Issue Brief Highlights Data Priorities for Implementing Mountain-related SDGs
UN Photo/Gill Fickling
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The brief draws on expert assessments in Nepal, Uganda, the Kyrgyz Republic, Ecuador, and Switzerland, conducted by the Mountain Research Institute and the Center for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, Switzerland.

Noting the limited availability of mountain-specific data that correspond to the SDG indicators, the brief calls for a pragmatic approach that makes the best use of available data, including proxy data, and “iteratively combines it with transparent, participatory stakeholder reviews”.

24 October 2018: An issue brief titled, ‘Leaving No One in Mountains Behind: Localizing the SDGs for Resilience of Mountain Peoples and Ecosystems,’ presents initial steps towards localization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to mountain areas.

The publication was launched at the recently concluded World Mountain Forum (WMF) 2018, held from 23-26 October 2018 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

The issue brief draws on expert assessments in Nepal, Uganda, Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, and Switzerland, conducted by the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) and the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and is based on the following questions: What SDG targets have a high priority in terms of addressing the most critical development issues of mountain areas in these countries? Which of these priority targets help to strengthen the resilience of mountain communities and ecosystems?

The findings highlight commonalities as well as divergences in development priorities for mountain regions, including in relation to sustainable resource use, climate action, and strengthening people’s livelihoods and resilience.

Noting the limited availability of mountain-specific data that correspond to the SDG indicators, the brief calls for a pragmatic approach that makes the best use of available data, including proxy data, and “iteratively combines it with transparent, participatory stakeholder reviews.”

During the launch of the issue brief at WMF 2018, various partners highlighted initiatives to localize mountains in sustainable development processes.

Philippus Wester, International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), presented a framework of nine SDG-consistent priorities for mountains and peoples of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region, and outlined ICIMOD’s plans to work with HKH countries to monitor progress towards achieving them.

Sam Kanyamibwa, Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) Network, discussed how Uganda’s national mountain development strategy involves multiple government ministries and civil society, enabling its mainstreaming into the country’s development plan and inclusion in the national budget.

Reflecting on experience in Kyrgyzstan, Christian Hergarten, University of Central Asia, noted that a rapid expert assessment can only be a first step and that broader consultations will be needed as part of national assessment processes.

Katya Pérez Viera, Consorcio para el Desarrollo de la Ecorregión Andina (CONDESAN), Ecuador, presented an atlas of sustainable mountain development in the country, noting it will be adapted to the needs of different policy makers at the local and national scales through “actionable knowledge.” [Publication: Leaving No One in Mountains Behind: Localizing the SDGs for Resilience of Mountain People and Ecosystems] [Mountain Research Initiative Press Release] [IISD RS Coverage and Summary of World Mountain Forum 2018] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on World Mountain Forum 2018]


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