Why invest in sustainable mountain development?
Climate change, increasing natural disasters, food and energy crises, population growth, water scarcity and desertification, loss of biodiversity, degradation of ecosystems, migration, and growth of cities – the planet is currently facing a multitude of challenges. Mountain regions and their inhabitants are disproportionally affected, but also offer significant opportunities for solutions.
By providing key environmental services such as freshwater, biodiversity conservation and hydropower to more than half of humanity, mountain ecosystems play a critical role in world development. Mountain systems are essential building blocks for long-term sustainable global development, poverty alleviation and the transition to a green economy. In a world heading towards water, food and energy crisis, sustainable mountain development (SMD) is a global priority.
Mountain people, who are among the world’s poorest and hungriest, are key to maintaining mountain ecosystems and their role in providing environmental services to downstream communities. Mountain communities need to be empowered and their livelihoods improved, to enable them to take responsibility for the preservation of natural resources and to fulfil their role as mountain stewards.
In spite of the obvious importance of mountain areas, sustainable mountain development does not receive the attention and priority it deserves. Investing in sustainable mountain development is a global priority for addressing the current challenges. It reaches far beyond monetary terms to embrace increased attention to and support in all aspects of mountain ecology and society.
Please find below information about the latest publication from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) highlighting these issues with support of latest facts and figures on SMD.
Imprint: Rome: FAO, November 2011. - 84 p.
For further information, pls write to Mr. Thomas Hofer at firstname.lastname@example.org .
PS: Dr. Andreas Schild, Ms. Andrea Perlis and myself had an opportunity to contribute on sustainable mountain development in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas and beyond (largely with Asia Pacific context)