Eradicating poverty in mountains


The Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS), a Mountain Partnership member in General Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), contributed a written statement on behalf of the Mountain Partnership to the 2017 ECOSOC Integration Segment on 8-10 May 2017. As the theme of this year’s Segment was "Making eradication of poverty an integral objective of all policies: what will it take", the RANS’ statement focused on eradicating poverty in mountains.

Drafted with the support of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, the RANS’ statement opened by outlining the advocacy efforts of the Mountain Partnership in raising the issue of poverty in mountain communities globally and acknowledging the challenges that still need to be addressed: “By 2012, the FAO study ‘Mapping the vulnerability of mountain peoples to food insecurity’ had found that, while the global mountain population had increased just 16 per cent overall, the number of those vulnerable to food insecurity had increased by 30 per cent, to nearly 329 million, corresponding to 39 per cent of the global mountain population in 2012. The results show that global progress and improvements in living standards do not appear to have made their way up the mountains, and many mountain communities lag behind in the eradication of poverty and hunger.”

RANS emphasized the call to action made by the 2016 resolution on mountains: “The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on sustainable mountain development (SMD) encourages greater efforts by States, all stakeholders and the international community towards the conservation of mountain ecosystems and the enhancement of the well-being of their local populations.”

To eradicate poverty, the resolution recommends joint actions be made by all relevant stakeholders, with the involvement of indigenous peoples living in mountain areas and the sharing of knowledge and experience, including traditional knowledge. It also stresses the importance of innovative solutions and entrepreneurship for the diversification of livelihoods in local mountain communities, to end poverty and hunger. These innovative solutions could include developing mechanisms to compensate mountain peoples for the ecosystem goods and services mountains provide to the lowlands. The promotion of high-value mountain products can also help to improve mountain livelihoods by tapping into the current demand for high-quality, traditional, organic and sustainable products. Tourism in mountains, if developed sustainably, could bring benefits to the communities as well.

In conclusion, Dr Rusty Butler, main representative of RANS at the UN, stated: “As a Mountain Partnership member, the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, in concert with Utah Valley University (UVU), emphasizes the important role that academic institutions might play in eradicating poverty and promoting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Since 2007, UVU’s curricular and extracurricular programmes encourage traditional and non-traditional students to promote the SMD agenda through student experiential learning. As a result, students combine education with experiences, time and resources to alleviate poverty through SMD promotion.”

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News by the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences

Photo: FAO/Pratap Sundat Shrestha

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