Mountain Partnership Reflects on its 2015 Sustainable Development Achievements
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The publication ‘Our Journey in 2015: Mountain Partnership Secretariat Annual Report,' highlights achievements in linking mountain issues to the global sustainable development agenda, noting among other successes: the adoption of three mountain-related targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); increased awareness of the impact of climate change on mountains; and new data on the rise of food insecurity in mountain regions since 2000.

Mountain Partnership25 March 2016: The publication, titled ‘Our Journey in 2015: Mountain Partnership Secretariat Annual Report,’ highlights achievements in linking mountain issues to the global sustainable development agenda, noting among other successes: the adoption of three mountain-related targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); increased awareness of the impact of climate change on mountains; and new data on the rise of food insecurity in mountain regions since 2000.

The Annual Report notes that several years of efforts to ensure the inclusion of mountains in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development “paid off” with the endorsement of three mountain-related targets calling for the conservation, protection and restoration of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, including mountains, under SDG 6 (Water and Sanitation) and SDG 15 (Life on land). It also highlights the role played by the Mountain Partnership and the Statistics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) in developing the “Green Cover Index” indicator to monitor progress of the three mountain-related SDG targets.

Among other achievements, the 54-page publication highlights celebrations to mark International Mountain Day 2015 in 40 countries that included the launch of the flagship Mountain Partnership report ‘Mapping the vulnerability of mountain peoples to food insecurity.’ It notes that the study provides empirical evidence that food insecurity has increased in mountain regions since 2000, with 39% of the population living in these areas in developing countries experiencing hunger and malnutrition. Another publication highlighted in the Report is ‘Understanding mountain soils,’ which aims to promote sustainable soil and land management practices through an improved knowledge of the environmental, economic and social values of mountain soils and the impacts of their degradation, including through climate change.

The Annual Report also features various international and regional initiatives undertaken in 2015 to promote joint action in the areas of policy development, advocacy, capacity development, communication and knowledge management and resource mobilization, including: an online petition calling for action on climate change in mountain areas ahead of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC in Paris, France; training for participants of the International Programme on Research and Training on Sustainable Management of Mountain Areas (IPROMO) on food security issues; a Global Environment Facility (GEF) project in Kyrgyzstan focusing on ‘Sustainable management of mountainous forest and land resources under climate change conditions’; a voluntary certification scheme for mountain products involving more than 20 organizations; and the 2015 Dushanbe Forum of Mountain Countries to discuss mountain issues in Central Asia.

Stressing that mountains “still deserve more attention than they have received at international and national levels,” the Annual Report notes the need for Mountain Partnership members to continue to join forces, raise political attention and promote investments in mountain areas in 2016. It highlights the approval of a new funding mechanism, the Mountain Facility, during the annual meeting of the Steering Committee in October, which is expected to channel resources to mountain communities to support their adaption and resilience to climate change, as well as sustainable management of natural resources and improved decision making at all levels.

Founded in 2002, the Mountain Partnership currently brings together 266 members, including more than 60 governments and sub-national authorities, 14 intergovernmental organizations and 191 civil society and private sector organizations. The Mountain Partnership Secretariat is hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), and guided by a 16-member Steering Committee. Funding is provided by the Italian Development Cooperation, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, FAO, and the Federal Office of Agriculture of Switzerland. [Mountain Partnership News Release] [Annual Report 2015] [IISD RS Story on International Mountain Day 2015] [IISD RS Story on the publication of ‘Understanding mountain soils’] [IISD RS Stories on Mountains]


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