Watershed management and mountains
Support to international processes
Photo © Paolo Ceci/ FAO
The Watershed Management and Mountains Programme provides support and collaborates with several organizations as well as international processes which address issues in the fields of forest hydrology, watershed management and sustainable mountain development. The Programme shares with other FAO services and units the responsibility of mainstreaming relevant knowledge gained through FAO normative work and field experience into the agendas of these organizations and processes. In this regard, the Programme supports FAO in its mandate as Task Manager for Chapter 13 of Agenda 21 “Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development”. Chapter 13 includes two main programme areas: “generating and strengthening knowledge about the ecology and sustainable development of mountain ecosystems” and “promoting integrated watershed development and alternative livelihood opportunities”.
Since FAO was invited by the UN-General Assembly to act as the coordinating agency for the preparation and animation of the International Mountain Day on the occasion of the International Year of Mountains in 2002, the Team is mandated to lead observance of it at the global level. Moreover Watershed management and mountain Team has been preparing every two years the United Nations Secretary General Report on Sustainable Mountain Development for the United Nations General Assembly, for which FAO is responsible.
FAO hosts the Secretariat of the EFC Working Party on the Management of Mountain Watersheds and, since 2008, has been actively contributing to the follow-up on the endorsement of the Warsaw Resolution 2 on Forests and Water, collaborating with international networks to raise awareness on this topic and making it a fundamental part of the Watershed Management and Mountain Programme.
As far as international processes are concerned, so far FAO has been very active in supporting the Mountain Partnership by hosting its Secretariat and recently merging its Programme with the Watershed Management and Mountains one, the International Consortium on Landslides (the 2nd World Landslide Forum in 2011 was hosted by FAO), the European Forestry Commission, Forest Europe, International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the Mountain Research Initiative, the Mediterranean Regional Office of the European Forestry Institute (EFIMED), and the preparations towards RIO+20 among others. Additionally, the Programme has established a long term collaboration with the Center for Development and Environment of the University of Bern (CDE), the International mountain Society (IMS), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Ev-K2-CNR Committee and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA).
IMS: The International Mountain Society exists for the purpose of promoting knowledge and disseminating information about mountain research and mountain development throughout the world. The main activity of the International Mountain Society is publishing the international Journal “Mountain Research and Development”. FAO is an institutional member of the International Mountain Society and acts as a member on the International Editorial Board of the Journal. FAO provides support to the Journal by reviewing articles, by occasionally submitting Platform Statements and by participating in strategic discussions related to the Journal and to the International Mountain Society.
Photo © Paolo Ceci/FAO
MRI: FAO is a member on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Mountain Research Initiative. This collaboration is based on the common interest of MRI and FAO’s programme on watershed management and mountains to increase knowledge of mountain ecosystems and their relevance to both water supply and food security, and to promote sustainable development in mountain regions. As a member of the Scientific Advisory Board, FAO participates in strategic discussions of MRI, particularly with a view to ensure the linkages between science and application.
EvK2cnr is an important Italian scientific program which woks in the Himalayan region on issues such as climate and hydrological monitoring, health, environment, anthropology, etc. Since 2010, FAO is a member of the Scientific Council of this research program. FAO supports EvK2cnr by participating in the strategic discussions, by contribution with applied perspectives to the deliberations and by promoting the contacts of the research program with other ongoing research and development processes related to mountain ecosystems.
ICIMOD: FAO and ICIMOD have a long-standing partnership. In November 2011, the two institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding for strategic collaboration on thematic areas of common interest such as watershed management, climate change and the promotion of mountain products. Recent examples of cooperation under this partnership are a workshop to validate a draft document for a regional watershed management project, which was held at ICIMOD in March 2011, and ICIMOD's involvement in the recently completed watershed and livelihood rehabilitation project in the earthquake-affected areas of Pakistan. FAO usually participates in the annual meetings of the ICIMOD Support Group.
ICL: FAO has been a Supporting Organization of the International Consortium on Landslides since its establishment in 2001. FAO has always provided support to ICL by putting landslides into the overall context of landscape management, multi-hazard approaches and food-security / livelihoods impacts. In November 2007, FAO and ICL signed a Memorandum of Understanding for strategic collaboration. The most recent example of cooperation under this partnership is the 2nd World Landslide Forum which FAO hosted at its Headquarters early October 2011.
MP: Since 2002 FAO has been hosting, at its headquarters, the Mountain Partnership Secretariat. The Mountain Partnership (MP) is a United Nations voluntary alliance of partners dedicated to improving the lives of mountain people and protecting mountain environments around the world. The MP addresses the challenges facing mountain regions by tapping and sharing 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. In addition to hosting its Secretariat, FAO supports the MP by participating in strategic discussions to identify and define the objectives and the strategy of the alliance, by contributing with applied perspectives to the deliberations and to the MP’s office activities and by supporting the partnership development processes related to mountain ecosystems.