Forum to highlight mountains in Africa


On 12 September 2018, the Minister of Environment of Rwanda, Honorable Dr. Vincent Biruta, opened the Second Africa Regional Mountains Forum (#ARMF_2018) in Kigali, Rwanda. “On behalf of the Republic of Rwanda and on my own behalf, I pledge to support Sustainable Mountain Development initiatives in the country and consider the formulation of a mountain-specific policy and strategy for Rwanda and we hope to benefit from the expertise of Mountain Partnership in this exercise,” he said.

The Africa Regional Mountain Forum (ARMF) brought together representative from Government, civil society, academia, private sector to discuss issues the progress of the implementation of Sustainable Mountain Development Agenda. The main theme of #ARMF_2018 is “Mountains and Sustainable development agenda“.

Dr Sam Kanyamibwa, Executive Director of ARCOS Network explained the mission of the Africa Regional Mountain Forum. “ARMF is not just meetings but it is about also generating knowledge, it is about capacity building, it is about supporting actions and engagement in advocacy. This ARMF gives an opportunity to discuss the progress of the implementation of Sustainable Mountain Development Agenda by different stakeholders and share experiences on how mountains are contributing to sustainable development agenda,” he said.

During the second day of the Africa Regional Mountains Forum, Rosalaura Romeo, Programme Officer, Mountain Partnership addressed the attendees on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Mountains in Africa. She stressed the importance of mountains in Africa as they provide vital goods and services, indispensable for human wellbeing and national, regional and global economic growth.

"In Africa, the number of people vulnerable to food insecurity in the mountains has risen at a higher rate than population growth”, she said. Their invaluable importance as water towers, biodiversity hotspots, and indicators of climate change and hubs of traditional indigenous knowledge offer a strategic opportunity to ensure sustainable development of African countries. “However, African mountains are facing multiple challenges, mainly driven by fast growing population and unsustainable natural resources use which are worsened by climate change,”  she said.

Sustainable mountain development in Africa is a key requirement for achieving sustainable development goal. Rosalaura Romeo emphasized the need to get together and advocate for mountains to be included in global, regional, national and local development agenda to ensure a better future for present and future generations.

Partners of the event included the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS Network); the East African Community (EAC); the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); the Water for Growth Programme (a joint initiative between the Government of Netherlands and the Government of Rwanda), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Ministry of environment, Republic of Rwanda.

Photo by Rosalaura Romeo/ Mountain Partnership Secretariat

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