What is the MINIS project?
The MINIS project provides technical assistance to help the Government of Mongolia build its capacity to apply international standards when analyzing and preparing infrastructure projects for possible investment.
Does it finance investments in infrastructure?
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?
Subject to the outcomes of Regional Environmental Assessment studies, the MINIS project could finance 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.
How will the potential impacts of these projects be assessed?
A Regional Environmental Assessment (REA) will be undertaken to assess the individual and cumulative impacts of the proposed projects on the Selenge river basin. The projects that pass the REA stage could then conduct an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and a Feasibility Study. The purpose of these studies would be 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) the draft REA outcomes will be consulted upon with potentially affected communities in both Mongolia and Russia. The draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for REA have already been extensively consulted with potentially affected communities in Russia and Mongolia.
What consultations have been held so far?
In total, 11 consultation meetings on draft TORs for REA and ESIA for both proposed projects were held in Buryatia, the Russian Federation, during March 20-31, 2017. 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.
Three consultation meetings on the draft TORs for the REA and the ESIAs for both proposed projects took place from May 16 – 18, 2017 in the Irkutsk region, including Slyudyanka, Elantsy and Irkutsk. More than 400 stakeholders representing local residents, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, academia, and the government participated in the consultations in Irkutsk region.
These consultations were hosted by the Buryat and Irkutsk authorities respectively and led by the MINIS Project Management Unit (PMU). World Bank representatives attended as observers. The input and feedback received during these meetings has informed the draft TORs for REA and ESIA.
Additional public consultations on the draft TORs for the REA and the ESIA for two projects were held in Mongolia during June 27-July 3, 2017. In total, more than 1000 stakeholders took part in 19 consultation meetings.
In 2015 and 2016, the project implementing unit 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 and Atar Bags of Selenge Soum, Bulgan Province, on May 24, 2015. Further local area consultations were held on April 18–20, 2016 in Khangal and Selenge soums of Bulgan province, Atar bag of Selenge Soum, Bulgan province and Khyalganat Bag of Khangal soum, Bulgan province and Tsagaannuur soum of Selenge province.
- Consultations held to date for Orkhon: In addition to the consultation event held in Ulaanbaatar on January 19, 2015, further local area consultations were held for Orkhon project in Khishig-Undur and Orkhon soums of Bulgan province, village near the potential project site on April 16-17, 2016. Reports and response matrices on these consultations have been placed on MINIS website. In addition, a review of the prefeasibility phase also identified that local area consultations had been held on the project concept in Tov Province, Dundgovi Province, Umnugovi 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 has happened since the public consultations on draft TORs were held in Russia and Mongolia?
Based on feedback received during the public consultations in 2017, it was decided to implement the REA as a separate activity with a separate TOR, and not to undertake any further ESIA or other assessments on the Shuren and Orkhon projects until the REA was completed.
The revised draft REA TOR, which reflects Russian and Mongolian stakeholder concerns, was then posted online by the MINIS Project Management Unit (PMU) in Mongolian, Russian and English on June 21, 2018, for additional comments requested by September 26, 2018. MINIS PMU incorporated all comments received from various stakeholders during the consultation ending on Sep 26 in the draft REA TOR. The updated TOR was approved by the government of Mongolia and disclosed on MINIS website in March 2019.
What’s the next step after REA TOR has been concluded?
REA, requiring 20 months for implementation, cannot be carried out under MINIS in view of the project closure in 2019. The Government is considering options of implementing REA outside of MINIS.
Why has the MINIS project been extended?
MINIS project has been extended by three months to complete safeguards studies for strategic investments supported under Component 1 of MINIS. These include: Environmental and Social Impact Assessments for Synthetic Natural Gas project and Steel Complex project; and Cumulative Impact Assessments for Baganuur coal mine and Tavan Tolgoi coal mine. The project will close on December 31, 2019. An Implementation Completion and Results report will be prepared and made public within six months after the project closing date.
Last Updated: Nov 04, 2019