What is the MINIS project?
The MINIS project provides technical assistance to help Mongolia build its capacity to apply international standards when analyzing and preparing infrastructure projects for possible investments.
Does it finance investments?
No. The MINIS project finances only technical assistance. Therefore, no infrastructure investments are eligible for financing under the MINIS project.
What does it finance?
MINIS finances the preparation of studies, including feasibility studies (technical and economic assessments), as well as environmental and social impact assessments. It also helps build local capacity to plan and prepare infrastructure projects.
What is the role of the MINIS Project regarding any planned hydropower projects on the Selenge River?
The MINIS project is financing feasibility studies as well as environmental and social impact assessments for a proposed hydropower project (Shuren Hydropower Project) on the Selenge River and a proposed water diversion project (Flow Regulation of the Orkhon River and Construction of Reservoir Complex) on the Orkhon River, a tributary.
Will the potential impacts of these projects be properly assessed?
Yes. A Regional Environmental Assessment (REA) will be undertaken to assess the individual and cumulative impacts of the proposed projects on the Selenge river basin, as well as an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and a Feasibility Study. The purpose of these studies is to make sure all impacts from potential investments are properly assessed. This includes potential impacts on communities, both in Mongolia and Russia, as well as impacts on the Lake Baikal and Selenge river ecosystems.
Will there be consultations with potentially affected communities?
Yes. As required by World Bank operational policies in general and the World Bank’s policy on environmental assessment (OP 4.01) in particular, the draft Terms of Reference (TORs) for these studies are undergoing a consultative process among potentially affected communities in both Mongolia and Russia.
In addition, once the work on the studies gets underway, a key element of the consultants’ assignment includes the development of a Communications and Consultations program in both Mongolia and Russia. Potentially affected and interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide input and feedback on the draft REA report and the draft ESIA report before they are finalized.
What consultations have been held so far?
A series of consultations took place in the Republic of Buryatia in Russia from March 20 – 31, 2017 on the draft TORs for the REA and the ESIAs for both proposed projects. More than 1,300 stakeholders including local residents, representatives from non-governmental organizations, local authorities and the government participated in these consultations, which were held in Ulan-Ude city, Tarbagatay village of Tarbagataiskii district, Ust–Barguzin village of Bargunskii district, Goryachinsk village of Pribaikalskii district, Turuntaeva village of Pribaikalskii district, Kabansk village of Kabanskii district, Gusino-Ozersk town of Selengiinskii district, Severo-Baikalsk of Severobaikalskii district and Nijneangarsk village of Severobaikalskii district.
These consultations were hosted by the Buryat authorities and led by the MINIS Project Management Unit (PMU). World Bank representatives attended as observers. The input and feedback received during these meetings will inform the draft TORs for REA and ESIA. Further information on these consultations is available on the consultation hub of the MINIS website at www.minis.mn.
A series of consultations will also be held in Irkutsk. The timeline and locations for these consultations are still under discussion with authorities. Once this has been agreed, information about these meetings will be posted on the MINIS consultation hub and disseminated locally.
In 2015 and 2016, the project implementing agencies carried out eight consultation meetings with potentially affected people and other stakeholders on the project concept and draft TORs – five for the proposed Shuren Hydropower Project and three for the proposed Orkhon diversion project. For each meeting, comments were received, a response matrix was developed, and the draft TORs were revised based on this feedback.
- Consultations held to date for Shuren: In addition to the consultation event held in Ulaanbaatar on January 16, 2015, follow-up consultations were held in Tsuuts Bag Selenge Soum, Bulgan Province, on May 23, 2015, and in Atar Bag Selenge Soum, Bulgan Province on May 25, 2015. Further local area consultations were held on April 18 and 19, 2016, in Selenge Soum and Atar Bag.
- Consultations held to date for Orkhon: In addition to the consultation event held in Ulaanbaatar on January 29, 2015, further local area consultations were held for Orkhon in Khishingundur, Khangal Soum and Khyalganat village near the potential project site on April 17-18, 2016. Reports on these most recent consultations are forthcoming. In addition, a review of the prefeasibility phase also identified that local area consultations had been held on the project concept in Tov Province, Dundgobi Province, Umnu-Gobi Province, Bulgan Province, and Arkhangai Province, from November 11-17, 2013.
- Consultations and technical meetings organized by Russian stakeholders held in Russia: Three main consultations were organized in Russia by Russian stakeholders:
- Stakeholder consultation organized by the District of Kabanski, State of Buryatia, on February 28, 2016. The Bank and the MINIS Project Management Unit (PMU) received the meeting minutes, comments and recommendations on the draft TORs.
- Technical discussion meeting was organized by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Moscow on April 11-12, 2016. The Bank as well as the MINIS PMU Director attended the discussions.
- A regional conference on Rivers of Siberia was organized by regional CSOs in November 2015 in Irkutsk. Bank Management attended the conference and presented the Bank’s safeguards policies. The outcome and recommendations from the conference were received by the Bank and shared with the MINIS PMU for its consideration in the draft ESIA TORs.
What’s the next step after consultations have concluded on the TORs?
Upon completing the consultation process in Irkutsk, the TORs will be revised and finalized and a competitive bidding process will be implemented to hire international consulting firms to conduct the studies.
Last Updated: Apr 12, 2017