From an Online Course to the Classroom: Adapting the Green Fiscal Reform Concept to the Mongolian Context

From an Online Course to the Classroom: Adapting the Green Fiscal Reform Concept to the Mongolian Context

 

By Pilar Lagos

Originally published on the PAGE website.

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.

Dr. Ganzorig Gonchigsumlaa teaching Sustainable Development Goals in the Development Economics course among undergraduate students. / © Sainjargal Zorigtbaatar 2018

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.”

The Sunkhul Lake is salty lake located up in the mountain summer pastureland, which sustains livestock of herder households both from Khovd and Bayan-Ulgii provinces. Ganzorig did his PhD study in this area for competitiveness of pastural livestock production in Mongolia. /©Ganzorig Gonchigsumlaa 2012
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.

The green economy concept in Mongolia connects heavily to the herding communities, where natural resources (pastureland and water) and the environmental challenges, and human development are the key areas of the ‘green changes’. The former herder family, headed by Mr. Shagdarsuren Khalzaa — the driver of the motorcycle on the photo, had lost about 160 goats and several horses, cattle and camels during the Dzud, a natural disaster in winter that kills livestock with its low temperature, heavy snow, and strong wind, in 2010. The family had left with too few livestock hence, the photo is to show how nomadic herding lifestyle the family has been changed to residential lifestyle. The situation in 2018, they restocked their livestock to 200 goats and some large ruminants, shifted back to the herding lifestyle, and the family size is extended to seven. /©Ganzorig Gonchigsumlaa 2012
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.

About PAGE
The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) brings together the expertise of five UN agencies — UN Environment, International Labour Organization, UN Development Programme, UN Industrial Development Organization, and UN Institute for Training and Research. It supports nations and regions in reframing economic policies and practices around sustainability to foster economic growth, create income and jobs, reduce poverty and inequality, and strengthen the ecological foundations of their economies.