Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mongolia Brief July 29, 2014 Part III

MH17: Mongolian students transferred from eastern Ukraine
July 29 (UB Post) Ukraine’s Ministry of Education and Science will transfer both local and international students studying in Donetsk to other cities, citing “the current situation” as reasons for their transfer.
Unuudur reports that students, several from Mongolia, will continue their studies elsewhere in the country for an unspecified time.
The decision comes during the university break, ensuring that most students remain safely outside of the city. Unuudur talked to General Consulate of Mongolia in Kiev Kh.Boldkhuyag, and he said, “Around ten Mongolians study mining at Donetsk National Technical University and one studies at Donbas National Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture, which are located in eastern Ukraine. Right now, only one Mongolian final-year student is in Donetsk. The rest are here in Mongolia during their summer vacation.”
Of the 150 Mongolian students currently studying in the Ukraine, those who are studying in Donetsk and Donbass will be transferred from universities in the east of Ukraine when they return from Mongolia. One Mongolian student remains in Donetsk right now but is expected to be removed from the conflict area in coming days.
The consulate added that all the students who study in Donetsk and Donbas will be transferred to universities in other cities according to their majors, and he called on the Mongolian students studying in these two cities to contact him as soon as possible.

Cabinet meeting covers road projects, air pollution and more
July 29 (UB Post) More than 20 issues, including road projects across the country, air pollution measures, import regulation, and preparations for winter, were discussed during last week’s cabinet meeting.
During the meeting, Foreign Minister L.Bold approved the selection of a new Permanent Representative to the U.N. in association with Mongolia’s term heading the U.N. Environment Assembly from 2014 to 2016. Mongolia was elected to head the U.N. Environment Assembly in June.
The head of the assembly will be in charge of the implementation of the assembly’s 2014 to 2016 project plans, its finances, monitoring the budget, chairing meetings, and managing and organizing meetings with local governing bodies with secretarial support.
Selbe Highway interchange approved
The interchange for the Selbe Highway, part of Ulaanbaatar’s general development plan through 2020 and the Street Project, was approved during the weekly cabinet meeting.
Ulaanbaatar Mayor E.Bat-Uul was made responsible for, “the clearance, approval and ownership of land for the road and interchange.”
Head of the Street Project B.Batbold was made responsible for, “financial compensation issuance for land clearance.”
The street and highway projects are focused on reducing traffic congestion by building a highway on the vertical axis of the city.
The Selbe Highway project is expected to link the horizontal highway across Ulaanbaatar from Bayanzurkh Checkpoint to 22nd Checkpoint, being built through the Street Project, to the center of the city.
The Selbe Highway will link Altanbulag to Zamyn-Uud Highway and the ANZ road, in the south of Ulaanbaatar.
Anti air pollution efforts to intensify
On May 15, 2014, efforts to combat air pollution and a resolution on the issue were added to the Law on Government. The amendment obliged ministers to, “actively work against air pollution, and a centralized policy for combating air pollution has been formed.”
At the weekly cabinet meeting, ministers responsible for fighting air pollution were instructed to work with related organizations to determine the workforce required for carrying out projects and to oversee their implementation.
Officials in the sector were given the task of evaluating coal usage, and to conduct studies on heating stoves to provide information about the size of the areas they heat, the cost of maintenance, and heating efficiency.
High-risk imports under review
Deputy Minister D.Terbishdagva was instructed to create a list of risky import products based on the approved criteria for imported products to undergo inspection by the State Specialized Inspection Agency. By forming a list, the cabinet believes that the products subject to regular inspection will become clear, and monitoring the safety of imported products will become easier. The list is also expected to simplify human resource challenges facing inspectors and make it easier for importers of risky products to conduct business within regulations.
Decree issued on agricultural winter preparations
The government issued a decree on winter preparations and supply in the agricultural sector for 2014-2015. At the cabinet meeting, Minister of Agriculture and Industry Sh.Tuvdendorj and provincial governors were instructed to oversee preventative measures for seasonal hardships and natural disasters in winter and spring, and to form plans to minimize damage and monitor winter preparation progress.

Update on accidents caused by recent rain and thunderstorm
July 29 (UB Post) Heavy rain and thunderstorm hit not only Arkhangai Province’s Khashaat soum, but also Ulaanbaatar and Tuv Province on Saturday night, leaving several houses roofless and one dead in lightning strike.
The man who was struck by lightning was a 28-year-old and died on impact. Several children aged between six and 13 also received burns when lightning struck them.
The Information and Emergency Management Center (IEMC) at the General Police Department received numerous reports from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, when heavy rain and thunderstorm reached critical levels.
Roof of a house and a garage in Chinggeltei District were carried away by the storm, while two gers in Sukhbaatar District collapsed in the storm.
A car was ruined as piled up logs fell on it during the storm, while another garage roof was carried away and fell on a ger in Khandgait summer camp area. The roofs of several households living near the Chinggis Khaan International Airport were also carried away by the storm, according to the IEMC.
No one was injured in the accidents caused by the storm.
In addition, over 70,000 hens died of suffocation at Mon Egg LLC poultry farm as air conditioning system failed for several hours due to the storm, which cut off power at Bayanchandmani soum in Tuv Province. As of Monday, the farm staff buried 38,000 hens 12 meters deep in the ground and sanitized the farm, reported the State Specialized Inspection Agency.

120 projects to be financed by the Chinggis and Samurai bonds
July 29 (UB Post) The Development Bank of Mongolia is working to finance a total of 120 projects with its first Eurobond of 580 million USD, the Chinggis Bond, Samurai Bond, and its own assets. The projects cover eight sectors, namely transportation, construction, infrastructure, energy, mining, small and medium-sized enterprises, agriculture and light industry.
The bank planned to lend 107 billion MNT to 17 road and bridge construction and renovation projects and has lent about 73 billion MNT so far. The bank also has lent 166.69 billion MNT and 159.2 million USD to eight construction projects. Currently, 34 infrastructure projects are being implemented with financial help from Development Bank, and in the energy sector, prospective projects such as the Tavan Tolgoi Power Station, Amgalan Thermal Station and Eg River Hydroelectric Power Plant will be financed.
The biggest project the Development Bank is implementing in mining sector is a 200 million USD investment to increase the cash position of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi LLC. In addition, the bank has lent 6.25 billion MNT for the initial construction of Sainshand Industrial Park Complex, and 48.4 billion MNT to 311 small and medium-sized enterprises. The bank plans also to lend 269 billion USD to light industry to upgrade equipment and facilities.

Illegal vendors settle in at National Garden Park
July 29 (UB Post) Three years have passed since National Garden Park opened in Ulaanbaatar. National Garden Park has become one of the most popular places for residents to spend their free time, aside from the National Park of Rest and Culture and Zaisan Tolgoi. The number of visitors to National Garden Park has risen in the past year. The park sees an average of 300 daily visitors.
The construction of National Garden Park is considered one of the city’s largest and most successful creations, with a big green space (home to 110,000 trees, bushes and flowers of 22 varieties), a bicycle path, a 40 meter water fountain that turns 360 degrees, a 24×230 meter granite-paved square, 30 sculptures, a children’s sport square, a 2.5 meter ski track, and a 40×40 meter ice rink.
Unuudur visited National Garden Park on July 22, at 9 p.m. Even though National Garden Park has 300 parking spaces in its designated lot, people parked their cars on the road in front of the main entrance to avoid the 1,000 MNT per hour parking rate.
Buses and other vehicles selling khuushuur and beverages are located near the main entrance. The buses set out some tables and chairs near their businesses and serve people food without a sanitation license. On average, one khuushuur costs 1,000 MNT, while mutton shashlik costs 8,000 MNT. The disturbing smoke from barbeque grills does not allow for normal breathing and is reminiscent of a black market. The ground is full of trash. In addition to food businesses there are also gaming kiosks. Many small businesses set up quickly outside of National Garden Park. Visitors can pay 10,000 MNT to wait for 15 to 20 minutes for a portrait, or 3,000 MNT to be photographed with an eagle.
People come to the park to take a break from city noise and for a breath of fresh air. But there is no way to take a break at National Garden Park. We encountered 10-year-old children walking around and selling khuushuur. Every country has a public park where fast food, gaming kiosks and commerce are available, but at least they have permits and sanitation licenses.
Many of the vendors outside of National Garden Park don’t have business permits. Four Bayanzurkh district police officers and three security services patrol National Garden Park every day, but only a few people carry out their duties.
There are no standardized and permitted facilities at National Garden Park, except for four food kiosks and the restrooms.
“It is very nice here. The National Garden Park is more developed than past years. I think it is the only place where young people can spend their free time, and I’m happy about that. But related organizations should pay more attention to non-licensed food sellers,” said resident of Bayangol district, S.Jargal.
In 2009, ex-Governor and Mayor of Ulaanbaatar G.Munkhbayar initiated the project to build the park. The original plan for the park was for 1,280 hectares, but real size of the park is 960 hectares. The National Garden Park will continue to be developed through 2020. Soccer fields, flower gardens, a beach, an ampitheatre, and an aerial lift will eventually be added.
At this time, 55 hectares of National Garden Park is covered with trees and bushes, representing 23 percent of Ulaanbaatar’s green space. The park is located 2.1 kilometers from Chinggis Square, covering 960 hectares from Marshall Bridge to Bayanzurkh Bridge along the Tuul River. Twenty-seven employees started the construction of the National Garden Park in 2010, and now there are 113 employees. By 2020, the biggest garden park in the world will be built in Mongolia, which sounds great!
Source: Unuudur,

Sh.Demberel: Nation’s development speed will vary depending on how much knowledge is utilized
July 29 (UB Post) Ph.D. and Sc.D Sh.Demberel, a representative of the Institute of Veterinary Scienceof the Mongolian State University of Agriculture (MSUA) received the title of academician during the regular session of the Mongolian Academy of Science (MAS). He was awarded the title by academician and President of MAS B.Enkhtuvshin just before Naadam Festival.
The following is an interview with Sc.D Sh.Demberel, who has started out as a veterinarian, about his contribution in developing Mongolia’s science sector.
Congratulations on receiving the academician title, which is the highest recognition of individuals in the Mongolian science sector. In your biography, it was written that you started off as a veterinarian at a soum. Can you please speak about your start?
Thank you. At the time, when I was about to graduate, there was a system to make new experts work in productions in order to show them life in rural areas. Through this system, as soon as I graduated from the MSUA, I was assigned to the post of doctor and head of veterinary department in Galuut soum, Bayankhongor Province. In the registry of assets, I received assets as the head of the veterinary department. A green GAZ-69 Animal Ambulance worth 15,000 MNT was put into my account.
To me, who had no other assets aside from few books, the price of the vehicle was overwhelming as it was equivalent to 20 months of my salary. Including the diagnosis team, the department had 10 staff and their salary and fuel costs were issued under my name. It was a proper office with financing, transportation and a logo. The first aid service unit of the State Veterinary was powerful and wasn’t under the influence of the soum’s communion management. We were able to demand and complain about the department’s work requirements. This management and supply was possible thanks to one of the senior deans at the MSUA and state honored veterinarian G.Dashnyam who worked as the chief doctor of the State Veterinary at the time. During my post there, I got to learn about communication skills with people of different personalities in order to manage work. The soum’s communion had 103 thousand livestock and was sufficient to conduct plenty of observation and research. At the time, the head of the soum’s communion was a great leader named Jamts.
How have you come to do research work from being a soum veterinarian?
The history of me becoming a research officer from a soum veterinarian is quite interesting. At the time, an advertisement was put up in Unen newspaper notifying that research officers will be chosen through a competition. Shortly after, I took a leave from work and went to the city to participate in the examination. I scored high and started working in the veterinary sector of the Institute of Veterinary Science. Since then, I’ve been working here for 42 years. During this time, I got my postgraduate degrees and worked my way from the beginner’s research unit to the sector’s scientific management. I did research work for physiology and biology of growth and diseases in newborns.
In the last ten years, I mainly focused on developing probiotics for veterinary, expansion of production and consumption, and training research teams and personnel. Within this framework, I researched the composition of Mongolian traditional fermented mare’s milk, yogurt and camel drinks, and actively conducted works to cleanly extract bacteria for medical purposes. With its results, I led some ten projects for Doctor of Science, Doctor of Education, and a Master’s degree.
Several bio products from over ten patents and product technical documentations, as well as some 30 standards that our research team developed at the last few years was put to production in the Probiotic Research and Production Center, which was established under our initiation. Staff cooperation of the agriculture sector, especially the support and encouragement of members and leading scientists in the veterinary sector was vital for providing conditions to work successfully in all stages, including research studies for diseases in livestock offsprings. I’m grateful to the current team who are continuing this work.
Research works are complicated and probably requires a lot of patience. What are the pros and cons of research works?
Research works are complicated and requires a lot of patience. Agricultural research work is completely based on experiments and comparison. Production technologies are done within specific periods. For instance, campaign for assisting livestock to deliver their young is done once a year. Therefore, related researches must be completed within that time limit. Cultivation is done in spring and harvesting in fall. Unless you wrap up preparation work, create technologies and do experiments and research within that period, you’ll lose time.
For veterinary research work, before production technology testing, several research models have to be developed in laboratory conditions after small animal trials. Repeated complex works requiring tolerance and endurance is implemented during processing, including comparison of domestic and foreign press data, evaluation of results, and consideration of things that may affect production testing. Every researcher knows that choosing the correct research model is the key to successful experiments. During the research process, it’s common to end up with unsuccessfully developed research models, theoretical assumptions that are inconsistent with practices, and failed trials after working on them for many days and months. However, you can create a beginning for the next successful research by taking note of all the details of failed experiments.
Since research works aren’t visible like construction works, there must be aspects that most don’t understand or appreciate. Can you talk about this?
From an outsider’s perspective, I must look like a crazy guy who mixes all sorts of things in glass tubes. Some think that it will not have any good outcome. But you can’t deny that it may become the beginning of a big successful project or a change. In the beginning of the twentieth century, a chemist asked his assistant about the work they do; the assistant answered that the scientist mixes all sorts of things in tubes and bottles all day and in the evening. The chemist gets rid of the assistant.
There are many difficulties and disadvantages of research work such as useful bacteria, which I extracted through many stages, evolving, changing or even dying during microbiological research processes. However, there are advantages such as implementing research models in production and consumption, getting new ideas from reviewing research results, developing researches of my own with the team, creating a new space for it in the respective science sector, and seeing its result.
As mentioned before, we initiated and commissioned the Probiotic Research and Production Center with a workshop under our institute, with the support of another governing body. This is also part of the initiations of our team’s leading scientists, but due to financial difficulties, it’s unable to operate at an adequate level.
Do you face difficulties in financing research materials and its implementation?
There’s scarcity in investments and financing opportunities. It’s important to increase financing in order to develop basic and applied research works and put scientific and technological achievements into use. The medical sector takes high priority in probiotic issues and cooperates with us but the Mongolian Veterinary Medical Association management rejects proposed projects. We’re being tolerant at the moment. Investment and financing that come through foreign relations are very important and it’s great to see young people advance their knowledge and get results from work that they conducted in partnership with internationally recognized scientists. It’s also great to combine quick operations of younger generations with the knowledge of experienced senior scientists. Operations with experience-based knowledge are the root of prosperity.
How many members does the MAS have and how many representatives of agricultural science are there?
Currently, the MAS has around 50 members. Four new members were chosen this year and six agricultural academicians are representing the veterinary sector. Under the supervision of the MAS, the Mongolian Academy of Agricultural Sciences was established in 2009. All science and technological matters for the sector are managed by the respective academy and its office, the Scientific Council of the MSUA.
Are the government and ministries able to reflect the large intellectual resource of scientists in policies?
Depending on how much knowledge you can utilize for production and how much demand you can acquire for intellectual products, the nation’s development speed will vary. There is a way to increase production and demand for intellectual products. To do this, we have to uphold the principle to do analysis for scientific and technological projects demanded by the ministry and agency, get results for the first stage of production, and then, announce tenders for implementation and acquire up to 50 percent of the total financing from the portfolio of the sector’s minister. This is consistent with the principle stating that results of in demand research work must be utilized. I have to acknowledge that our scientists and researchers are inactive in participating in policy and decision-making.
It is a fact that our scientists participated more actively in government policy development than academicians before. One way to utilize scientists’ capacity and intellectual resource is to have extensive involvement of scientists in professional councils, committees and working groups at the ministry and government agencies. I believe that this is a good opportunity to bind joint productive activities of experts and researchers at the ministry and government agencies.
Source: Unuudur news

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