In 2021, Mongolia was ranked 106th out of 163 countries with a score of 63.5 points on the SDG index. Additionally, Mongolia’s SDG index score has increased by only 3.6 points in the past 21 years, which averages to 0.17 points per year.
The only positive indicator from the index is the achievement of the goal of promoting quality education in Mongolia. However, the evaluation is based on literacy and access rather than the quality of education. Goals that are also making progress include poverty eradication and partnership for the goals.
However, the most problematic goals are innovation and infrastructure development, sustainable cities and communities, zero hunger, and climate change.
Here are some examples of challenges and initiatives related to the SDGs in Mongolia:
Goal 1: No Poverty: One of the main challenges related to this goal in Mongolia is the rural-urban divide, where poverty rates are much higher in rural areas. The government of Mongolia has launched several initiatives to address this issue, including the “Mongolia Sustainable Livelihoods Program” and the “National Program on Poverty Reduction.”
Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being: Air pollution is a major health hazard in Mongolia, particularly in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. The government and civil society organizations have implemented several initiatives to improve air quality, including promoting the use of clean stoves and reducing coal consumption.
Goal 4: Quality Education: While Mongolia has made progress in promoting access to education, there are still challenges related to the quality of education. The government has launched initiatives to address this issue, such as the “National Program on Education Development” and the “Teacher Development Program.”
Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy: Mongolia has significant potential for renewable energy, particularly wind and solar power. The government has set a target of producing 20% of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2023, and has launched initiatives to support the development of renewable energy, such as the “Renewable Energy Support Project.”
Goal 13: Climate Action: Mongolia is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as desertification and extreme weather events. The government has launched several initiatives to address this issue, including the “National Program on Climate Change” and the “Green Development Policy.”
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals: Mongolia has actively engaged in regional and international partnerships to advance the SDGs, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The government has also launched initiatives to promote public-private partnerships and civil society engagement in the implementation of the SDGs.
There are several factors that are hindering progress towards achieving the SDGs in Mongolia:
1. Limited resources and financing: Mongolia is a developing country with limited resources and funding to implement the necessary policies and programs to achieve the SDGs. The government faces challenges in securing enough financing to invest in infrastructure, health, education, and social programs.
2. Political instability: Mongolia has faced political instability over the years, which has led to inconsistent policy-making and implementation. This has hindered progress towards achieving the SDGs.
3. Climate change and environmental degradation: Mongolia is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and environmental degradation, including air pollution, desertification, and water scarcity. These challenges have severe consequences on the health, livelihoods, and well-being of the population, particularly vulnerable groups such as herders.
4. Limited institutional capacity: The government of Mongolia faces significant challenges in building institutional capacity, particularly at the local level, to effectively implement policies and programs that are necessary for achieving the SDGs.
5. Social and cultural norms: Mongolia has a patriarchal society, which often perpetuates gender inequalities. Women and girls face several challenges in accessing education, health, and economic opportunities, which affects their ability to participate in and benefit from development programs.