Tavan Talgoi power initiative and a metallurgy plant.

Deficit concerns

However, critics have questioned the use of the proceeds from the Chinggis bond sale and say they have been used to finance off-budget programmes in an effort to avoid the fiscal stability law (FSL), which limits the size of the budget deficit.

When it was introduced in 2010, the FSL placed a cap on outstanding debt and the fiscal deficit, with the limit set as a percentage of GDP. Last November, parliament rejected a proposal to amend the FSL and increase the government s borrowing capacity to 60% of GDP for 2014. The cap was set at 50% for 2013 and is due to come down further to 40% this year.

Questions have also surrounded a ¥30bn ($290m), 10-year bond that the DBM issued late last year to finance infrastructure projects. Thanks to a 90% guarantee by the Japan Bank of International Cooperation, borrowing costs were low, with the note s coupon set at 1.52%.

In December, the Financial Times pointed out the so-called Samurai bond would likely run up against the country s borrowing limit. The same month, ratings agency Fitch noted the government s budget deficit had reached 12% of GDP in 2013, effectively rendering the FSL "ineffective as a constraint on policymaking".
At the same time, the ratings agency revised the country s outlook from stable to negative, and both the World Bank and IMF have cautioned the government in recent months that its expansionary fiscal and monetary policies could threaten the stability of the economy.

This suggests that, while international investors have so far been willing to lend money to Mongolia at relatively inexpensive terms, going forward, they may seek additional reassurance that current spending levels are not putting the country s immediate outlook at risk.

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De Facto: Fighting corruption in its lair

By Jargalsaikhan Dambadarjaa

February 16 (UB Post) In logic, necessary and sufficient conditions are required for certain things to take place.

Today the world has accepted that the necessary conditions for socio-economic development are a parliamentary system with democratic governance, a market economy where private property is allowed, and restricted government involvement. However, the existence of those necessary conditions alone are not sufficient to achieve development. The missing sufficient condition is transparent and accountable public governance. People in democratic countries can only enjoy a better livelihood when government involvement is minimized and its efficiency optimized. The extent of government involvement and its efficiency are dependent on the competence of the political parties that have won elections and obtained ruling power.

If we use the same logic, it can be said that Mongolia already has the sufficient conditions to achieve development. Every politician talks about how our country has undergone political and economic reforms for the last 20 years, and how we managed to irreversibly establish a democracy as well as a market economy. If that is the case, how do we explain the fact that the majority of Mongolians are poor and one-third of the population is living in poverty? The answer lies in the poor quality of our public governance, as the efficiency of the Mongolian government fails to keep up with the pace of the age we are living in. The politicians who obtain ruling power have always promised to shape a brighter future for everyone, but the only outcomes they produce are some statistics that are supposed to imply progress.

The Mongolian government is still producing billionaires. The foreign press has even started to look into the revenue statements of our government officials and have been writing about how our government has become a "billionaires club". Mongolians today acknowledge and recognize private business owners who have achieved great success and made huge profits on their own despite fierce market competition. Young people should understand that the only people who are capable of expanding their businesses and creating new jobs are the people who have the money to do so.

On the contrary, people do not wish to accept government officials who are getting wealthier and wealthier even though they have never worked in the private sector. The public sector collects tax from the private sector and is responsible for making necessary investments in the infrastructure that serves common interests and ensures conditions for the private sector to operate normally. The salaries of those who work for the public sector comes out of the operating cost that comes from public investment, therefore, public servants should not be able to accumulate much more wealth than others. The reason why our government officials are able to collect a tremendous amount of wealth for themselves is that as soon as they obtain ruling power, they can steal from the money designated to benefit the public.


If we greatly improve our public governance and stop the theft of public property and land committed in the name of the government, Mongolia will have the sufficient conditions for development. Finding and removing the roots of such theft have become a sacred duty of our citizens.

The ruling power goes to whichever political party wins the parliamentary election. Those who sit at the top of those political parties have been making fancy promises and been appointed to the most senior positions of our government, one after another. However, their promises have not helped the children who do not have food to eat, or their parents who drink to forget their despair. How many more winters do the families in the suburban ger districts have to spend living in the dark and breathing smoke?

Mongolians, especially the younger generation, must remove the roots of corruption that have been growing in government. Those roots are found inside our political parties. It has been a long time since the law stopped affecting Mongolian political parties. Political parties in Mongolia just pretend to abide by the law. The organizations that operate outside the law are called "mafia", where money rules all. The law states that political parties must produce expenditure reports, have them audited and report them to the public. Such reports cannot be found on the websites of any political party today. The website of the General Election Committee has an excel sheet that includes the names of some political donors and the amounts of their donations. However, the available information is far from complete and it is unclear who put it together. No one is raising questions about the bribery that takes place several months before elections, taking the form of various naadams with valuable prizes such as expensive cars.

It is obvious that our political leaders today will do nothing about removing the roots of corruption but will only talk about doing so. That is because these politicians have already become corrupt. Since they cannot completely remove the roots of corruption from inside their political party, they do the cleaning in one room and proudly talk about it during their election campaigns. This way, these politicians pretend to be fighting corruption only to get re-elected.

Those who make the biggest donations become the de-facto leaders of their political party. As a result, Mongolia has political parties bigger than the government, and political party factions more influential than the political party itself. This means that our government is being managed by a small political faction. Companies that make the largest financial contributions appoint their associates to the most senior positions inside the government, they "win" public tenders, and make a tremendous amount of money compared to their initial spending.


Political parties that keep their sources of funding a secret and choose not to have audits or publish available reports for the public are the roots of corruption. After obtaining ruling power, these political parties become the lair of corruption at all levels. Such lairs do not produce political leaders but make corrupt officials who become a hindrance to development. That is why a strong, true leader is being sorely missed in the politics of Mongolia.

As the law on political parties is facing revision, we need to grant the Supreme Court more responsibilities, not just registering political parties, but also ensuring legal compliance and enforcing accountability. The Supreme Court should also have the right to disband political parties.

Another thing that needs more attention is the issue around whether the public budget should have political party funding included. Many countries have taken a similar measure of public funding in order to separate government and the business sector. By including political party funding in the public budget, these countries have improved the quality of political action plans, introduced specific operational standards, ensured transparency of capital expenditure, and created fair competition among political parties. For instance, Japan and Korea set limits to campaign financing against the number of voters in a given district. Pre-campaign expenditures even apply to such limits.

Justice will be served when political parties that do not produce their last campaign finance reports, or have them audited, are not allowed to receive funding from the public budget or take part in the next election.

Mongolian political parties have a duty to abstain from corruption and are responsible for keeping the country free of corruption. It is time for the press and civil society to impose scrutiny and ensure that our political parties fulfill their utmost duty.

We need to develop our political parties as institutions, make their operations transparent, have them produce finance reports, and encourage them to mobilize the political will of the public.

Link to post


Former heads of Clean Air Fund sentenced to up to eight years for embezzling 1.9 billion MNT

February 13 (UB Post) The trial of the former administrators of the Clean Air Fund (CAF) who were accused of embezzling 1.9 billion MNT from the fund concluded on Wednesday night after three days at Prison No.461 of the General Authority for Implementing Court Decisions.

The court sentenced former chief of the CAF N.Khurelsukh to eight years in prison, general accountant M.Khulan to seven years in prison, accountant Kh.Boldmaa to six years in prison, auditer B.Davaabaatar and State Budget chief of the Ministry of Environment and Green Development D.Tsetsgee to five years and one month in prison. B.Altantuya was released on one-year probation, while three other officials were acquitted.

In 2012, the defendants were accused of embezzled 116 million MNT for a fraudulent claim, for a workshop by Khorchikhuin Bulag LLC, 21,440,000 MNT for a false claim for staff salary through Orkhon Saikhan Bulag LLC, 1,454,079,500 MNT for a false claim of fuel supply contract through Tara LLC's account, 100 million MNT for a false claim of commercial expense through DZTM LLC's account, 240,000,000 MNT for a fuel supply contract in 2011 through Shar Golyn Dulaan LLC. The embezzled amount totaled 1,931,519,500 MNT.

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Mongolia-Korea Business Forum established

Ulaanbaatar, February 14 (MONTSAME) The Foreign Minister L.Bold Friday ended his official visit to South Korea.

Ending it, he gave a speech Friday at a memorandum signing ceremony for a Mongolia-Korea Business Forum partnership, which aims at leveled-up bilateral economic relations and increased mutual investments.

Mongolia-Korea business forum was joined by prominent political and business figures of the two countries, including leaders of S.Korean "Korean Air", Samsung, Hyundai Motors, Posco, Daelim, together with members of the National Assembly of South Korea and Ms Hyun Jung-hwa, a chairwoman of the organizing committee for Incheon 2014 Asian Games.

Representing the Mongolian side, G.Batkhuu MP and Ya.Batsuuri, CEO of Erdenes Tavantolgoi LLC, signed the memorandum.

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Hogan Lovells Ranked as Leading Firm by Global Arbitration Review for Fifth Consecutive Year 

LONDON / WASHINGTON D.C., 13 February, 2014 – Hogan Lovells proudly announces that its global international arbitration group was ranked fourth place in Global Arbitration Review's (GAR) annual listing of the world's most active international arbitration practices with a promotion upwards of six places in the rankings table. This is the fifth consecutive year that Hogan Lovells received recognition as a leading firm in this high-profile list.

In addition to the fourth place ranking, Hogan Lovells also placed second on "Most Important Published Decision of 2013" in international arbitration. The firm was recognized for its defense against a petition to confirm a US$300 million Mexican ICC arbitral award that has now been nullified by the Mexican courts. The matter was handled by a cross-office team from Miami, New York, and Paris.

The GAR 30 ranking was revealed at the annual GAR Awards Dinner, on 12 February 2014, in Paris.

Unlike other arbitration law firm rankings, the GAR 30 is based on a number of key performance indicators, including hours billed to arbitration and number of hearings. GAR referenced Hogan Lovells' strong performance across all of their measurements as key to our high ranking.

"This award recognizes the continued hard work and commitment to the growth of our international arbitration practice" said Daniel Gonzalez and Simon Nesbitt, Co-Leaders of the firm's International Arbitration practice. "It is a great achievement and exemplifies our deep bench of experience, and commitment to client service."

Hogan Lovells was singled-out for its popularity with governments, winning instructions from countries such as China, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Slovakia, Venezuela and Vietnam, as well as the Canadian province of Ontario. GAR also noted that our increasing focus on Africa and Latin America had strengthened our practice.

Several of these matters involved investment treaties, including:

·         Defending Mongolia against an Energy Charter Treaty claim brought by Canada's Khan Resources over uranium mining;

·         Representing Venezuela in an ICSID claim brought by a Barbadian subsidiary of Venezuelan brewer Polar over the alleged expropriation of its stake in a fertilizer plant; and

·         Defending Vietnam in two claims worth US$3.75 billion brought by a French investor in kidney dialysis clinics

To read more about Hogan Lovells' receipt of these awards please visit the GAR website.

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Cabinet approves Mongolia-Poland visa exemption for diplomatic, official passports

Ulaanbaatar, February 14 (MONTSAME) At its regular meeting on Friday, the cabinet approved a protocol of the Mongolia-Poland intergovernmental agreement on exempting diplomatic and official passports holders from the visa requirements.

This document was signed between the two governments June 29 of 2011.

Due to a terminological mistake in the agreement on English original, the Mongolian with such passports  have experienced troubles in passing the Polish border and in boarding planes, so some changes have been made in the agreement.

Link to article


Korea promises to cease demanding deposit guarantees for visa applications

Ulaanbaatar, February 14 (MONTSAME) Within the official visit, Mongolian Minister of Foreign Affairs L.Bold Friday met with Mr Pak Yong-sung, a head of the Standing committee on justice of S.Korean National Assembly (parliament).

The Minister noted that, despite increasing number of Mongolians traveling to the Republic of Korea, the South Korean side is still demanding a pledge money from the Mongolian visa applicants, causing troubles for them.

This causes a misunderstanding among Mongolians about South Korea and breaches the agreement of 2012, he pointed out and requested the country to stop demanding the money.

Mr Pak accepted this request and promised to solve it through related bodies and report to the Mongolian side in near future.

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Ulaanbaatar to Host FAO Regional Conference for Asia and Pacific, March 10-14

February 14 ( The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) will convene the 32nd Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific in Ulaanbaatar on March 10-14, 2014.

Hosted by the Government of Mongolia, the Conference will bring together Ministers and high-level delegates from some 46 member-states in Asia and the Pacific. The Conference will address a number of vital issues to the well-being of farmers, fishers, foresters, businesses, environment and consumers of food and agricultural products in the world's most populous region.

The delegates will make a focus on the state of food and agriculture in Asia-Pacific and progress made in meeting the MDG goal of reducing hunger by half. They will also examine ways and means to restore grasslands and forests, the introduction of greener agricultural practices across the region and improvements in food security in Pacific Island Countries. Improved nutrition will also be a major topic of discussion.

The first three days of the APRC (March 10-12) will be attended by senior government officials. Government Ministers and high level participants will arrive on March 12th for a two-day Ministerial segment (March 13-14). The FAO's Director-General, Jose Graziano da Silva, will also travel to Mongolia to participate in the Conference. A round table discussion on the double burden of malnutrition will be held on the final day, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia.

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Mongolia ties diplomatic relations with nine more countries

February 16 (UB Post) According to Parliamentary resolution No. 2-10 of the year 2014, Mongolia has officially established diplomatic relations with Antigua and Barbuda, the Republic of Burundi, the Republic of Vanuatu, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of Surinam, Sierra Leone, the Togolese Republic, the State of Eritrea and Jamaica, in compliance with the foreign and national security policy of Mongolia as well as Mongolia's 2012 to 2016 aim to establish diplomatic relations with all member countries of the United Nations.

Mongolia conveyed an official request in December 2012 to establish diplomatic relations with 45 UN member countries, which had no prior relations with Mongolia, through the permanent representative offices to the United Nations.

Sixteen countries out of 45 have tied official relations with Mongolia. Mongolia is aiming to tie up diplomatic relations with the rest in 2014.

Establishing diplomatic relations with UN member countries is important to developing friendly relations and cooperation, increasing Mongolia's role in the international community and supporting cooperation with the United Nations.

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Social, Environmental and Other

Police track social media to cut down on illegal hunting

February 13 (UB Post) Delegates of the Ministry of Environment and Green Development, Foundation for Animal Rights Protection and State Investigation Authority held a press conference on Tuesday and reported that they have started investigating individuals who have posted their hunting pictures on Facebook and Twitter, as the ministry banned hunting of wildlife for sports or any unauthorized purposes in 2014.

The delegates reported that they have started forming a database of illegal hunting pictures posted on social media.

In the database, hunting pictures of many national celebrities and politicians are being stored. For instance, the pictures showing a brown bear hunt posted by Member of Parliament (MP) N.Nomtoibayar in Selenge Province, boar hunt by MP J.Enkhbayar and State Elephant (National Wrestling Rank Title) B.Soronzonbold at Mount Burkhan Khaldun, and wolf and deer hunts by actors B.Baatarkhuu and Ts.Batkhuyag.
The pictures of several people who sold hunted wolves in Govi-Altai in 2012 were also exposed on the internet.

The ministry also reported that 94 percent of 46,982 registered firearms in Mongolia are being used for hunting, but most of the guns are designed for military purposes rather than hunting.

Investigators initiate criminal case on brutal wolf hunting

The Division Against Environmental and Wildlife Crimes of the State Investigation Authority (SIA) have initiated a criminal case against four young men who posted video footage and pictures of wolves and other wildlife being hunted in a violent and brutal manner, on their Facebook pages last month. The footage showed the four men repeatedly shooting and driving over wild animals.

Similar videos of animal abuse have been surfacing on social media pages and Mongolian groups lately and the authorities have started a campaign to track down suspects for interrogation.
The SIA reported that it sent its case materials to the Ulaanbaatar City Prosecutor's Office.

Under Mongolian law, if found guilty, a person accused of animal abuse and brutality can be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

The fine for illegal wolf hunting is 1.2 million MNT, while the fine for illegal bear hunting is 13-15 million MNT, 1.4- 1.6 million MNT for illegal boar hunting, one to 1.1 million MNT for illegal white-tailed antelope hunting, and 360,000 to 400,000 MNT for illegal marmot hunting.

The Ministry of Environment and Green Development has not issued a quota on wildlife hunting in 2014, meaning that hunting of any wild fauna is illegal.

Two caught smuggling a frozen snow leopard

On Monday at around 5 p.m., the police detained two men who were carrying the frozen body of a snow leopard in a Renault Master van at Amgalan, 12th khoroo of Bayanzurkh District. Snow leopards are an endangered species, inscribed in the Mongolian Red Book.

The Police Division Against Environmental Crimes under the Criminal Police Department said that it received reports from locals that a snow leopard was being smuggled and officers apprehended the suspects.
The smugglers told the police during an interrogation that they didn't hunt the snow leopard themselves and were transporting it to sell it to a Chinese customer in Ulaanbaatar.

The Bayanzurkh District Police Division No.1 is currently investigating the case. A division official said, "We are working to find the poacher who illegally hunted the snow leopard and the intended buyer. Furthermore, we are evaluating the loss to ecology and economy caused by illegal snow leopard hunting."

The official also highlighted that technological advancements are necessary as crimes and smuggling of rare flora and fauna, illegal logging and mining have become more sophisticated and organized. "Ecological and economic losses caused by illegal mining and smuggling are increasing due to insufficient personnel and equipment," he added.

84 smuggled marmot skins confiscated at the Mongolia-China border

The Zamiin-Uud Customs Authority caught four passengers in a vehicle attempting to smuggle 84 marmot skins to China on Wednesday. The passengers were reportedly hiding 64 skins in their clothes, while the remaining 20 were hidden in their handbags.

The population of marmot has significantly dropped in Mongolia and many marmot habitats are facing extinction due to massive illegal hunting despite the Ministry of Environment and Green Development's ban on marmot hunting and exportation.

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Enhancing Mongolia s capacity for drought and dzud monitoring and early warning

17 February 2014, Beijing, China

Drought, a creeping disaster affecting many countries in the Asia-Pacific region, adversely affects socioeconomic development and exacerbates poverty among millions of people who depend directly on land as a source of livelihood. The Asia-Pacific region has the largest number of people affected by droughts of any continent. Many countries in the region face tremendous challenges in drought disaster preparedness, particularly in monitoring and early warning aspects.

In addressing these challenges, ESCAP has operationalized the Regional Cooperative Mechanism for Drought Monitoring and Early Warning, which is a flagship project under ESCAP s Regional Space Applications Programme (RESAP). The Mechanism, which was initiated on request, is already active in five pilot countries: Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Nepal and Myanmar. It will provide space-based data, products and services, and strengthen capacity of member States in addressing gaps in monitoring and early warning of agricultural droughts. 

Following the request to ESCAP from Mongolia for regional advisory services for disaster preparedness, the project was developed together with the Mongolian National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC) to enhance its capacity to monitor and detect drought and dzud.

ESCAP Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division (IDD) and East and North-East Asia Office held the first technical assistance meeting in September 2013 in Ulaanbaatar, with remote sensing/Geographic Information System experts from ESCAP secretariat, China, India, Japan and Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) to discuss NRSC s current capacity and the key issues involved in identifying appropriate drought indicators that could be applied to Mongolia s unique climate and landscape. The participants also agreed on a plan of action for 2014.

This project was shared at the ESCAP s Intergovernmental Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction held in November 2013 in Bangkok, as well as the back to back meeting of the Intergovernmental Consultative Committee on RESAP. In early 2014, a series of activities have been conducted in Mongolia in addressing the gaps and needs towards effective use of space-based data and GIS in related agencies such as NRSC and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for disaster risk reduction and sustainable development. The Mongolian project will be used as a pilot for operationalizing the RESAP mechanism. 

Organized by IDD and East and North-East Asia Office of ESCAP, two staff from NRSC will receive a hands-on training for two months on building databases and finding indices at China s Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI) from February 2014.

A mid-term review workshop will be held in September 2014 to assess progress and discuss the second year implementation plan. 

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Mongolian Skier Ch.Otgontsetseg Comes in at 70th Place at Sochi Ladies 10km Classic

February 14 ( On the sixth day of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Mongolian skier Chinbat OTGONTSETSEG competed in the Ladies' 10 km Classic on February 13, 2014. In her division a total of 76 athletes have raced, where Ch.Otgontsetseg finished the distance with 38:43.1 and came in the 70th place.

In the Ladies' 10 km Classic, Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) won a Gold medal with a time of 28:17.8 followed by Charlotte Kalls (SWE) with 28:36.2 and the Bronze medal was grabbed by Therese Johaug (NOR) with 28:46.1.

Today on February 14, the second Mongolian skier Bold BYAMBADORJ will be contesting in the Men's 15 km Classic at 02:00 pm by Sochi time, which is 06:00 pm by Ulaanbaatar time.

As of today, the Team of Germany is leading in the medal count table with 7 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze, followed by Canada (4+4+2), Norway (4+3+6), Netherlands (4+3+5), United States (4+2+6), Switzerland (3+0+1), and Russian Federation (2+5+4).     

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Kalachakra Pilgrimage to Mongolia

A Cultural & Educational Travel Program Hosted by Jonang Foundation

In collaboration with the Buddhist Onsite Studies Collective (BOSC) & Kalachakra Travel 

July 15 - July 27, 2014 (13 Days), $5,200 per person 

We are delighted to offer this customized educational program to Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Mongolia with Professor Vesna Wallace. This program immerses participants in Mongolian Buddhist life and practice with a special emphasis on the Kalachakra tradition. We at Jonang Foundation are particularly excited to bring you this program because of the historical connection of the Jonangpa with Mongolia from the time of Taranatha and Zanabazar 01. For more on this, see Taranatha in Mongolia and Taranatha's Travels in Mongolia

The journey begins in the capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar. From there you travel south to Hamar Monastery in the Gobi Desert and visit the surrounding countryside. You travel on to the Land of Shambhala where the Mongolian Buddhist author and artist Danzanravjaa gathered with his disciples to paint amidst the multi-colored hills. Circling back to Ulaanbaatar for a day, you make your way to Kharakhorum, the ancient city capital of the Mongol Empire set in the Orkhon River basin. The journey then takes you across the Mongol grassland steppes — to Uvurhangai and Arhangai — along the slopes of the Khangai mountains, to the spectacular northern Gobi strip at Elsen Tasarhai. 

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Munkhdul Badral Bontoi

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