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Mountains in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development


Recognizing the importance of pursuing sustainable mountain development  as part of transforming our world into one free of poverty add sustainability, the United Nations adopted three mountain-related targets under two of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015.

The Mountain Partnership Secretariat, alongside numerous Mountain Partnership members, called for the inclusion of mountains in the international plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. The partners held series of events and meetings at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome and at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during sessions of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. Bringing together diplomats, policy makers, experts and practitioners from more than seventy countries, the meetings progressively fine-tuned a strategy for mountain advocacy.

In addition to the events in Rome and New York, the 14-month Mountain Partnership advocacy efforts included producing issues briefs on climate change, water, biodiversity and forests and energy as well as conducting a social media campaign to raise awareness and build a greater understanding of the vital role of mountain ecosystems for sustainable development.

This message was heard, resulting in three mentions of mountains in “Transforming our world: the 2030 agenda for sustainable development”.  That means that concerted efforts will be made to protect mountain ecosystems over the next 15 years.

The three mountain-related targets are:

Target 6.6
By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

Target 15.1
By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements

Target 15.4
By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development

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