Global partnerships

FAO is bringing its wide range of technical expertise and experience to the Mountain Partnership -- a global alliance of countries, inter-governmental organizations, civil society, NGOs and the private sector dedicated to improving the lives of mountain people and protecting their environments. FAO is a founding member of the Mountain Partnership and hosts the Secretariat to support it.

Launched at the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD, Johannesburg, 2002), the Mountain Partnership acts both as a tool and a framework in which to enhance long-term cooperation and commitment to sustainable mountain development, offering exciting new opportunities to exchange results, to network, to initiate new activities and to strengthen existing ones.

By August 2005, a total of 123 members had joined the Mountain Partnership: 45 countries, 14 intergovernmental organizations and 64 major groups (civil society, NGOs and the private sector). Members are addressing the challenges facing mountain regions by tapping the wealth and diversity of resources, knowledge, information and expertise, from and between one another, in order to stimulate concrete initiatives at all levels that will ensure improved quality of life and environments in the world's mountain regions. Indeed, it is the collaborative action known as the 'Partnership Initiatives' which drive the Mountain Partnership. Members have identified and are actively engaged in developing seven thematic initiatives (on education, gender, policy and law, research, sustainable agriculture and rural development or SARD-M, sustainable livelihoods, and watershed management), as well as six regional initiatives (on the Andes, Central America and the Caribbean, Central Asia, East Africa, Europe, and the Hindu Kush Himalaya).

The Partnership Initiatives are not intrinsically 'new'. Rather, they build on events, processes and concrete activities that took place or were started during the International Year of Mountains or before: for example, the SARD-M Initiatives is driven by the outcomes of the global conference held in Adelboden, Switzerland, from 16-20 June 2002 ; the Gender Initiative is inspired by the findings of the Global Meeting "Celebrating Mountain Women", held in Thimpu, Bhutan, from 1-4 October 2002; and the Watershed Management Initiative has emerged from an extended watershed management review process which was carried out between 2002 and 2003 by FAO, in collaboration with various partners worldwide.

Notably, the Research Initiative takes its lead from the various promising global research programmes related to sustainable mountain development, which were begun or strengthened within the framework of the International Year of Mountains. These include the IGBP-IHDP-GTOS Mountain Research Initiative, the UNU/CDE programme on sustainable mountain development and the numerous programmes adapted to incorporate mountain-specific elements in their research activities that were developed by UN organizations, CGIAR research centres and NGOs.

last updated:  Wednesday, October 24, 2012