14 July 2020
HLPF Side Event: Sustainable Food Systems Critical for Sustainable Mountain Development
Photo by Ives Ives on Unsplash
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Kyrgyzstan will table a resolution during the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) that aims to promote cross-border cooperation, building on existing mountain sustainable development principles.

Participants discussed the importance of sustainable food systems for sustainable mountain development.

Held on the sidelines of the 2020 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), a virtual event highlighted the role of mountain communities in advancing the UN Decade of Action 2020-2030 and achieving the SDGs, particularly in light of COVID-19 impacts. The event, ‘Mountains and the Decade of Action and Delivery,’ emphasized the need to establish long-term processes and policies that strengthen the resilience of mountain peoples and environments. It was organized by the Mountain Partnership, and the Governments of Malawi, Argentina, Kyrgyzstan, Italy and Switzerland.

During the event, panelists and participants highlighted, inter alia:

  • the amplification of challenges posed by the pandemic in mountain regions, calling for supportive policies, investments, and actions to build resilience and achieve zero hunger;
  • a forthcoming draft resolution, to be tabled by Kyrgyzstan during the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), that aims to promote cross-border cooperation, building on existing mountain sustainable development principles; 
  • the need for technical assistance in the Andean region to continue to promote nature-based solutions with multi-stakeholder participation;
  • support for 2022 as the International Year of Mountains;
  • the nexus of land tenure and access to resources;
  • sustainable food systems as a prerequisite for sustainable mountain development;
  • the role of new technologies to “build back better”; and
  • the importance of addressing the needs of disabled and vulnerable populations within mountain regions. 

Gobinda Bahadur Shahi, Director, Karnali Integrated Rural Development and Research Centre, linked the impacts of COVID-19 on food security and urged countries to develop their own food security strategies. He urged local governments to incentivize the expansion of self-sufficiency measures, such as home gardens and roof farming.

Yuka Makino, Coordinator, Mountain Partnership Secretariat, said the COVID-19 crisis has revealed the value of partnerships. She announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Mountain Partnership and NaturaSì, an Italian organic food company, to improve the agricultural value chain globally by helping local, small-scale producers access markets.

Over 130 participants attended the virtual discussions on 9 July 2020. [ENB Coverage of the Side Event]

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