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Mountain Farming is Family Farming

Mountain farming is largely family farming – which for centuries has contributed to sustainable development. Thanks to its small-scale character, diversification of crops, integration of forests and husbandry activities, and low carbon footprint, mountain agriculture has evolved over the centuries in an often harsh and difficult environment. The lifestyles and beliefs of mountain communities have inspired them to seek sustenance from the land but also to conserve the natural resource base and ecosystem services vital to downstream communities both rural and urban.

This publication intends to raise awareness of the importance of mountain family farming in sustainable development worldwide and encourage investment in this sector. To mark the International Year of Family Farming 2014, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, the Austrian Development Cooperation, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Bern and the Centre for Development Research of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna have jointly issued this publication. Mountain Farming Is Family Farming is published at a time when the Post-2015 development agenda is being discussed. It is our aspiration that issues related to sustainable mountain development are adequately reflected in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Post-2015 development agenda. The following chapters, with concrete case studies, showcase the sustainable development of mountain communities and environments, a cause to which all of the co-publisher organizations are committed.

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