SDG 9 - Team Discussion

Ger Community Mapping Center

Picture of Brant Knützen
Ger Community Mapping Center
by Brant Knützen - Monday, 11 June 2018, 5:57 AM

Topic questions

  1. Share your local stories/programmes of sustainable industrialization and infrastructures.
    Try to conduct a comprehensive evaluation on their actual economic performance and direct/indirect influences towards the environment, people and community?
  2. What kind of role and actions that business sector perform in the process of sustainable industrialization and innovation?
    Are they playing the key or minor role under what business/financial model?
  3. Facing up with great technological threshold/barriers of digital-informatic and big-data industries, how can SA and SEA cities take advantages of this transformation power?
    Will this be an Zero-Sum game, or can the typical “winner-takes-all” dynamic be changed in the future?

Picture of Udval Oyunsaikhan
Re: Ger Community Mapping Center
by Udval Oyunsaikhan - Thursday, 14 June 2018, 5:53 PM

Ulaanbaatar has been facing some problems due to lack infrastructure as a result of rapid urbanisation and delayed planning. One of the major issues include sanitation and liquid waste management in the ger/traditional housing district area. According to the World Bank Report (attached), 59% pit latrines are not sanitary and causing land pollution.However, the trend of improvised pit is advancing and people are moving away from traditional method of getting rid of liquid waste by burying it underground. Mongolian government in cooperation with international organisations promoting standardised pit that is more user-friendly, with ventilation pipe and designed to have regular septic pump truck services running. You can find the visual description via the link here although it is in Mongolian, but the images are pretty understandable.

Picture of Abinash Thapa Magar
Re: Ger Community Mapping Center
by Abinash Thapa Magar - Friday, 15 June 2018, 12:39 AM

Dear Udval   

Thanks for sharing nice concept standardized pit in your country. Here in Nepal, such sanitary standardized pits will be really useful in this increasing pollution everywhere.Have a look here about EcoScan

Across the world, ecological sanitation (EcoSan) is increasingly being seen as a serious and realistic alternative for providing safe sanitation, reducing the health risks associated with poor sanitation, protecting water resources and soil fertility, and optimising resources management. The main features of EcoSan are containment of waste, sanitisation and re-use as plant nutrients and soil stabilisers. The re-use of human excreta and organic waste as fertiliser is not new in Nepal. However, the concept of EcoSan in its modern sense was first introduced in Nepal in 2002, and since then more than 500 urine-diverting EcoSan toilets of various models have been constructed in different parts of the country. Several organisations, including government and non-government agencies as well as some international agencies, are involved in promoting this technology and there is an increasing level of awareness of EcoSan and its benefits among professionals and policy makers. However, despite this positive development there remains a lot of work to be done before a real paradigm shift in sanitary provision can occur whereby people do not equate sanitation simply as access to toilets but rather to total and ecologically sound sanitation. 

reface Ecological sanitation (EcoSan) is increasing recognized as a realistic alternative to provide safe sanitation and to thereby reduce the health risks associated with poor sanitation. It has been found that it not only protects water resources and enhances soil fertility but also optimizes resources management. Many organizations, including government and non-government agencies as well as some international agencies, are involved in promoting this technology and there is an increasing level of awareness on EcoSan and its benefits among professionals and policy makers.

Picture of Udval Oyunsaikhan
Re: Ger Community Mapping Center
by Udval Oyunsaikhan - Friday, 15 June 2018, 11:19 AM

This is great, thanks for sharing it!

Picture of Samreen Khan Ghauri
Re: Ger Community Mapping Center
by Samreen Khan Ghauri - Saturday, 16 June 2018, 3:17 PM

Dear Udval,

good sharing, we have this sort of concept and projects  in pakistan, but on the other side the situation is slightly different as in pakistan Pit latrines are projected as a safe method of excreta disposal without considering its potential impact on groundwater contamination. To understand the possible link between pit latrines and groundwater quality, two villages using pit latrines and groundwater were purposely selected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. In the targeted villages, the numbers of pit latrines and groundwater wells, their depth, subsoil strata, distance between them, year of establishment, and design were determined. Drinking water samples from the two villages (Kot and Takht-e-nasrati) were collected and analyzed for coliform, nitrates, and nitrites. Groundwater contamination in both villages was confirmed possibly due to pit latrines, particularly in the permeable soil profile. Also, it was observed that local communities are often ready to take remedial measures once they understand the potential link between pit latrines and groundwater contamination and the associated health risks.

Picture of Madhavan Parthasarathi
Re: Ger Community Mapping Center
by Madhavan Parthasarathi - Friday, 22 June 2018, 8:21 PM

Dear Udval,

I have come cross the ENLIL Wind energy turbines. Inconverts highways into renewable energy sorces.

ENLIL turbine is a feasible plan for Indian highways. what about Mongolia?


Picture of Udval Oyunsaikhan
Re: Ger Community Mapping Center
by Udval Oyunsaikhan - Sunday, 24 June 2018, 3:36 PM
Hi Madhavan,

Thanks for sharing this. It looks like a great innovation. But I am little concerned about the space it is taking either from the road or the green space. In UB, road expansions are always in demand but has not always been possible due to lack of space. But it is just my opinion and other people may have different view.



Picture of Udval Oyunsaikhan
Re: Ger Community Mapping Center
by Udval Oyunsaikhan - Friday, 15 June 2018, 11:38 AM

Ulaanbaatar BRT

Hello everyone!

I also would like to share my view on sustainable transportation infrastructure, especially bus rapid transit (BRT). It is under scope of both technology innovation and infrastructure. I personally get really excited by BRT as it is perceived as the most flexible and low cost mass transit system available. The system has been adopted to many Asian countries and successfully implemented with the help of ADB expertise and financial aid. Such as in Mongolia, BRT, the first mass transit project has started recently. Here I share some of my views from the article I wrote last year:

The population of Ulaanbaatar (the capital of Mongolia) has been increasing rapidly from 0.78 million in 2000 to 1.3 million in 2014 (Ulaanbaatar Statistics Office, 2014).  This growth is expected to continue due to a large number of migration from rural area to urban area. This growth anticipated to continue that every year approximately 20,000 residents have moved to Ulaanbaatar in the last 10 years (Asian Development Bank, 2009).  The economic growth in the last 10 years has seen rapid increase in private cars reaching 238,183 in 2014 [4.5 times higher than 2004 level] (Ulaanbaatar Statistics Office, 2014). Such increase in car ownership resulted in serious traffic congestion, air pollution and demanded more road infrastructure to be built (Asian Development Bank, 2015). A high congestion during peak hours led to license plate restriction regulation to be adopted in 2012 (Capital Council, 2012).

Travel demand by public transport has been increasing, but the supply of the service is constrained due to inadequate infrastructure and vehicles. For example, in 2015, there are total 331,564 vehicles registered in Mongolia and only 5.2% accounts for bus. Public transport is functioned by two government-owned and 11 private operators that served almost 60% of the total urban travel demand in 2014 (Asian Development Bank, 2015). However, the modal share of public transport is decreasing as motorization accelerated during the last 5 years. If the poor quality of public transport is not enhanced, number of private cars expected to grow continuously to reach 830,000 by 2030 (Asian Development Bank, 2015). ADB has completed a Technical Assistance (TA) for implementing BRT project in Mongolia in 2009.  Based on this TA, the Municipal Government of Ulaanbaatar plans to BRT implement project financed by ADB loan. The construction of the first corridor 12.2 kms is scheduled to be completed by end of 2017.

The table below shows the planned BRT features of the project. Limitations mentioned here are based on the theory outlined in the section one.



Description and limitations


Ulaanbaatar rapid transit service will operate on a dedicated median busway with median stations. This brings concerns to retailers along the trunk roads because bus dedicated lane will require road expansion. The widest road in Ulaanbaatar currently consists of 4 lanes of one-way traffic flow.


According to TA median stations with pre-boarding ticketing, level boarding to ensure full accessibility and passenger information and assistance facilities are planned. However, currently there is no plan for transit oriented development such as shopping centres at the stations.

Feeder routes

The feeder routes will have access directly to the BRT platforms.


Trolley bus is selected for BRT operation for its 0 emission generation, energy efficiency, and low cost. However, there was inadequate information on the vehicle design (e.g. seat type, floor height, or how many doors etc.) in the TA.

Route Coverage and service frequency

Station locations are within 500-900 meters. There are four primary routes designed for BRT trunk lines and feeder routes. These primary routes only cover central business district (CBD).

Fare collection

Distance based fare is planned for the project. Therefore, the IC ticketing [rechargeable contactless smart card ticketing system] system is going to be used. User swipes the card on entrance and exit. However, there was no mention if the IC card is integrated general bus payment systems and other modes of transport like rail.

Intelligent Transport System

The project plans to have direct monitoring and control of buses ‘in-service’ in real-time through the GPS tracking.   



In this section, we will look into the potential barriers that the BRT project in Mongolia may encounter as mentioned in the article of Lindau, et al., (2014). Mongolia’s economic growth reached its peak at 17.5% in 2011 and rapidly dropped to 2.4% in 2015 that led to major economic crises due to the political instable decisions in Mongolia and mineral commodity price decrease in the world (Focus Economics, 2016). In result, government has been cutting budgets for public projects and financing most essential projects [even more tightly after the election in June 2016] (Kohn, 2016). Even though the financing for the BRT project is secured with the loan from ADB, (i) there may be budget cuts during implementation that may risk the successful implementation [e.g. cuts in lane length or completion of phase 3 or 4]. Another question unanswered by both ADB and Mongolian government is that ‘why the project is finally set to be implemented after 7 years of its TA completion’. One of the reasons could be (ii) discontinuities due to political cycles. The time of political mandate is 4 years and last parliament election was held in June 2016 with a victory of new opposition party, the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP). In accordance with Lindau, et al., (2014), there is an urge to complete the project before the next election in order to prevent risky modification to the project or even discontinuation. Setting up a Board for the BRT project is planned, but there is no specially designated team/unit during project construction period. The next concern is often the agencies have lack of personnel and now with the economic crises, the government planned to lay off 20,000 civil servants by 2017 (Enkhelee, 2016), the government agencies believed to be even more shorthanded then. This may lead to (iii) leaving the construction in the hands of road builders. According to the TA, exisiting roads will be expanded to enable exlusive BRT lanes because currently, the highest capacity of current roads is 26 meters (Pacific Consultants CO., LTD, 2013). Roads are located quite close to the local amenities such shops, banks and other commercial activities. (iv) Road expansion may eliminate the parking spaces, demolish retail shops, and move informal retailers along the road. Therefore, the opposition from retail shop owners or anyone affected is expected (Lindau, et al., 2014). Another issue identified by the authors is that (v) lack of adequate legislation can also make it difficult to implement BRT. Overlapping or difficulties among government agencies may be overcome by creating unified metropolitan transit authorities. However, the TA has not suggested or addressed it to the Mongolian government.

 I am looking forward to hear any comments or your country story on the subject matter.

Picture of Anish Shrestha
Re: Ger Community Mapping Center
by Anish Shrestha - Saturday, 16 June 2018, 4:39 AM

Hello Udval and All, 

Nepal is a landlocked, mostly mountainous country (only 23 per cent of its land area is in the plains), with China in the North and India in the South, East and West. The country covers an area of 147,181 sq. km and has a population of 28 million. This federal democratic republic has an annual growth rate of 2.2 per cent.

The industrial base of the country is very small and not very sophisticated; the industrial sector contributes only about 16 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). The services sector accounts for nearly half of the GDP. Even then, there are innovation activities going on in the country, much of it not according to any plan. There is also some incremental innovation taking place at the grassroots.

It is now crucial both to review Nepal’s recent past and to develop appropriate strategies- based on a fresh perspective and analysis of why the many much-desired changes in lives and livelihoods have not taken place and of what realistic options exist at the present and in the foreseeable future. A process is urgently required to provide a momentum for negotiating and settling Nepal’s future development policies, strategies, and priorities in a democratic and inclusive manner to respond to the wide variety of development problems and also to capture the development potentials that lie ahead. 

The mobilization of resources received from the donors, as well as those made available from government sources, did not eventually deliver what it was meant to do. Numerous local groups, such as Aama Samuha2 , saving-credit groups, community forestry user groups or milk cooperatives were ‘established’ at village level. Though the ‘establishment’ of such groups has often served to increase awareness of locally-specific problems and of the needs of women, disadvantaged groups or the like – to increase a concern with social justice and to recognise the pervasiveness of social discrimination - these groups are very minimally supported, as a result they have a very limited capacity to bring about any significant economic change. 

A meaningful structural transformation to sustain a high and sustainable growth would require a strong industrial sector and high value added agriculture and services sector activities, with an employment-centric strategy to absorb the surplus labor. To promote higher productivity, high value-added production and high income generation, the agriculture sector requires adequate and appropriate commercialization, provision of necessary infrastructure and technology to link with the industrial sector, and promotion of agribusiness activities such as agro-processing, storage, and warehousing, among others. Similarly, for high productivity and value added services sector activities, there needs to be strong backward and forward linkages with the industrial sector along with the narrowing of skills gap required in the market, increase in R&D investment to promote innovation, and investment in education and health sectors to boost the capacity of the economy to sustain progress and prosperity. This would partly position and help sustain the industrial sector as an engine of inclusive growth.

Your's Faithfully,


Picture of Brant Knützen
Adapting agriculture to the changing climate
by Brant Knützen - Saturday, 16 June 2018, 10:45 AM

Hello Udval,

A Swiss man living on the high plains of Bolivia developed the "Walipini", a sort of half-buried cheaply-built greenhouse which supports agriculture even in high altitude environments with low-humidity and temperature extremes.  Now many Bolivian families are adopting this idea and growing their own vegetables.

Could this work to help feed the people in Mongolia?


Picture of Abinash Thapa Magar
Re: Adapting agriculture to the changing climate
by Abinash Thapa Magar - Monday, 18 June 2018, 7:53 PM

Hello Brant and everyone

Hope you all find it some knowledge about rain water harvesting system.

SmartPaani's Rapid Sand Filter is a custom designed rainwater harvesting system. This system  consists of first flush device which flushes out the first ran containing the maximum debris. This is followed by a customized rapid sand filter consisting of layers of filter media which remove the remaining dirt and debris and reduce bacteria from rainwater. The rapid sand filter is sized according to the roof size of the building.

SmartPaani New Rainwater Harvesting Filter System - Rainy Filter:

Rainy filters are designed with self cleaning mechanism and can be fixed to the wall by connecting Rooftop rainwater drain pipes.  The water enters into inlet, rotating slowly along periphery in angular motion at specific velocity, creating cohesive force and segregates dirt particles and clean water individually. However when the intensity of rainfall increases the high volume of water moves in circular motion with high velocity in the upper housing and creates a centrifugal force.

In both situations, involving low and high intensity of rainfall , the working principle of the filter based on cohesive and centrifugal force respectively, aids the filter element to divert clean water into the cistern/ recharging well and simultaneously flushes out automatically sand, debris, and dirt particles through the drain outlet.

For more information visit.

Picture of Anish Shrestha
Re: Adapting agriculture to the changing climate
by Anish Shrestha - Saturday, 23 June 2018, 3:44 AM

Hello Brant,

Today i will like share about the initiative by Government of Nepal to kick off infrastructure development of national interest with high speed and proper management.

The government has launched the National Pride and National Priority Projects programme and have listed some good infrastructure development project and plans under this special programme. The main aim of creation of NPP program is to enlist, ensure timely and successful completion of important infrastructure project and plans for the country.

These projects are generally big and highly significant project for the overall growth and development of the Nepal. The projects being presently constructed will also serve the country as role model projects for upcoming huge development project and plans. 

The concept of national pride project was first introduced in 2012 in a bid to expedite construction of projects considered crucial for the country’s overall development. 

Since then, 21 projects have been selected. They include four irrigation projects, three hydropower projects, three international airport projects, six roads projects, an electric railway project, a drinking water project, two projects aimed at promoting holy sites of Pashupati and Lumbini, and an environment conservation project. 

Development of all these projects, according to experts, could completely change the face of the country and help Nepal gear up for higher trajectory of economic growth. 

The government has defined projects of national pride as national, time-bound initiatives that are deemed by the government to be transformative in terms of the economic, social, cultural or environmental impact they would have on the quality of lives and the collective identity of the people of Nepal.

It will highly help and support Nepal to reach SDGs targets sppecially on SDG 9 to be successful attained by 2030 time.


Your's Truly,


Picture of Brant Knützen
Re: Ger Community Mapping Center
by Brant Knützen - Monday, 25 June 2018, 8:13 AM

Hi Ger Community Mapping Center,

I saw an article on the BBC that you might find applicable to your project:

Maps reveal hidden truths of the world's cities -