UNSG Releases Report on Sustainable Mountain Development

United NationsSeptember 2013: The UN Secretary-General has released his report on sustainable mountain development (SMD), which describes the status of SMD at the national and international levels, including an analysis of future challenges.

The report was prepared in response to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 66/205, which requested the Secretary-General to report on the status of sustainable development in mountain regions to the UNGA at its 68th session. It outlines suggestions for the UNGA's consideration on how to continue promoting and sustaining development in mountain regions within the existing policy context.

Some of the international actions addressed in the report are: biodiversity conservation and mountain ecosystems; climate change in mountain areas; land degradation and desertification in mountain ecosystems; mountain water and watershed management; disaster risk management; indigenous peoples issues; gender and mountain development; green economy in mountain ecosystems; food security and nutrition in mountain areas; and communications, networking and knowledge sharing.

Recommendations emanating from the report related to international processes include: renewing efforts to ensure mountain issues are prioritized within development agendas and processes; supporting the collaborative efforts of the Mountain Partnership and encouraging the active involvement of all relevant stakeholders; and promoting the establishment of regional mechanisms for coordinated and integrated transboundary cooperation and knowledge sharing for SMD, as well as strengthening existing mechanisms.

On SMD policy, the report recommends, inter alia: encouraging the consolidation of existing or the establishment of new national committees, bodies and mechanisms to strengthen SMD; encouraging countries to include mountain-specific policies in national sustainable development strategies; developing strategies for adaptation and mitigation of climate change, taking into account the specific situation of mountain environments and communities; promoting the conservation and sustainable use of increasingly scarce resources from mountain areas; supporting education, extension and capacity-building programmes; ensuring that indigenous peoples' cultures, traditions and knowledge are fully recognized; and strengthening the role of mountain women in planning and decision-making processes. The report also includes recommendations related to financial mechanisms, awareness raising and research.

The report was prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO)  in collaboration with governments, relevant UN agencies and other organizations. [Publication: Report of the Secretary-General on Sustainable Mountain Development]