Community exchange between Mongolia and CanadaNovember 4, 2017
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (November 4th, 2017) – The MERIT Project is organizing a 12-day community exchange between Mongolia and Canada from November 4th-15th, 2017. The exchange will take place in Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories and its surrounding communities.
The MERIT Project (Mongolia: Enhancing Resource Management through Institutional Transformation) is a six-year partnership between CESO (Canadian Executive Service Organization) and WUSC (World University Service of Canada), funded by Global Affairs Canada. The project’s goal is to strengthen the capacity of the public sector in responsible resource management in order to maximize its contribution to sustainable economic and social development.
The main objective of the community exchange is for participants from Mongolia to visit and learn from Canadian communities that have been impacted by intensive extractive sector development and have faced or are facing similar challenges and opportunities to those faced by Dornod Aimag, an eastern province of Mongolia.
Community representatives including the local government and small and medium business suppliers, will explore Canadian practices on such activities as Impact Benefit Agreements/lands issues; integrating the local population economically with the projects; and strategies to enhance the economic contribution of the projects to the local community and environmentally-friendly mining.
“The community exchange is an ideal opportunity to bring together community representatives from both Mongolia and Canada, as well as government leaders, to explore approaches to resource management and land-use, and to work together to identify ways to enhance positive contributions to sustainable economic and social development ,” says Cindy Fair, Project Director for MERIT.
The exchange will help create dialogue between Dornod Aimag and the Dehcho First Nation and other Indigenous groups in the Yellowknife region on their respective approaches to resource management and land-use. Given that both communities are traditionally bonded with the land, water and natural resources, this will be an opportune time for Dornod Aimag officials to learn about the different land- use plans, resource development and management programs and initiatives put in place to ensure they are effective stewards of their traditional land. This learning can be brought back to Dornod and can inspire the community to modify or create new programs based on their unique local context.