A high-level conference on mountains, titled “Mountains under Pressure”, will be held on 11 December 2017 at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
(FAO) in Rome, Italy, announced Mountain Partnership Secretariat Coordinator Thomas Hofer on 24 May. The theme of the conference will be “Climate, hunger, migration”.
Almost one billion people live in mountain areas and over half the human population depends on mountains for water, food and clean energy. Yet mountains are under threat from climate change, land degradation and natural disasters, with potentially far-reaching and devastating consequences both for mountain communities and for the rest of the world.
The extreme vulnerability of mountains puts their natural resources under increasing pressure, which in turn affects mountain peoples, exacerbating hunger, poverty and forcing migration. The vast majority of mountain dwellers live below the poverty line, and one-third face the threat of food insecurity. Despite clear evidence of their importance and vulnerability, mountains continue to be marginalized in international negotiations and national policy-making efforts.
Coinciding with International Mountain Day and the 15th anniversary of the Mountain Partnership, this high-level conference will raise awareness of the need to place mountain ecosystems and peoples at the centre of international negotiations, policies and investments. The conference will launch a Declaration
and a Call to Action
to support concrete actions, put in place long lasting processes and establish policies that strengthen the resilience of mountain peoples and environments. It will also aim to ensure that sustainable mountain development is integrated into the 2030 Agenda and in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Invited conference participants will include heads of state and governments, as well as high-level representatives from mountainous countries, goodwill ambassadors, and representatives of UN conventions, intergovernmental organizations, private sector and civil society, in addition to Mountain Partnership members. Mountain Partnership members are asked to ensure that their organizations will be represented at the highest level.
The conference will be followed by the fifth General Assembly of the members of the Mountain Partnership, on 12-13 December 2017 at FAO, Rome, Italy. The Mountain Partnership focal points are expected to take part in the General Assembly, which will focus on exchanging knowledge, thematic issues, resource mobilization, governance, work planning and Steering Committee matters.
A website for the conference with a preliminary agenda, registration form and information for participants will be online soon.