AKIPRESS.COM - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Mongolia signed a $38 million loan to develop ecotourism in Khuvsgul Lake National Park and Onon-Balj National Park to serve as models for economically inclusive development and conservation in Mongolia, gogo.mn reports.
Minister of Finance Mr. Khurelbaatar Chimed and ADB Country Director for Mongolia Ms. Yolanda Fernandez Lommen signed the agreement at a ceremony in Ulaanbaatar. Members of the ADB Board of Directors, led by Executive Director Mr. Kshatrapati Shivaji, witnessed the event. Representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism also attended.
It will also pilot test Mongolia’s first tourism concession manuals and eco-certification programs for protected areas.
“This marks ADB’s first project loan in Mongolia to focus on tourism and protected area management,” said Ms. Fernandez Lommen. “ADB’s support promotes the country’s strategies and efforts to diversify the economy, improve climate-resilient infrastructure, protect the environment, and increase economic opportunities for residents in rural areas.”
The project will benefit around 11,000 residents as well as improve local environmental conservation and climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts. Khuvsgul Lake in Khuvsgul Lake National Park is Mongolia’s largest freshwater resource, while Onon-Balj National Park is the birthplace of Chinggis Khaan, a revered leader in Mongolia’s history.