Sunday, July 6, 2014

Mongolia Brief July 4, 2014 Part IV



First Gobi bear cub of this year born

July 6 (UB Post) A research team that worked at the A region of Gobi’s strictly protected area has reported that the first Gobi bear cub of this year was born.
The Ministry of Environment and Green Development and researchers of the National University of Mongolia is currently making a picture index of all Gobi bears.
The research team installed automatic motion sensor cameras at Tsagaan Bogd, Shar Khuls and Khushuut of Gobi National Park which is home to Gobi bears.
With the automatic motion sensor cameras, pictures of each bear will be sorted and tracking bear population will become much easier. There are only around 30 Gobi bears left in existence as they are endemic specie to Mongolia.

Consumer Rights Agency says Santis English School overcharges students

July 6 (UB Post) The Agency for Fair Competition and Consumer Rights (AFCCR) found that Santis English School administrators have overcharged their students by 310,000 MNT during a recent inspection.
The school charged 2.6 million MNT as tuition fee from each student at the start of the academic year 2013-2014 and charged extra 310,000 MNT as “additional fee” shortly before their graduation. Those who didn’t pay the additional fee weren’t given their graduation diplomas according to Chief of Consumer Rights Protection Division at AFCCR Ch.Batbaatar.
“We have received several complaints regarding this school’s payment system. As a result of the inspection, 40 graduates of the school who haven’t paid the additional fee received their diplomas and prevented 12 million MNT worth of ‘additional fee’ from being paid to the administrators. Such violation will not be repeated again,” said Ch.Batbaatar.

Oxygen apparatus presented to the United Infants Section of NCMCH

July 6 (UB Post) One of the biggest international audit organizations in Mongolia, PwC donated three pieces of oxygen apparatus to the United Infants Section of the National Center for Maternal and Child Health of Mongolia (NCMCH), which assists infants who are born prematurely.
“Our office in Ulaanbaatar has more than 80 employees. We teamed up with well-educated young Mongolians. Child health is a very important and worrisome issue. Realizing our social responsibility, we are presenting these pieces of oxygen equipment to the NCMCH,” said Administrate Partner of PwC Matthew Potel.
Each apparatus costs 1,650,000 MNT. The United Infants Section includes three maindepartments: pathology, intensive treatment, and infant research.
“Nowadays, the younger generation does many activities to benefit society. This apparatus is very useful. We have some, but not in every room,” said NCMCH’s Vice-Director of Treatment, Ts.Altantuya.
Around 10,000 babies are born every year at the NCMCH. The center assists 14,000 babies nationwide.
PwC is an international organization which gives auditing services and tax advice.

Mongolian Honorary Consulate opens in Madrid

July 6 (UB Post) Foreign Affairs Minister L.Bold conducted an official visit to Spain, a country influential in the European Union and the historical core of Spanish speaking countries, on July 1 and 2. The visit represents the implementation of the “third neighbor” policy, strengthening Mongolia’s national security politically and broadening Mongolia’s position on the international stage, as well as contributing to the two country’s economic relations.
Foreign Affairs Minister L.Bold held bilateral talks with his Spanish counterpart, Garcia Margallo, and discussed cooperation and relations widely. The sides agreed on stabilizing political talks, intensifying economic cooperation, exchanging students, and shared views on cooperation within the EU, U.N. and other international organizations.
At the meeting, Margallo noted that this was the first official visit of a Mongolian Foreign Affairs Minister in the 40-year history of relations between Mongolia and Spain, and emphasized the visit was a significant step in developing relations and cooperation between the two countries.
Minister L.Bold attended the official opening ceremony of the Mongolian Honorary Consulate Mission in Madrid, and presented the newly appointed honorary consul, Spanish citizen Adriana Poveda, a Mongolian flag.
Over 300 Mongolian citizens are registered as residing in Spain. On June 30, Spanish police arrested a man who attacked a young Spaniard born in Mongolia on Barcelona’s underground railway system, after a video of the incident posted on YouTube went viral. The honorary consul in Madrid is currently working on this case, protecting the rights of the alleged Mongolian attack victim.
During the visit, L.Bold met Spanish Secretary of State for trade, Jaime GarcĂ­a-Legaz, where the sides highlighted that there are many pleasant opportunities to intensify Mongolia-Spain collaboration in trade, economy and the investment sectors, and discussed possibilities to promote and support collaboration through policy and intensifying the organization of bilateral business meetings. The sides agreed on collaborating particularly on infrastructure, urban planning, agriculture, leather processing and tourism, and reached a decision to hold a Mongolia-Spain business forum in Spain this September.

Investment fund to be established

July 6 (UB Post) The Parliament of Mongolia passed the Law on Investment in October 2013. Its supporters believe that implementation of the law might positively influence the financial market, investment environment as well as the macroeconomic situation of the country.
The council organized to intensify the economy has finished developing its guidance to establish an state investment fund, which will make proactive development investments. The government anticipates that a decision will be made to finance the establishment of the investment fund through Development Bank in its first phase.
With the formation of the investment fund, capital invested by the government will be used as leverage, and it would be possible to raise money from other investors equivalent to five times the minimum capital required by Development Bank. Capital would be attracted as investment, not a loan, which means there would be no pressure in terms of debt.

Prime Minister responds to letter from MP Kh.Battulga

July 6 (UB Post) A few days ago, Member of Parliament and former Agriculture and Industry Minister Kh.Battulga addressed a letter to Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag, demanding a response to several issues, stating that he will stand against several parliamentary and governmental decisions which he believes will negatively affect the lives of Mongolian people and bring about extremely dangerous consequences that will weaken national security and work against the interests of the Mongolian people.
Yesterday, Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag made a statement regarding the issues addressed in Kh.Battulga’s letter. The statement said:
1. The decision to use the equipment, facilities and software of Chinese companies ZTE and Huawei in the communications sector went into force in 2009. All the projects regarding this issue were completed in compliance with guidance from the National Security Council of Mongolia.
2. The Government of Mongolia did not breach current railway policy, which was submitted by you, Kh.Battulga, during your four year appointment in 2008 as Minister of Roads and Transportation. The issue to lay down narrow railway track in some ports to directly transport mining product overseas was submitted to the Parliament in compliance with the State Policy on Railway.
3. The issue to open a branch of Bank of China has not been discussed at the government level.
4. The renewed draft version of the Land Law, developed in compliance with the Constitution, has been withdrawn, as the organized campaign against it has started to deviate from the draft bill and misinform the public that the draft bill has a clause to allow foreign citizens and entities to own land.
The New Government for Changes of Mongolia did not make any decision to harm the state of national security or independence, and I conscientiously make a promise that we will never make such a decision.
Signed, Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag

Rainwater drainage trucks will now be clearly identified

July 6 (UB Post) Due to the lack of a sufficient city drainage system, rainwater swamps the streets after heavy rains and causes a public nuisance. The Ulaanbaatar Incorporated Public Service Authority removes the rainwater with the help of three specialized vacuum trucks with water carrying capacity ranging from 1 to 10 tons.
The public was recently concerned about reports on social media networks that the city authority poured collected wastewater into the Tuul River. In reality, the water was not household drainage and was the collected rainwater.
Ulaanbaatar has a separate system for purifying water. Existing road drainage systems and channels are connected to the river. In the future, the specialized trucks used to remove rainwater will have signs that say “Rain Water” on them, reported the Ulaanbaatar Incorporated Public Service Authority.

Air pollution in Ulaanbaatar believed to increase the risk of miscarriage

July 6 (UB Post) An international conference on the effects of air pollution on women and children’s health took place at the National Center for Maternal and Children’s Health (NCMCH) on June 7 to 9.
David Warburton, a doctor at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in the U.S., gave the most interesting speech. He said, “Our final research report indicates that the risk of miscarriage in Ulaanbaatar increases four times during winter.” These results came from comparing women at 27 days of pregnancy in winter and summer. The research was based on data collected from 10,000 women examined at the NCMCH.
Dr. Warburton also stated, “80 percent of Ulaanbaatar’s air pollution is from coal. Although people need coal to keep warm, it’s still very dirty. Therefore, I’d like to advise introducing ‘coal cleaning’ technology to Mongolia. Decisive steps for the health of future Mongolian children should be taken. We must either completely stop using coal or clean coal extremely well. Also, if heat loss in homes is reduced, coal use will be reduced.”
He also stated that smoking is another major source of air pollution and continued, “Air pollution isn’t just a health issue. It can include businesses. If members of the energy sector create public-private partnerships and drive away coal, there are opportunities to raise funds from foreign countries.”
His research will be continued further.
Link to article

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