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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in collaboration with the Mountain Partnership Secretariat UNFCCC
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Volume 194 Number 3 - Sunday, 22 September 2013
A SUMMARY REPORT OF 4TH GLOBAL MEETING OF THE MOUNTAIN PARTNERSHIP
17- 19 SEPTEMBER 2013

The 4th Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership (MP) took place at the Xanadu Snow White Hotel in Erzurum, Turkey from 17-19 October 2013.  On 20 September participants went on a field trip to Uzundere, Ulubağ plateau and waterfall.

During the meeting, participants addressed: the new Mountain Partnership Strategy and Governance; mountains in Rio+20 and the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the Mountain Forum knowledge platform for sustainable mountain development; regional coordination mechanisms; and the selection of the Steering Committee. Thematic working groups considered how to put the Mountain Partnership into practice. Parallel regional meetings, Partnership Fairs and side events also took place.

The meeting brought together approximately 100 participants representing, inter alia, governments, academia, research institutions, intergovernmental organizations and civil society.

The approval of the new MP Strategy and Governance and the selection of the Steering Committee members were welcomed as an opportunity to refocus the Mountain Partnership and enhance its activities and programmes. However, many representatives drew attention to further work required to get mountains considered in a wider international context. Participants agreed on the Erzurum Conclusions.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MOUNTAIN PARTNERSHIP

Nearly half the world’s countries have significant mountainous regions. Mountain ecosystems provide more than half of the world’s population with water for domestic use agriculture, industry, and power generation, among other uses. Additionally, mountains are home to half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and many threatened and endangered species, which attract tourism and create recreation opportunities.

Mountain regions are amongst the most sensitive to climate change, and receding glaciers are one of the most visible indicators of global change. If current trends continue, many glaciers are expected to disappear completely by the end of this century, potentially leading to catastrophic changes in water availability for large parts of the world.

The first major international decision to include language on mountains and mountainous regions was at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Earth Summit. This meeting was held from 3 to 14 June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and involved over 100 Heads of State and Government, representatives from 178 countries, and some 17,000 participants. The principal outputs of UNCED were the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21 (a 40-chapter programme of action), and the Statement of Forest Principles. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity were also opened for signature during the Earth Summit. Agenda 21 called for the creation of a Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, enhance international cooperation, and examine progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 at the local, national, regional and international levels.

On mountains, Chapter 13 of Agenda 21 recognizes the important ecological, economic and social functions of, and services provided by, mountainous regions. It also makes a number of recommendations to governments on mountains, including: promoting erosion control; incentivizing resource conservation; promoting alternative livelihoods; creating protected areas to save wild genetic material; developing early- warning systems and disaster-response teams for hazardous areas; identifying mountain areas threatened by air pollution; and creating information centers on mountain ecosystems to build expertise on sustainable agriculture and conservation areas. In its capacity as the lead agency on mountains within the UN system, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was made the Task Manager of Chapter 13 in 2003.

INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF MOUNTAINS 2002: By its resolution 53/24, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2002 as the International Year of Mountains, with the objective of raising international awareness about mountains, their global importance, the fragility of their resources, and the necessity of sustainable approaches to mountain development. The resolution invited FAO to serve as the lead agency for the Year, in collaboration with Governments, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UNESCO and other relevant organizations of the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations, to increase international awareness of the global importance of mountain ecosystems.

INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN DAY: In 2002, during the “UN International Year of Mountains,” the UN General Assembly designated 11 December, from 2003 onwards, as “International Mountain Day.” FAO was designated as the coordinating agency for the preparation of this celebration and is mandated to lead its observance at the global level.

WORLD SUMMIT ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: The MP was founded by the Governments of Italy and Switzerland, FAO and UNEP and launched at the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2002.

FIRST MEETING OF THE GLOBAL MOUNTAIN PARTNERSHIP: This meeting was held in Merano, Italy from 5-6 October 2003. It provided a unique forum in which to identify common, needs, priorities and concerns and to explore key issues relate to the structure, membership and governance of the Partnership.

SECOND MEETING OF THE GLOBAL MOUNTAIN PARTNERSHIP: This meeting was held in Cusco, Peru from 28-29 October 2004. The two-day meeting provided Partnership members the opportunity to exchange experiences, to review progress made in the year since the first global meeting of members and to chart the future course of the MP and its dynamic core, the “Partnership Initiatives.” The Cusco Conference endorsed the governance of the Partnership set out in the Organization Membership and Governance document and adopted the Cusco Framework for Action. Participants also affirmed their collective commitment to the goals of sustainable mountain development through the Declaration of the Andes. This document recognizes the increasing awareness of the importance of mountains to life, and the alliance of commitment and will towards sustainable mountain development that has grown at all levels since the Rio Earth Summit of 1992.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE GREEN ECONOMY AND SUSTAINABLE MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES IN VIEW OF RIO+20: This meeting was held in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 5 to 7 September 2011. Participants discussed the relevance and scope of the green economy in the context of sustainable mountain development. The conference explored strategies, approaches and options for enhancing the role and prominence of mountain systems in regional and international debates and discussions.

The outcome of the conference was the “Kathmandu Declaration on Green Economy and Sustainable Mountain Development.” The Declaration made several recommendations to governments, calling for, inter alia: the establishment of mechanisms to compensate and reward communities for mountain ecosystem services and improvement in markets for these services; creation of an enabling environment for promoting the green economy and investment in mountain regions; the ecosystem-based management approach; and efforts to ensure access and rights for women and indigenous communities, including valuation and utilization of traditional knowledge and practices.

MOUNTAIN DAY: The first Mountain Day took place on 4 December 2011 during the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in Durban, South Africa. The event highlighted the critical role that mountain ecosystems play in climate adaptation and sustainable development as well as the vulnerability of mountains, and those who depend on them, to climate change.

THIRD MEETING OF THE GLOBAL MOUNTAIN PARTNERSHIP: The third Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Tuesday, 19 June 2012, on the sidelines of the Rio+20 summit. The event was aimed at: sharing lessons and best practices from joint action over the past ten years; strengthening the commitment of MP members by seeking to engage them directly in strategic consultations; identifying appropriate strategic objectives for effectively promoting sustainable mountain development; securing MP members’ commitment and support for concrete programmes and activities after Rio+20; and building the future cooperative efforts of the MP on a synergistic inclusive and committed foundation. Three paragraphs (210, 211, and 212) on mountains were included in the Rio+20 Outcome document, “The Future We Want.”

MOUNTAIN DAY 2: “Mainstreaming Rio+20 outcomes in the UNFCCC processes for prosperous, resilient, and sustainable mountain ecosystems and communities,” was held in Doha, Qatar, on 3 December 2012, on the sidelines of COP 18. The discussion sessions focused on: climate change stories from different mountain regions of the world; integrated management of mountain water resources; and the role of mountains in food security and livelihoods.

REPORT OF THE MEETING

The 4th Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership (MP) consisted of plenary sessions, parallel geographic regional meetings, working groups and side events. Two Partnership Fairs took place and provided a formal space for MP members to present their ongoing or upcoming activities with the aim of forging new collaborations within the Partnership and to launch joint initiatives.

OPENING STATEMENTS: Mahir Küçük, Deputy Undersecretary, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Turkey, welcomed participants to the city of Erzurum, and provided a brief overview of Turkey’s recent mountain sustainability projects.

İbrahim Çiftçi, General Directorate of Forestry, Turkey, opened the morning session, underscoring that mountains are the source of half of the freshwater needed for agricultural and industrial activities and households. He said that the East Anatolian region, where the meeting was taking place, features an important mountainous region, which demands efficient solutions regarding integrated approaches to this sensitive ecosystem. 

Thomas Hofer, Interim Coordinator of the MP Secretariat, thanked the government of Turkey for their substantive commitment and assistance in organizing the meeting. He also expressed appreciation to the World Bank, the governments of Switzerland and Italy and the members of the MP for making the meeting possible. He said the meeting’s objectives were to review and strengthen the Partnership. He noted that an elected Steering Committee would facilitate the achievement of these goals, highlighting its voluntary character. He concluded by stating that this meeting would be an opportunity for forward-looking discussions, which should focus on working together toward the common goal of achieving sustainable mountain development around the world.

Eduardo Rojas-Briales, FAO, underscored the meeting as an important occasion “to reinforce our collective future in the global mountains.” He highlighted the accomplishments of the last ten years, including the inclusion of mountains in the Rio+20 Outcome document, “The Future We Want.” He said the meeting would, amongst other things, look to endorse the 2014-17 MP Strategy.

Welcoming delegates, Ahmet Küçükler, Mayor of Erzurum Province, emphasized the importance of tapping into benefits from mountain regions and prioritizing the development of infrastructure in order to utilize mountains year-round.

Nurettin Akman, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Turkey, highlighted the significant role that mountains play in human life. He emphasized the need for sustainable management of mountain sites, in order to allow people to make a living while at the same time ensuring that the mountain environment is protected. Observing that Turkey is a country of mountains, Akman noted that his country has always supported activities and projects relating to mountains and hosting the meeting was a testament to this commitment.

KEYNOTE SPEECHES: Bruno Messerli, University of Bern, Switzerland, gave a presentation entitled “Why Mountains Matter.” He highlighted four climate change scenarios and described how, in the 20th Century, driving forces such as population growth, industrial production and energy use were responsible for large-scale environmental change. He stated that these developments will trigger a drastic change above the 2°C degree climate scenario, with profound impacts for mountains and potential international conflicts due to resource scarcities. Messerli stated that governments should introduce the mountain agenda in their own countries in order to develop a strategic, integrated approach to protecting mountain ecosystems. He said non-governmental organizations should also implement local initiatives, which must be complemented by the engagement of international organizations that can raise awareness, raise funds and promote knowledge exchange. He concluded by urging scientific communities to exchange data, a key element for successful mountain research in the next decade.

Sam Kanyamibwa, Albertine Rift Conservation Society, (ARCOS), Rwanda, discussed the need to reconcile conservation with development in mountain countries. He reviewed the various ecosystem services provided by montane forests, including, inter alia: erosion and flood control, climate regulation, food production and pollination. He stressed that communities deserve to benefit “sustainably and significantly” from these ecosystem services. He noted that climate change poses significant challenges to mountain ecosystems, from glacial melt to projected losses in species richness, and urged intensification of efforts to help mountain communities adapt. He called for an integrated approach to mountain sustainability that considers economic prosperity, social well-being and environmental impacts. He concluded by calling for policy dialogue at all levels in order to better communicate and regulate sustainable mountain development (SMD).

FORMAL INTRODUCTION AND APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

This session, chaired by Eduardo Rojas-Briales, FAO, took place on Tuesday morning. Thomas Hofer, Interim Coordinator of the MP Secretariat, presented the proposed agenda, which participants approved by acclamation.

THE NEW MOUNTAIN PARTNERSHIP STRATEGY AND GOVERNANCE: Thomas Hofer then presented the Strategy and Governance document for the MP. He noted that it was a critical time for reflection and reorientation for the future of the MP. Highlighting achievements, he observed that the Partnership is a collaborative effort and that knowledge sharing and networking has been an overarching activity.

He said that the MP renewal process had started in 2012, and that the MP is unique because it is an ecosystem partnership with a huge diversity of topics and stakeholders, which has been considered and accommodated in the new Strategy. The refocusing of the Strategy deals with the core substance of sustainable mountain development, i.e., improved natural resource management and improved livelihoods of mountain communities. On governance, he said a structure has never been formally endorsed and that it was time to think about this. Regarding resource mobilization, Hofer said that so far the MP has not been a funding mechanism and it was important to consider how its members could mobilize donor support for mountain development. He observed that it was not easy to quantify the impact of the MP without a mechanism to systematically document and report on achievements, and that this needed to be addressed.

Hofer highlighted milestones in the renewal process, including the October 2012 Task Force meeting in Rome, which brainstormed the future of the mountain agenda and developed building blocks. He said that the first part of 2013 had been the consultative phase, with drafts circulated to members for feedback, and noted that the four-year Strategy would cover January 2014 – 2017. On the function and objectives of the Strategy, he highlighted advocacy, joint action, knowledge management and communication, capacity development and technology transfer, innovation, and resource mobilization.

In conclusion, Hofer observed that through a participatory process the Strategy document had incorporated concerns of members, resulting in ownership and a high level of acceptance. He told participants that they had the collective responsibility to ensure that mountains get the attention they deserve in international negotiations, particularly in the SDG process. Participants approved the Strategy.

In the ensuing discussion, several participants expressed appreciation for the effective incorporation of members’ comments during the consultation period.  Government representatives and members of the civil society inquired about, inter alia: mobilization of resources for mountain activities; monitoring tools; future status of the Interim Coordinator; criteria for the division of regions; categories of membership; the communication strategy; and the role of the Steering Committee. 

Hofer responded that the communication strategy had been improved in order to clarify the commitments and tasks of the members. He added that the Steering Committee would enlarge consultations within their regions in order to receive input from multiple stakeholders.

Chair Rojas-Briales suggested that the proposals on monitoring, regional structures and fundraising for regional activities be transformed into the core of future activities. He noted that the regional division aimed at geographic balance and a manageable working size.

Turkey noted the importance of the Strategy document for the next four years and suggested that the meeting should produce an Erzurum Declaration, which was welcomed.

PARTNERSHIP FAIRS 

The Partnership Fairs took place on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.

PARTNERSHIP FAIR 1: Crescente Fertil Organization, Brazil, explained its activities involving the strengthening of public policy in the areas of environment and culture. He noted that the mountains, mainly in the southeast of Brazil, are crucial for protecting the Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica), which is increasingly threatened by rapid urbanization, unsustainable tourism and climate change.

Fundación Comunidad Cucua Coffee, Panama, explained its Cucua Coffee project, which aims to grow organic coffee in order to invest in the preservation of local cultural heritage. The project seeks to improve the conservation of native species of trees, shrubs and plants used by mountain people to make traditional dresses.

The Municipality of Dénia, Spain, said that it hosts an award-winning local chef, Quique Dacosta, to produce dishes using mountain ingredients. Income generated is donated to FAO’s field projects around the world.

Nilgiri Documentation Centre, India, proposed the creation of an Indian-Western Ghat Mountain Partnership to mobilize resources for NGOs, research and educational projects in the western coast of India, a region recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention, which includes the European Union and eight states (Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia, and Switzerland), described its role in reporting on the state of the Alps with regard to ecological, economic and social development. Their aim is to help decision makers formulate policies, particularly in the areas of transport, energy and water.

Fundación Ecohabitats Colombia presented on the impacts of climate change in Colombia, where the organization works to bring peace to conflict areas, among other things. In partnership with the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (IGF) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, they have produced a book on the biosphere reserves of Colombia.

The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Kenya, presented its project on climate change impacts on ecosystem services and food security in eastern Africa. This project studies the effects of temperature and humidity changes on insect pest and disease control in the mountains of Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

Climate Himalaya, India, presented on bridging the knowledge gap around climate change in the Himalayan region. They discussed the development of an empirical climate network that aims to close this gap through knowledge sharing and networking.

UNEP outlined how ecosystem services are providing a buffer for communities, enabling them to adapt to climate change, and highlighted an ecosystem-based adaptation programme focusing on the mountain regions of Peru, Uganda and Nepal.

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) presented on its activities, strategic framework and organizational structure, global cooperation and opportunities.

CEE Himalaya, India, highlighted a school programme aimed at helping children make the right choices with regard to sustainability.

Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation, India, explained that their organization aims to spearhead holistic mountain development in the river basins of the Indian Himalaya, based on a community-driven process incorporating ecology, economics and equity.

Utah Valley University, US, highlighted activities aimed at promoting the SMD agenda, notably through gender and youth engagement, saying that the University’s students had contributed to a regional report for Rio+20.

The Bolivian Mountain Institute presented a project called “Bolivia + 4˚C” which examines possible scenarios for Bolivia in the context of a warmer world. The project aimed to stimulate debate among key stakeholders.

PARTNERSHIP FAIR 2: Global Mountain Action presented their work on rediscovering and revaluing macrofungi in the Andes, particularly Peru. Outputs include the first survey to document the diversity of macrofungi and efforts aimed at looking for new markets for goods produced by mountain communities.

The Ministry of the Environment, Water and Forests, Guinea, reported that from 4-6 January, 2013, a delegation from the Ministry and several NGOs had inspected the country in celebration of the tenth International Day of Mountains. Findings included a reduction in harvests and degraded ecosystems due to deforestation, erosion and bush fires and diminished water quality.

Mountain Areas Conservation and Development Services, Pakistan, focused on glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) and their impact on Bagrote Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.

Practical Action, Nepal, explained that their projects are organized under four themes: energy access, food and agriculture, urban and water waste and disaster risk reduction. He highlighted the use of gravity ropeways by mountain people, a technology that has improved market accessibility for remote producers and is contributing to reducing poverty.

The National Meteorological Institute–Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), Costa Rica, presented on inter-institutional fire management experiences in tropical mountains in Costa Rica, highlighting tactics used in fire prevention and management in tropical mountains to preserve ecosystems.

The Ministry of the Environment and Forests, Madagascar, explained that, as an MP member, it has been working on an update of Madagascar’s National Strategy for Mountain Regions Development, endorsed in 2003, through an inventory of activities.

Cameroon National Network of Associations and NGOs of the Mountain Partnership, Cameroon, focused on the health conditions of mountain people and on improving the education of children and women. He highlighted the role of cooperatives as the main tool to improve the lives of mountain populations.

A representative of the network of the Central Asian Mountain Program (CAMP) reported that this community-driven organization has been working since 2002 to develop the mountain region of Central Asia. He underscored that activities in 2013 focused on energy efficiency and culminated in a forum entitled “Energy-efficiency-Future: Access and Innovation for Mountain Communities in Central Asia.”

Fundación Pangea, Colombia, noted that this organization complements the work of the Government, particularly in the areas of environmental education, training activities and the improvement of human resources. The goal of the organization is to collaborate on the preservation of high mountain areas, which are key for water resources and agriculture.

The Ev-K2 CNR Committee, Italy, presented on two projects. The first, entitled “The Stations at High Altitude for Research on the Environment (SHARE),” measures the climate change impact at high altitudes in 14 areas worldwide. The other, “NextData,” is dedicated to providing open access to observational and numerical data on the state of mountain environments. He said that both projects aim to assist decision makers to develop more informed policies.

Balyolu, Turkey, presented on its project, “The Honey Road,” the world’s first honey-tasting and traditional foods trekking programme, which connects travelers to rural producers and incubates environmental village businesses in eastern Turkey.

The General Directorate of Forestry, Turkey, presented on a rehabilitation project and avalanche study of the Çoruh River watershed. The project aims to perform integrated basin rehabilitation and prevent natural disasters from harming communities.

The Consortium for Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion (CONDESAN) presented on generating and sharing information and knowledge about natural resource management in rural Andean societies in order to promote new leaders for sustainable development.

The Aigine Cultural Research Center, Kyrgyzstan, presented on the “Mystery of Manas,” an epic oral trilogy that is central to the heritage of the Kyrgyz people.

The Association for the Development of Mountain Regions in the Republic of Macedonia (MAKMONTANA) presented on the protection and sustainable development of mountain regions in the Balkans. This region is under strong economic development pressure, resulting in the exploitation of natural resources.

PARALLEL REGIONAL MEETINGS

 Parallel regional meetings convened on Tuesday afternoon and were aimed at strengthening regional cooperation in the MP by defining common priority areas for action, discussing preferred regional coordination mechanisms and identifying what support mechanisms to request from the Secretariat. SOUTH AMERICA: This regional meeting was facilitated  by Baldomero Casillo and Jorge Recharte. Participants commented on the importance of, inter alia: building on existing mountain initiatives in order to avoid duplication of work; development of institutional arrangements capable of promoting mountains (i.e. domestic steering committees); facilitating the participation of local government representatives and, when appropriate, the private sector, in new institutional arrangements; the inclusion of indigenous people in decision-making and valorization of traditional knowledge of mountain people; and improvement of information diffusion on previous actions involving the sustainability of mountain ecosystems. On the work follow-up, participants underscored the need to systematize the work between countries and the FAO on technical cooperation. Noting the Andean Initiative, one facilitator stressed the need to revitalize this work and improve coordination among members, as well as to ensure new funding allocations. Others highlighted the need to promote the use of existing Global Environment Facility (GEF) financing resources to foster mountain activities. The group also discussed how the future South American representative on the Steering Committee of the Mountain Partnership should work in collaboration with ongoing activities, notably the Andean Initiative.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: This regional meeting was facilitated by Moses H. Duku and Valerie Benjamin Ramahvalisoa. This regional group identified six priority areas for enhancing information sharing and networking in order to enhance mountain sustainability: develop a database with information on mountains in Africa; catalyze priority-based research and the sharing of best practices; build capacity among MP members; support sustainable practices in mountain areas and catalyze income-generating activities in mountain areas; generate advocacy efforts and policy dialogue around mountain issues in order to enhance the appreciation of mountain ecosystem values and benefits, as well as natural resource management; and engage the private sector, recognizing that its activities affect mountains but can contribute to supporting SMD.

During the discussion, participants raised many issues including on improving coordination and synergies, particularly in the Mount Elgon region, and addressing capacity needs at the institutional, individual and policy level. Several participants prioritized information sharing. One participant remarked that only nine African countries are members of the MP and that very little attention is paid to SMD. UNEP explained that it is working on an African Mountain Atlas involving a comprehensive and consultative process across the continent. UNEP also highlighted the need to bridge the gap between science, policy and practitioners, and to make this information accessible. One participant called for the establishment of national mountain committees.

 NORTH & CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN: This regional meeting was facilitated by Andrew Taber and Sofia Cortina Segovia. This group discussed major challenges and priorities in their region. Challenges highlighted included: limited financial resources; the difficulty of coordination within the region due to its ecological, economic and cultural diversity; and communication of activities and issues beyond the group. Identified priorities included, inter alia, the need to: include broader governmental and thematic representation in the group; form better alliances between scientific research and policy communities; engage the private sector; strengthen local governments; and establish a coordination mechanism for the region’s activities. The Aspen International Mountain Foundation (AIMF) offered to lead the establishment of a coordination mechanism by expanding Vertex, the current coordination mechanism for North America, to other countries in the expanded region.

EUROPE: This regional meeting was facilitated by Martin Price and Said Dagdas. The group agreed that, given the diversity of situations across the mountains of Europe, sub-regional approaches are needed.  It was noted that a great variety of organizations already exist and work together in the Alps. In the Carpathians, there is also a significant number of organizations working with the Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention. The greatest needs for structures for cooperative action are in Southeast Europe and the Caucasus.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA (MENA): This regional meeting was facilitated  by Bheemanagoud Sahebagoud Choudri. The group discussed the need to, inter alia: protect natural resources and improve the socioeconomic well-being of mountain communities; strengthen and develop national and regional institutions and establish links with global institutions; identify special issues that impact mountain communities, such as climate change, food security, water conservation, poverty and forest degradation; and make use of all new and existing funding mechanisms to address issues related to SMD in the MENA region. The group decided: to improve on networking; to encourage a shift in government spending priorities to support SMD initiatives; that financial incentives must be provided for development; that regional capacity building programmes are needed for training and education; and that strong links to international governance and practices are necessary. They requested the MP Secretariat to: initiate a joint pilot project involving the members of all MENA countries; organize regional meetings and capacity-building programmes; and initiate a regional knowledge sharing and communication mechanism.

ASIA AND PACIFIC, INCLUDING CENTRAL ASIA REGION: This regional meeting was facilitated by Abdesh Kumar Gangwar and Eklabya Sharma. The group discussed priorities, including: developing climate change resilience in communities; disaster risk reduction; biodiversity conservation and management; conflict resolution over natural resources; investments in agriculture and water; and information, knowledge and technology sharing. The group also discussed coordination mechanisms and plans, and noted, inter alia, that the current classification of regions does not cover all mountain regions and should be revised by the Secretariat and that MF documents should be made available in Chinese.

DISCUSSION ON MOUNTAINS IN RIO+20 AND THE POST-2015 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

This session took place on Wednesday morning and was chaired by André Wehril, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Thomas Hofer provided an overview of the Rio+20 and Post-2015 process. He recalled the inclusion of mountain paragraphs in the outcome document of the Rio+20 conference, “The Future We Want,” and said that the core goal now is to ensure that mountain concerns are kept in the ongoing SDGs discussion. He described how this process is being conducted under the Open Working Group (OWG) of the UN General Assembly, and suggested ways to include mountain issues in this debate. The suggestions include: synchronization of the work on mountains with the SDGs process; preparation of side events in New York; and making contact with key actors (i.e. OWG co-chairs) to explain the importance of mountains.

Harald Egerer, UNEP, presented on mountains post-Rio+20. He noted that the inclusion of mountains in the Rio+20 Outcome document demonstrated the capacity of the mountain constituency to exert influence. On follow-up actions, he noted the alternatives of trying to include mountains in the SDGs process as a stand-alone goal or as part of other targets that aim to mainstream environmental issues in development policies. He noted that the UNEP approach favors the mainstream option rather than one unique mountain SDG. Highlighting the role of the Carpathian Convention and its members, he observed that this process is country-driven and that leaders are indispensable. He suggested the creation of informational material and the need to identify the best opportunities to act, such as through regional groups and the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China).

In the ensuing discussion, debate centred on the merits of a stand-alone SDG on mountains versus mainstreaming mountains within other SDGs and sectors.

Several participants highlighted the need for disaggregated data for developing goals and indicators. Although the majority favoured mainstreaming, others drew attention to its risks, namely that dispersing efforts across multiple SDGs might signal that mountains are a marginal part of the global agenda.

UNEP explained that they were providing expertise and inputs to the Post-2015 development agenda and that every SDG would contain environmental aspects. A participant from Uganda enquired about the financial implications of mainstreaming versus a stand-alone goal.

Wrapping up the session, Wehril observed that governments deem the integrated approach more realistic, and that if it is made clear that mountains matter for specific SDG goals, governments will be more inclined to support the MP. He called for focusing on what mountains mean to other sectors, and in a wider geographic context, and highlighted the need to tap into the OWG process so that mountains will be considered in the Post-2015 process.

KNOWLEDGE PLATFORM FOR SUSTAINABLE MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT

This session took place on Wednesday morning and was chaired by Musonda Mumba, UNEP.

Miguel Saravia, Consortium for Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion (CONDESAN), presented the history and evolution of the Mountain Forum (MF), a knowledge platform for SMD. He described the technical challenges involved in managing, producing and sharing information among relevant mountain stakeholders, including the need to avoid duplication and competition, encourage collaboration and develop clear standards for managing “massive” amounts of data. He noted that the MF is the only specialized, global, online community dedicated to sharing information and experiences on issues relating to SMD. Over its 18-year existence, he stated that the MF has evolved in response to the changing information needs of mountain stakeholders. At present, he said, it serves as a knowledge repository and social network for people interested in SMD around the world, with content available in Spanish, French, Russian and English.

 On the future of the MF, he stressed that information and knowledge sharing are not synonymous with communication, and that the MP still needs to develop a communication strategy. He concluded that the MF can serve the MP as: a knowledge repository; an interface for connecting with those who are not MP members; an e-forum tool for e-discussions organized by the MP; and a means for facilitating MP participation in UN conferences.

In the discussions that followed, participants raised the issues of: the duplication of work by MF and other online systems for mountain information sharing; the need to engage with social networks and traditional media for communications and outreach; and the challenges involved in gauging the accuracy and validity of information curated by the MF.

In response, Saravia emphasized that the MF serves as a knowledge platform and tool for the MP, not a “competing voice.” He also acknowledged that verifying information quality was an enormous challenge for any knowledge repository, and that the MF does its best to curate information in collaboration with diverse partners.

Hofer commented on the need for a MP communication strategy that avoids overlap, but also recognizes the value of existing information sharing initiatives. He suggested that the MP working group on a communication strategy focus on presenting a more coherent approach to communications. Chair Mumba suggested taking stock of all existing information sharing platforms as a first step toward developing a communication strategy.

REGIONAL COORDINATION MECHANISMS: SHARING EXPERIENCES FROM EUROPE AND THE HIMALAYAS

This session took place on Wednesday morning and was chaired by Musonda Mumba, UNEP.

Martin Price presented on Euromontana, a multisectoral association for mountain cooperation founded in 1953 and registered in France. Noting that 36% of Europe consists of mountains, he said that 118 million people live in these areas. Price noted that mountains provide many opportunities, despite some challenges, such as difficult access, population spread and remoteness. He said that the main goal of Euromontana is to improve the life quality of mountain people through activities such as organizing meetings, networking and project engagement, notably within the EU. He explained that its main working themes are inter-related, such as forestry, energy, education, research and operation, environment and climate change and sustainable tourism. He noted the various projects involving Euromontana, particularly a series of projects on quality mountain foods that had recently led to an EU Regulation.  He also mentioned the various events that Euromontana organizes, notably the biennial European Mountain Conventions, the largest mountain meetings in Europe.

Taja Ferjančič, Alpine Convention, explained that the Convention is the first international treaty on mountains covering the Alps, which are home and water source to 14 million people in its members, which include Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia and Switzerland and the EU. Delivering a brief historical overview of the history of the Convention – signed in 1991 and coming into force in 1995 – she said that it provides basic principles and management guidelines for public policies in the Alps in order to promote sustainable development. She observed that, despite the binding guidelines, there are no sanctions. 

Harald Egerer, Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention/UNEP, presented on why the Carpathian Convention is useful for the protection of the Carpathian Mountains, which, although lower than the Alps, are comparable in size and are a significant biodiversity hotspot. He recalled that this sub-regional treaty aims to foster sustainable development in the signatory countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, and Ukraine. Signed in 2003, the Interim Convention Secretariat is hosted by the Vienna office of UNEP and serves as a liaison office with other organizations, including the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Alpine Convention and NGOs. He underscored that the Convention is an engine for several science-based working groups on themes such as tourism, cultural heritage, sustainable transport and forests. He concluded by saying that the Convention is a political actor, important for the EU and other partners such as other UN conventions, and that the establishment of partnerships and consultation with governments, as well as with civil society, are essential for successful policies.

Eklabya Sharma presented on ICIMOD. He highlighted the dramatic impacts of climate change in the Himalayas, including cryosphere thinning and glacial shrinking. He noted that it was difficult to assess the exact volume of loss. He observed that poverty is higher in mountain regions and had resulted in gendered migration in the Himalayas, with men leaving to seek opportunities elsewhere, leaving women and children behind.

Sharma outlined how ICIMOD was created as a regional intergovernmental institution in 1983, with its core competencies including livelihoods, ecosystem services, water and air, but with a focus on adaptation to change. He said his institution believes in open access data.

Sam Kanyamibwa, ARCOS, presented on regional network engagement across Africa. He noted that ARCOS, which focuses on collaborative action for nature and people, was established in 1995. Priority areas include biodiversity and ecosystem services, climate change and governance and threats. He said the regional NGO network includes over 50 NGOs in the region. He highlighted the Albertine Rift Biodiversity Monitoring and Information Systems (ARBMIS) and the Albertine Rift Biodiversity Portal, which are building competence for biodiversity information systems.

Kanyamibwa highlighted challenges and lessons learned related to networking, noting that: networking takes time; a networking hub needs to be inclusive; sharing information products is more acceptable than sharing raw data; resources are always scarce, making it imperative to be creative; investing in internal capacity is critically important; and different mechanisms work for different areas.

Sharma responded to a question on how ICIMOD had managed to transform degraded lands into productive ecosystems in Nepal. He observed that the actions of various stakeholders and local communities had helped, along with the engagement of forestry user groups.

WORKING GROUPS: PUTTING THE MOUNTAIN PARTNERSHIP INTO PRACTICE

Participants met in working groups on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning to discuss and prioritize the outputs and activities of six functions established in the new MP Strategy: advocacy; joint action; knowledge management and communication; capacity development and technology transfer; innovation; and resource mobilization. On Thursday afternoon, after identifying three priority actions, they reported back to plenary and considered a roadmap and biennial work plan.

ADVOCACY: This working group was facilitated by Andrew Taber, The Mountain Institute, US, and Bardomero Casillo, Argentina. On developing a succinct, focused and practical advocacy strategy for SMD, the working group suggested forming a small task force to assist the Secretariat on developing and mainstreaming SMD principles in global MEAs. The working group concluded that the Secretariat should circulate policy briefs in order to mainstream policies at the national level and engage in global MEAs. They also suggested that the Secretariat prepare a calendar of relevant global MEAs and engage with focal points for them. On the inclusion of SMD aspects in the further implementation of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the formulation of SDGs, the working group noted that mechanisms already exist to influence these processes, and requested the Secretariat to engage these focal points.

On preparing MP members for active participation in UN processes, views were expressed on the need to create groups to lobby and participate in these meetings. A question was raised regarding who would create these groups: some felt that it was up to the Secretariat to decide while others felt that MP partners in their respective capacities and positions should be able to achieve this without relying on the Secretariat.

The importance of a specific document on mountain policies that can be mainstreamed in other national policies was highlighted.

On developing key messages, briefs and other promotional materials, participants felt that these messages should be consistent and standardized for languages.

On establishing and implementing an ongoing worldwide awareness campaign, participants generally agreed on its importance. Some suggested targeting sectors, like business groups and civil society organizations not currently involved in the MP. The need for timelines was highlighted.

On bringing well-known personalities on board, the group decided that the communication and innovation groups should advise on whether this is achievable. Some participants proposed simple video and audio clips to focus attention on the MP’s messages.

Priority issues: Participants identified priority issues including: developing an advocacy strategy and convening a smaller group to deal with capacity and develop timelines; establishing a clearinghouse of information to help national partners engage with other processes; and undertaking joint actions with other functions to address advocacy in the short-term.

One participant proposed identifying champions to share the mountain vision. Others noted the importance of engaging with the SDG process. Also highlighted were policy briefs on the mountains and their importance for the OWG topics for themes such as energy, climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity and forestry management.

JOINT ACTION: The working group on joint action was facilitated by Anita Paul, Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation, India, and Benedicto Sanchez, Broad Initiatives for Negros Development (BIND), Philippines. During the discussion, participants proposed conducting a baseline assessment for MP members to ascertain strengths and expertise in the form of an online survey over 3-6 months. It was reported that several organizations had to volunteered to oversee this process.

On organising events on thematic areas, members were not able to pinpoint who would do this. On mountain livelihoods, joint action was proposed for on- and off-farm activities. On-farm activities included low emission methodologies and exchange of knowledge and skills, while off-farm proposals included a joint marketing initiative such as a common brand or tagline.

Regarding pre-feasibility and pre-planning, participants proposed asking the MP to help in the interim, with a view to arriving at a long-term plan to achieve its vision.

On climate change, it was noted that energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies have a role to play. For natural forestry, participants suggested making it more broad-based or region-wide and supported joint actions or organization of events with the help of the MP.

Priority issues: Participants called for: establishing baselines on strengths that exist within the Mountain Partnership; formulating a joint programme on livelihoods; and strengthening regional chapters and convening regional events.

One participant said it was important to know who is in the Partnership and proposed a pilot project on joint marketing with a certification label identifying “mountain quality products.” Another noted the need to agree on criteria for private sector participation, while one participant proposed a joint marketing initiative for mountain products.

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATION: This working group was facilitated by Miguel Saravia, CONDESAN and Jurant Dika, Government of Macedonia. The group reviewed the outputs and activities of the knowledge management and communication function established in the new MP strategy.

Reporting to plenary, the group proposed, inter alia, establishing a task force to develop a communication strategy, with assistance from the Secretariat. According to the working group, the aim of this strategy should be to promote a unified MP agenda with the goal of influencing target groups, including: decision makers; the general public; the business community; NGOs; youth, students and the educational community; ground-level practitioners; research scientists; and mass media journalists.

Priority issues: The working group suggested a number of communication priorities, inter alia, that: the strategy contain a general message that can be tailored and adapted to specific regions, cultures and target groups; the MP website, as well as the Mountain Forum, serve as main focal points for coordinating awareness-raising campaigns; and members review existing communications strategies at their institutions and share relevant aspects of them with the task force.

In terms of knowledge management, the working group stressed the following priorities, inter alia: the need for the standardization of information; the need for better structured databases with information on members and projects; the need for metadata linkages between existing knowledge repositories; and the need for knowledge products that present basic information for sharing experiences.

The working group requested the Secretariat, inter alia, to: proactively put members in contact and identify opportunities for synergies; request a basic annual report from all members on their activities; provide fact sheets and policy briefs; and play an active role in facilitating the work of the task force.

In the discussion that followed, participants noted that: knowledge sharing - a technical issue - is a different task than communication - a public relations issue, and that therefore two task forces are required; there is a need to report not just on what members are doing, but what members are doing in collaboration with each other; research and knowledge generation must be discussed, not just process; and there is a risk of priority duplications with other working groups.

CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: This working group was facilitated by Simon Charré, Regional Environment Center for Central Asia, and Abdhesh Gangwar, Center for Environmental Education Himalaya (CEE Himalaya). The group discussed several points but, due to time limitations, focused on the challenge of developing educational materials expressing a common vision on mountains, given that different stakeholders have different visions. A working group with representatives of the six regions was tasked to create a database on mountains to provide broad guidelines on mountain priorities. The group agreed that this material and potential courses should be developed in each region, taking into account the specifics of each country, such as languages. Turkey volunteered to start this work. The group proposed to strengthen media involvement in mountain activities, which has been underexplored.

In conclusion, due to the broad number of themes, the group suggested that the Secretariat pick one specific topic in order to develop more in-depth discussions on specific mountain concerns, such as water resources. A participant clarified that efforts on translation are underway in Spanish, Russian and French. Another participant suggested including the academic community on agricultural and forestry issues, and the working group agreed.

Priority issues: Participants identified priority issues as: developing guidelines for curricula to integrate SMD issues in educational programmes; developing regional courses for “training of trainers”; and promoting technology transfer among MP members. Creation of a website was proposed in order to share data and knowledge among countries.

RESOURCE MOBILIZATION: This working group was facilitated by Marisa Young, Fundación Agreste, Argentina, and Purushottam Ghimire, Nepal. The group highlighted: methods of fund allocation; investments in capacity building for advocacy; information on how to present new proposals for funds; campaigns for new members; ways to attract new donors; a definition for a common approach among the various actors - i.e., the Steering Committee, MP Secretariat, and the Global Mountain Facility (GMF) - to reinforce governmental engagement; clear rules on the work and governance of the GMF; fostering of networks of groups involved with mountain issues; and promotion of equal opportunities for fund access. The group proposed: approaching the GEF regarding the possibility of contributing directly to the GMF; exploring the possibility of increasing the number of focal points dealing with mountain issues; and encouraging the Steering Committee to raise funds in partnership with the Secretariat. In conclusion, the group stressed the powerful interlinkages between advocacy and fund raising, and suggested these groups work collaboratively.

Priority issues: Participants identified priority issues considering both short and long-term perspectives and requested Secretariat assistance in coordinating these efforts. The group stated that the GMF is a long-term goal that deserves special attention. In the short term, campaigns must be fostered to attract and establish criteria for new donors, as well as investment in capacity building to propose funding projects. The facilitator noted that the private sector and civil society have different goals that are not necessarily complementary, making it imperative to have clear criteria on how to engage them in this initiative.

INNOVATION: The working group on innovation met only on the first day, facilitated by Martin Price, Centre for Mountain Studies. They proposed that innovation should be a principle for all activities of the Mountain Partnership, rather than a separate function. The group also discussed the impacts of new innovation and new access and technologies.

SELECTION OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS

On Thursday afternoon, participants convened in plenary for the selection of the Steering Committee members. The session was chaired by Alfredo Guillet, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy.

The following were elected to the Steering Committee:

National Government Members from each major mountain region: Mexico, for North America, Central America and the Caribbean; Argentina, for South America; Turkey, for Europe; Nepal, for Asia and the Pacific; Cameroon, for Sub-Saharan Africa; and Tunisia, for the Middle East and North Africa.

Italy was elected as the representative of Donors to the MP Secretariat.

Civil Society Members from each major mountain region include the Aspen International Mountain Foundation, for North and Central America and the Caribbean; Agreste, Argentina, for South America; Euromontana, for Europe; ICIMOD, for Asia and the Pacific; ARCOS, for Sub-Saharan Africa; and the Mountain Environment Protection Society, for the Middle East and North Africa. The Mountain Institute was elected as representative of global civil society organizations.

UNEP was elected as representative of intergovernmental organizations and FAO was elected as the host organization of the MP Secretariat.

The selection of the representative for civil society from the Asia Pacific region involved a long debate. The MP assembly resolved the matter by voting, in a majority, for an “exception” that allowed an organization from a different category to be eligible for that seat.

CLOSING CEREMONY

The “Erzurum Conclusions” were presented and agreed by participants.

 ERZURUM CONCLUSIONS: In the Erzurum Conclusions, the members of the MP inter alia:

  • invite all states, relevant UN bodies, regional organizations and others to ensure that mountains are included in pertinent international processes;
  • urge the donor community to increase its support in favor of SMD;
  • express gratitude to the Government of Turkey for hosting the event;
  • express appreciation for support provided by the MP Secretariat, particularly on networking, knowledge management and communication, capacity building and advocacy; and
  • express appreciation to the Governments of Italy, Switzerland, the World Bank and the FAO for their continued support of the MP.

Hofer observed that, following their election, the Steering Committee members must give direction to the MP work plan and also be representative. He underscored the need to ensure that decisions are taken following objective assessment, noting that there would be a standardized format for presenting reports focusing on results and not activities. He observed that the Steering Committee election process had been very important and that the procedural concerns had been noted in order to be addressed during the next two years. Highlighting accomplishments, he observed that the agenda and biennial work plan for the Secretariat had been developed and the Erzurum Conclusions agreed. He called on participants to continue building momentum by following through on implementation. He expressed thanks to Turkey, the interpreters, hotel staff, MP Secretariat staff, IISD Reporting Services and all participants, closing the meeting at 8:39 pm.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

Forest Investment Program Pilot Country Meeting: This meeting of the Forest Investment Program will convene from 24-26 September 2013, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.   dates: 24-26 September 2013   location: Yogyakarta, Indonesia   www: https://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org/cif/content/fip-pilot-country-meetings

World Tourism Day 2013: World Tourism Day 2013 will be celebrated under the theme “Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future.” Celebrations, including a High-Level Think Tank bringing together public and private tourism stakeholders and water experts, will be hosted by the Maldives.   date: 27 September 2013   location: worldwide   contact: Marcelo Risi   phone: +34-91-567-8160    e-mail: mrisi@unwto.org   www: http://media.unwto.org/en/press-release/2013-06-03/world-tourism-day-2013-promoting-tourism-s-role-water-preservation

Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force 2013 Annual Meeting: The GCF Annual Meeting is an opportunity for information exchange and for member countries (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Spain and the US) and partners to provide updates on their REDD+ activities and achievements. The meeting will also convene a high-level policy dialogue on REDD+ issues.   dates: 1-4 October 2013   venue: Puerto Maldonado   location: Peru   additional: Madre de Dios   contact: Carly Hernandez   phone: +1 303 492 8928   e-mail: carly.hernandez@Colorado.edu   www: http://www.gcftaskforce.org/events/2013/annual_meeting/

CIFOR Annual Meeting: The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) will hold its annual meeting to consider its annual report, among other agenda items. CIFOR is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).   dates: 7-11 October 2013   location: Bogor, Indonesia   contact: CIFOR Secretariat   phone: 62-251-8622-622   fax: 62-251-8622-100   e-mail: cifor@cgiar.org   www: http://www.cifor.org/forests-trees-agroforestry/events/upcoming-events/event-view.html

2013 Budapest Water Summit: The Budapest Water Summit will take place from 8-11 October 2013 in the context of the International Year of Water Cooperation, and will seek to contribute to the elaboration of water-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to discuss solutions to water-related challenges. It will convene under the theme “The Role of Water and Sanitation in the Global Sustainable Development Agenda”. The Summit is organized by the Government of Hungary in cooperation with the United Nations systems and the World Water Council.   dates: 8-11 October 2013   location: Budapest, Hungary   contact: Budapest Water Summit Secretariat   e-mail: BudapestWaterSummit@mfa.gov.hu   www: http://budapestwatersummit.hu/  

Pan-European Forum on Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management: The Pan-European Forum will consider work on criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management (SFM) being developed by the European Forest Institute (EFI) and funded by the Government of Germany. The criteria and indicators to be discussed include six criteria, 35 quantitative indicators, and 17 qualitative indicators on SFM.   dates: 8-9 October 2013   venue: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU)   location: Vienna, Austria   contact: Christelle Rambour   e-mail: christelle.rambour@efi.int   www: http://www.ci-sfm.org/events/pan-european-forum.html  

Linking Policy and Science for Sustainable Innovation: The Third EU Dialogue on linking sustainable consumption and economic growth will discuss the issues from the perspective of social and technological innovation, with the aim of supporting policy development and future research on sustainable innovation. It will address three themes: technological innovations and sustainability; innovation in the context of growth and de-growth; and social innovation and sustainable consumption and production (SCP). The EU Dialogue is part of the European Commission’s RESPONDER project, which explores how knowledge brokerage can help improve management of the contradictions between economic growth and sustainable consumption.   dates: 10-11 October 2013   location: Brussels, Belgium   contact: Markus Hametner   phone: +43-1-31336-5135   fax: +43-1-31336-90-5135   e-mail: markus.hametner@wu.ac.at  www: http://www.scp-responder.eu/events/eu_dialogue  

CBD Expert Workshop on Enhancing Biodiversity Data and Observing Systems in Support of the Implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020: This workshop will discuss ways in which collection of, access to, and use of biodiversity data and observations could be enhanced to support evidence-based decision-making and planning with a view to achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and corresponding national targets. It is organized by the Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in collaboration with the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON). Conclusions from the workshop are expected to be formally reported to the SBSTTA 17 meeting in the following week and will support the consideration of scientific and technical needs related to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.   date: 12 October 2013   location: Montreal, Canada   contact: CBD Secretariat   e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int   www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=WS-BDOBS

High-Level Symposium on Development Cooperation in a Post-2015 Era: Sustainable Development For All: This High-Level Symposium will contribute to international discussions on the post-2015 Development Agenda and prepare for the 2014 Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Development Cooperation Forum (DCF). The meeting will bring together experts from donor and programme countries, international organizations, civil society and the private sector to discuss: how development cooperation can advance equitable and sustainable development; how funds should be allocated among countries and sectors; how aid funds can mobilize additional sources of financing; and how aid effectiveness and accountability can be improved. This is the second in a series of preparatory events for the DCF. The first took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in June 2013.   dates: 24-25 October 2013   location: Montreux, Vaud, Switzerland   contact: DCF Secretariat, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)   e-mail: dcf@un.org   www: http://www.un.org/en/ecosoc//newfunct/dcfswitzerland.shtml

25th Session of the FAO Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission: This meeting offers a policy and technical forum for countries in the Asia-Pacific region to discuss and address forest issues. This by-invitation meeting targets government officials from forestry and other sectors, as well as representatives of NGOs, private industry and other organizations dealing with forest-related issues in the region.   dates: 4-8 November 2013   location: New Zealand   contact: Patrick Durst   e-mail: patrick.durst@fao.org   www: http://www.fao.org/forestry/33587/en/  

Global Landscapes Forum: This Forum will be convened on the margins of the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by the Collaborative Programme on Forests (CPF) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). The Forum will focus on four main themes: investing in sustainable landscapes and livelihoods; landscape policy and governance; synergies between adapting to and mitigating climate change in landscapes; and landscapes for food security and nutrition. The Global Landscapes Forum will combine into one event two annual conferences on the role of forests and agriculture in mitigating and adapting to climate change, Forest Day and Agricultural and Rural Development Day.   dates: 16-17 November 2013   location: Warsaw, Poland   contact: Ann-Kathrin Neureuther   e-mail: a.neureuther@cgiar.org   www: http://www.cifor.org/glf  

OWG Intersessional Multi-stakeholder Meeting: The co-chairs of the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on the SDGs will convene at least two intersessional meetings between OWG members and stakeholders, to facilitate the participation of Major Groups and other stakeholders. The first meeting is scheduled for 22 November 2013, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. The structure and agenda are to be developed by the UN DESA in consultation with stakeholders.   date: 22 November 2013   venue: UN Headquarters   location: New York, US   contact: Chantal Line Carpentier, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Division for Sustainable Development (DSD)   phone: 1-917-367-8388   e-mail: carpentier@un.org   www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?page=view&type=13&nr=484&menu=1544

Fifth Meeting of the Open Working Group on SDGs (OWG 5): The fifth session of the of the UNGA OWG on the SDGs will take place from 25-27 November 2013, in New York, US. OWG 5 is expected to discuss: sustained and inclusive economic growth; macroeconomic policy questions, including international trade, international financial system and external debt sustainability; infrastructure development and industrialization; and energy.   dates: 25-27 November 2013   venue: UN Headquarters   location: New York City, US   contact: Secretariat   e-mail: dsd@un.org   www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1665  

International Conference on Climate Change, Water and Disaster in Mountainous Areas: This conference is organized by the Society of Hydrologists and Meteorologists, SOHAM-Nepal. It will focus on climate change, water and disaster in mountainous areas, and address the following topics: climate change and implications on society, hydrological regimes and water in mountainous countries; hydrometeorological response to mountainous ecosystems; water and renewable energy; disaster risk reduction (DRR); traditional and modern knowledge for water resources management; transboundary issues on water resources; and adaptation strategies.   dates: 27-29 November 2013   location: Kathmandu, Nepal   contact: SOHAM-Nepal   e-mail: info@soham.org.np   www: http://www.soham.org.np/news/international-sem-2013.pdf  

Addressing Poverty and Vulnerability in the Hindu Kush Himalaya - Forging Regional Partnerships to Enable Transformative Change: This event aims to provide inputs regarding mountains that can contribute to the post-2015 Development Agenda. By bringing together stakeholders of the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH), the event will: crystalize science-based evidence for policy planning; showcase good practices and lessons learnt and identify means for scaling up potential innovative solutions; and forge regional cooperation and partnerships for addressing poverty and vulnerability in the HKH region.   dates: 1-4 December 2013   location: Kathmandu, Nepal   contact: ICIMOD   phone: +977 1 5003222   e-mail: icpr@icimod.org  www: http://www.icimod.org/?q=11285

First Annual Sustainable Development Implementation Forum: The UN Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD) will host the first annual Sustainable Development Implementation Forum (SDIF) sometime in early 2014, in Incheon, Republic of Korea. The SDIF aims to serve as a global platform for sharing best practices in formulating and implementing sustainable development programmes, reviewing evidence of impact, and charting out new and improved pathways for sustainable development implementation. The programme of the annual SDIF also will include topics related to: scaling up implementation; finding effective solutions to address implementation constraints and challenges; examining emerging issues in the context of planning and implementation; promoting the science-policy-practice interface to ensure the transition towards sustainability; and promoting and facilitating partnerships, as well as building communities of practice. The SDIF will include high-level policy dialogues, training sessions, seminars, side events, and expert panel discussions covering key cross-cutting sustainable development and green economy issues and good practices in strategy-making and policy implementation. The Forum was originally scheduled for 28-31 October 2013 but was postponed.   dates: 1-4 February 2014 [tentative]   location: Incheon, Republic of Korea   contact: SDIF Secretariat, UNOSD, Yonsei University International Campus   phone: 82-32-822-9088   fax: 82-32-822-9089   e-mail: unosd@un.org   www: http://www.climate-connect.co.uk/Home/?q=node/3195

Second Meeting of the CBD Expert Group on Biodiversity for Poverty Eradication and Development: The Expert Group is expected to restructure and streamline the Dehradun Recommendations and provide guidance towards a conceptual framework and roadmap for the integration of biodiversity into poverty eradication and development in the context of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi targets. The meeting’s outcome will be considered by the fifth meeting of the CBD Working Group on Review of Implementation.   dates: 4-6 December 2013   location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India   contact: CBD Secretariat   phone: +1 514 288 2220   fax: +1 514 288 6588   e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int   www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=WS-BDOBS

GLOSSARY

ARCOS
CONDESAN
CIFOR
COP
CSD
FAO
G-77/China
ICIMOD
MENA
MF
MP
OWG
UNCED
UNEP
UNFCCC
Rio+20
SMD
SDGs

Albertine Rift Conservation Society 
Consortium for Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion
Center for International Forestry Research
Conference of the Parties
Commission on Sustainable Development 
Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN
The Group of 77 and China
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
Middle East and North Africa region
Mountain Forum
Mountain Partnership
Open Working Group of the UN General Assembly
UN Conference on Environment and Development, 1992 (the Earth Summit)
UN Environment Programme
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
UN Conference on Sustainable Development, 2012
Sustainable Mountain Development
Sustainable Development Goals

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The Mountain Partnership Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <info@iisd.ca>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org>. This issue was written and edited by Asheline Appleton, Kate Harris and Nicole de Paula Domingos. The Editor is Deborah Davenport, Ph.D. <deborah@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (in HTML and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <http://www.iisd.ca/>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, New York 10022, USA.
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