In May 2016, 50 international delegates gathered in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to discuss the state’s role in large resource projects. Facilitated by CIRDI and Mongolia’s International Cooperation Fund (ICF), the workshop enabled peer-to-peer learning on natural resource governance for countries in a similar developmental stage.
As Mongolia increasingly defines itself as a mining nation, it is a critical time for open dialogue about resource governance. In recent years, the country has experienced a resource boom and downturn and has adjusted to dramatic political change with the transition from communism to a democratic structure and decentralized economy. In addition, the Mongolian government reformed its governance structures to increase the efficacy of state-owned enterprises. Mongolians continue to learn from past policy decisions and find the best way forward. As they do so, they have many lessons to share.
Mongolian decision-makers from the national government, industry, civil society and academia were joined by six international delegates from Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos and Myanmar to discuss different models of state engagement in resource governance. Topics included enterprise ownership models, decision-making structures, legal frameworks, transparency, international standards and social responsibility.
In the workshop evaluation, a Kyrgyz delegate noted that the Kyrgyz Republic shares about 95 per cent of the challenges that face Mongolia, which reinforces the importance of these regional discussions and learning opportunities. Several Mongolian delegates confirmed that this workshop was timely, with one emphasizing that it opened new channels for exchanging information.
In addition to sharing domestic and international knowledge, the workshop created new connections between stakeholders and encouraged transparency in discussions on resource governance.
The next workshop in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic this fall, will continue to foster open dialogue, knowledge sharing and capacity building for regional networks.