1st West African Mountain Forum

Kpalime, Togo
From: 05.10.2017 to: 08.10.2017

West Africa is a sub-region that has an abundance of ecosystems, including - among others - mountains. Although not necessarily impressive in terms of altitude, West African mountains are high in biodiversity, and they play an important role in the overall sustainable development of the sub-region. Many West African communities maintain their links to mountains and attach traditional significance to some of them. The environmental and cultural services that mountain ecosystems provide are the reasons why many communities regard them with such high importance.

Despite the important role mountains play in West Africans’ daily lives, these particular ecosystems are under increasing pressure from erosion and land degradation, annual bush fires due to uncontrolled slash-and-burn agriculture, the cutting down of valuable forests and trees for export, firewood and other domestic needs. The absence of significant national strategies, information, education and public awareness about the protection and promotion of mountains makes it difficult for stakeholders to put policies and legislative frameworks in place for the conservation and sustainable management of mountains and their biodiversity.

Facing these challenges, the Platform of Civil Society Organizations for the Safeguard of Mountains (PSM), in partnership with the Togolese Ministry of Environment and Forest Resources and within the framework of the Mountain Partnership, has decided to organize the first West African Mountain Forum on the theme “Mountains’ contributions to economic development and climate change adaptation”.

The Forum will convene sessions around four main topics, namely:
• Education and awareness raising on the importance of mountains;
• Governance of mountain ecosystems and culture;
• Gender and climate change; and
• Mountain forests, water and biodiversity.

The main goal of the Forum is to promote sustainability and environmental justice by urging Governments, local decision makers, traditional leaders and NGOs dealing with environmental protection, through lobbying and advocacy, to take into account the sustainable management of mountain ecosystems in their national development’s policies and action plans.

To register for the event, download the registration form and return it to and

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Photo: FAO/Thomas Hofer

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