Mountains highlighted in Switzerland


For International Mountain Day (IMD) 2018 and on the occasion of their 75th anniversary, the Swiss Center for Mountain Regions (SAB) organized the event titled: “75 years of development in mountain areas: Where mountains provide services for the cities”. 

The event was co-organized by the Federal Office for Agriculture, Switzerland and the Federal Office for Spatial Development with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Regional value chain development, migration and water management in mountains were selected as main topics of the event. Interventions reflected both a Swiss and an international perspective.

In the first session on regional value chain development, Yuka Makino, Coordinator of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat presented the Mountain Partnership activities aiming at strengthening agri-value chains in mountain areas and promoting Mountain Products to improve local economies and livelihoods.

She highlighted in her speech: “Mountains matter because they are vital for our lives: on International Mountain Day, let’s celebrate mountain products which protect people’s livelihoods and mountain ecosystems.”

Samuel Nussbaumer, senior researcher from the University of Zurich brought attention to integrated water management and climate change and the crucial role of water for local people and governments. He pointed out that due to seasonal variation and climate change run off will change and will impact not only local population in mountains as well people living downstream. He underscored that either far too much or too little water can occur in quick succession as shown in the example of Peru where in 2016 the drought was succeeded by tremendous flooding in 2017.

Susanne Wymann von Dach, senior research scientist from the Centre for Development and Environment, emphasized that migration has always provided an opportunity for mountain people to ensure their livelihood. However, the increased out-migration mainly by men leads to new challenges in societies and as a result, framework conditions need to be developed to ensure satisfactory living conditions for those remaining behind, usually women.  

Thomas Egger, director of SAB, indicated that regional value chain development, water management as well as migration are challenges that affect both mountain people and the rest of the world. To counteract and succeed in keeping mountain areas alive, he called for regional solutions and inclusive policies.

Read more

Home > mountain-partnership > News