Expo recognizes the Mountain Partnership


This year’s Universal Exposition, better known as Expo, in Milan, Italy, featured a week dedicated solely to mountains on 4–11 June 2015. Mountain Week was a series of events about sustainable development, agriculture and mountain products from around the world.

Expo 2015 also listed the Mountain Partnership (MP) among its best practices. At Expo 2015, the MP was recognized for its capacity building programmes and projects to promote high quality mountain products, both are examples of concrete actions implemented by the MP to promote the sustainable development of rural mountain areas. Additionally, the MP has been promoting best practices and knowledge sharing of sustainable mountain development to manage and enhance the resilience of vulnerable mountain ecosystems. The multi-stakeholder cooperation among UN agencies, governments, development banks, research institutions, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and private enterprises to stimulate sustainable development is considered a best practice.

On 5 June the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Director General José Graziano da Silva took part in World Environment Day (WED) jointly with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner and Italy’s Minister of the Environment Gian Luca Galletti.

Rosalaura Romeo, Programme Officer of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, spoke at the opening ceremony of the Mountain Week about the MP and its members’ efforts to create a global mountain product label. She participated in the following events at Expo 2015 during Mountain Week:

  • The Multiple Values of European Mountain Forests: which perspectives in a green economy;
  • A round table which was promoted in the framework of Expo 2015;
  • Mountain Week opening, mountain cooperation for food: initiatives in the Alps, the Carpathians and other mountain regions;
  • The WED official opening ceremony;
  • Forum Terra Italia sustainable innovation of rural and mountain communities in Italy;
  • Earth evening, which featured unplugged music to celebrate WED with zero energy; and
  • The closing WED ceremony featuring testimonial artists of Earth Day Italia.

“The Mountain Partnership Secretariat facilitated the organization of Mountain Week at Expo, connecting Mountain Partnership members such as the Alpine Convention, the Carpathian Convention, the Italian Ministry of Environment and Earth Day Italia and a few others,” Romeo stated in reference to the role of the MP in Mountain Week.

The EXPO theme – feeding the planet, energy for life – is particularly relevant for mountain peoples as they are among the most food insecure communities/populations in the world. The Mountain Partnership Secretariat is engaged in promoting any action and activities that can improve the livelihoods of mountain peoples.

Expo 2015 is a world fair that provides an international studio where over 140 countries are participating by displaying innovative technology that will attempt to tackle food insecurity and provide sufficient and nutritious food for communities in need, while respecting the planet. According to Expo 2015, over 20 million visitors are expected to come to its 1.1 million square metres of exhibition area.

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Photo:Flickr/Emanuela Zilio

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