News

Mountain Day 2 Calls for Strengthening Global Mountain Agenda in Multilateral Negotiations

3 December 2012: Mountain Day 2, which focused on the topic "Mainstreaming Rio+20 outcomes in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes for prosperous, resilient, and sustainable mountain ecosystems and communities,” took place in Doha, Qatar, on 3 December 2012, on the sidelines of the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UNFCCC.

It was organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS)/Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), in the context of the Strategic Initiative for Mountains and Climate Change funded by the Development Grant Facility of the World Bank. Other sponsors and partners included the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Water and Climate Coalition (WCC), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the ICIMOD-based Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP) and the Government of Nepal.

The Day started with a keynote speech by Gyan Chandra Acharya, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, who emphasized the need for coordinated work between the Rio Conventions. Acharya noted the need to include mountains in the Conventions' action plans. Keshab Man Shakya, Co-Chair of the Day and Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Nepal, highlighted the challenges of addressing sustainability in a rapidly changing climate, emphasizing that such challenges call for partnerships and increased funding for financing climate adaptation in mountain environments. Marco Onida, Secretary General of the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention and the other Co-Chair of the Day, stressed the importance of coming together to push the mountain agenda, as mountains may not always be a political priority for many countries.

The main output of the session was a series of Key Messages to negotiators at COP 18. Thomas Hofer, MPS/FAO, noted that: mountains' role as the "water towers of the world" is threatened by the melting of glaciers; mountain communities are used to coping with climate variability but the effects of climate change are very strong, and thus they need support for implementing adaptation strategies and for capacity development; and there is a need for partnerships and strong and rigorous science to understand and address climate change in mountain ecosystems, which are extremely complex. [IISD RS Coverage of Mountain Day 2] [ICIMOD Press Release] [Mountain Partnership website]