All posts by Massimiliano Leone

05 Jul 2018

Measuring Progress towards Green Economy in South Africa

14-16 May 2018, Pretoria, South Africa – The Government of South Africa identified the establishment of a national green economy progress framework as a priority focus area for PAGE’s support. To advance the establishment of the green economy progress framework, PAGE, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) of South Africa jointly organized a national training and a stakeholder engagement workshop on indicators for green economy policymaking.

On 14-15 May 2018, PAGE delivered a 2-day training, with participation from monitoring and data professionals from the DPME and the National Statistics Office (StatsSA). The training presented the methodology of PAGE’s Green Economy Progress Measurement (GEP) Framework and discussed its application for policymaking.

The GEP measurement framework measures progress towards implementing most of the Sustainable Development Goals. It includes 14 direct links to 10 of the Sustainable Development Goals (see below). The framework also measures progress in achieving national priorities, where countries are able to customize the framework by choosing their own targets and indicators. Finally, establishing the framework brings transparency and accountability to policymaking, where it measures shortfalls as well as the relative importance of one area of progress with respect to others for informed decision making.

20 May 2018

From an online course to the classroom: adapting the green fiscal reform concept to the mongolian context

Dr. Ganzorig Gonchigsumlaa, originally from Mongolia, studied at the University of Manchester, where he obtained a Master of Science in Environmental Economics in 2010. He gained his PhD in Agricultural Economics at the Georg-August University of Goettingen, Germany in 2016.

Since then, he has become a Senior Lecturer at the Mongolian University of Life Sciences where he teaches three courses: Introduction to Economics, Cost-Benefit Analysis and Development Economics. In addition, he also has experience working with the UN System and the Mongolian government.

During the weeks of 8 September to 10 November 2017, PAGE delivered an e-learning course on green fiscal reform to meet the learning needs and build capacities of national stakeholders.

The interactive and practice-oriented course provided participants from government, business, civil society and academia with an introduction to various approaches and policy instruments for reforming government spending and revenue generation with the goal of supporting the transition to a green economy.

Ganzorig participated in the course and shares with us his experience:

“The GFR e-course was amazingly well-prepared and organized. The course plan, evaluation methods, training materials, online discussions and receiving feedback for my submitted assignments was fantastic. It was my first time taking an e-course, and I understand better now how useful it can be to take an e-course.”

In terms of content, Ganzorig says he “gained knowledge related to fiscal and financial aspects of the green economy for a variety of economic sectors including agriculture and transportation.”

The most important aspect of the course for him was the “chance to pool out every aspect of green fiscal reform with very practical international case studies and examples.”

Among all the new concepts that he learned, one of the key takeaways is that a biggest challenge to fulfill country goals might be the financial gaps, and thanks to the e-course, he grasped this more clearly.

He encourages people who want to learn about GFR in a constructive manner to take the e-course. “The flexibility of taking the course at my pace, reading the training materials, and having homework was a good balance for me. The live discussions through the webinar was also very interesting and essentially allowed me to connect with other participants and talk about the same topic regardless of our geographical locations,” he adds.

After taking the course, Ganzorig had a chance to share his knowledge through PAGE at UN Mongolia to develop a course on Green Economy and Modelling among the undergraduate students.

The team of professors at the Mongolian University of Life Sciences, National University of Mongolia, and the University of Finance and Economics in Mongolia developed the course curriculum, and lecture and seminar materials.

“I was in charge of the topics on Green Fiscal Reform: Rationale and related concepts and Green Fiscal Reform: Instruments. The two topics are translated versions of the Module 1 and 2 of the GFR e-course; in addition to, a few more cases focused on the context of Mongolia. This is evidence that the course was beneficial to the participants, like myself, who can later evolve the concepts to reach more people,” he concludes.

Some of Ganzorig’s publications include:

Ganzorig, G., Enkh-Amgalan, G., Erdenechuluun, T., Amartuvshin, O., Erdenebayar, M., Kadirbek, D., Tserendavaa, Ts., Batjargal, N., Yadmaa, Z., Gantulga, Ts., Bayarchimeg, G., Ganchimeg, G., Amar, U., Baasansuren, S., Erdenesuren, Ya. and Tumendemberel, G. (2018), Import and Export Study: Linking to Livestock and Vegetable Value Chains, Technical Paper Series 1, book in Mongolian;
Ganzorig, G., Marlon, F (2015) Valuation of contribution of ecosystem services of the Orkhon Valley National Park to sectoral economic development. book in Mongolian and English, “Munkhiin Useg” Publisher, Ulaanbaatar, ISBN 978-99962-3-945-8, DOI (Eng) 10.13140/RG.2.1.4703.5288, DOI (Mon) 10.13140/RG.2.1.2344.2327
Sarthi Acharya; N.Odmaa; D.Chimeddagva; G.Bolormaa; G.Ganzorig (2015, 2016) Handbook for policy planning, monitoring and evaluation. book in Mongolian, Ministry of Finance of Mongolia, UNDP, UNEP, PEI programme, Ulaanbaatar;
Gonchigsumlaa, G. (2018). Opportunities to integrate Green Economy and Sustainable Development aspects into policy planning, monitoring and evaluation processes in Mongolia. Mongolian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 21(02), 92–100, from https://www.mongoliajol.info/index.php/MJAS/article/download/914/1086;

Connect with Dr Ganzorig Gonchigsumlaa on ResearchGate.

20 May 2018

Senegal holds 3rd National Conference on Sustainable Development

29-31 May 2018, Diamniadio, Senegal — From 29-31 May 2018, Senegal held the 3rd edition of its National Conference on Sustainable Development, with the theme of “Sustainable and Healthy Exploitation and Management of Gas and Oil Resources” in the city of Diamniadio.

As considerable oil and gas deposits have been discovered in Senegal in recent years, developing strategies and mechanisms for sustainable management of oil and gas resources is critical to Senegal’s energy independence and the safeguarding of its population and environment.

The conference gathered experts from the Senegalese government, stakeholders from the private sector and civil society, and international experts from the Netherlands and Ghana, among others. The conference featured discussions on the current state of hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation in Senegal, potential adverse environmental and social impacts, and strategies for minimizing such impacts.

The conference focused on the findings of a scientific commission that conducted research on “Governance of oil and gas exploration and exploitation” and “Environmental impacts linked to the oil and gas sectors”. The research notably built on a report conducted by PAGE on how to manage oil and gas revenue in order to promote sustainable development, which is cited as a reference document for the scientific commission’s work. The report also addressed the potential establishment of a National Fund for Monitoring, Preventing and Combating Pollution and Nuisance in the Oil and Gas Sector.

Following the presentation of the findings from the scientific commission, various national and international experts provided inputs, and three workshops were organized in order to deepen the discussions.

The outcome of the conference was the sharing of recommendations pertaining to various themes identified as essential to the sustainable management of oil and gas resources. The recommendations notably dealt with environmental impact assessments and corporate social responsibility; the development of a management framework to deal with pollution and man-made disaster risks; information, education and training on environmental risks; and the institutional, legal and financial frameworks relevant to the oil and gas sector.

This conference served as an important milestone for Senegal’s mitigation of hydrocarbon related risks and its ambitions for an environmentally resilient and prosperous future.