Mongolia’s economy is booming. International investments for exploration of the extensive mineral deposits resulted in a growth rate of close to 20 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. But pesticides problems from the past – when the country was a Soviet satellite – remain unsolved.
A mission form Milieukontakt and the International HCH and Pesticides Association (IHPA) to Mongolia in October 2011 revealed that on different locations in the country obsolete stocks of POPs pesticides are stored under substandard conditions. The scale of the problem, however, is difficult to establish without a further research.
During a seminar with Milieukontakt and IHPA and Regional Inspectors from the Plant Protection and Quarantine Department of the Ministry of Agriculture in Ulan Bataar it was agreed that the inspectors would look into the matter in further detail and search for not administered stock of obsolete and POPs pesticides. This in order to get a first indication of the scale and extend of the problems in Mongolia.
Unfortunately the inspectors thus far were not able to provide Milieukontakt and IHPA with further details of amounts of obsolete and POPs pesticides in their home provinces.
It will be important to set up structural cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and other stakeholders in order to get the facts straight about the scale of the problem in Mongolia and prepare next steps to eliminate the acute risks on human health and the environment stemming from obsolete and POPs pesticides.
A mission report will be available after Milieukontakt and IHPA received comments on the outcomes from the Mongolian Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture.
The Milieukontakt and IHPA mission to Mongolia was financed as part of the FAO, Green Cross Switzerland, IHPA and Milieukontakt implemented and GEF-funded project: Capacity building on Obsolete and POPs Pesticides in Eastern European, Caucasus and Central Asian (EECCA) countries.