Indigenous peoples


The involvement of indigenous and traditional mountain communities is a prerequisite for sustainable mountain development. The culture of indigenous and traditional mountain communities is predominantly agrarian, shaped by harsh climates and rough terrain as well as the seasonal rhythms of planting, harvesting and transhumance.

For these peoples, land, water and forests are not simply natural resources to be used. As their ancestors before them, these communities understand that their well-being, their sense of identity and their children’s future depend on the careful stewardship of the environment. This ‘intangible heritage’ also enriches the global community, providing inspiration and insights for realizing a more sustainable relationship between humankind and the environment.

Mountain peoples cultivate a wide variety of crops that are adapted to a range of different elevations, slope conditions and microclimates. Moreover, indigenous and traditional mountain farmers have explicitly designed their agricultural systems to protect the soil from erosion, conserve water resources and reduce the risks of disasters triggered by natural hazards.

Therefore, traditional mountain communities serve as custodians of traditional knowledge on how to farm in difficult mountainous conditions and of important reservoirs of agricultural biodiversity. It is important to recognize in indigenous mountain communities that men and women have different areas of knowledge, experience and responsibility that contribute to preserving biodiversity.

The nutritional value of local foods is not determined simply by the different types of local crops, but by the way herbs and spices, the oils, meat, vegetables and condiments are combined and cooked (almost exclusively by women). This traditional cuisine, along with the knowledge and skills required to prepare it, represents another vital aspect of the intangible cultural heritage of mountain peoples. Unfortunately indigenous mountain food systems are at risk. Indigenous foods, stigmatized as ‘foods of the poor’, are often abandoned in favour of modern foods that are more convenient to cook but often contain high levels of sugar and fat and have relatively low nutritional value. This phenomenon compounds the problem of the relatively high rates of iodine and vitamin A micronutrient deficiencies found in impoverished mountain communities.

With climate change scenarios strongly suggesting that extreme weather events are likely to become more common and more intense in mountain areas, it is necessary integrate indigenous agricultural systems and their historical perspectives on climate variability as key-tools in climate change adaptation strategies.

Mountain Futures 2018

Mountain Futures 2018

event

In March 2016, stakeholders from 35 countries established the Mountain Futures Initiative, as part of the inaugural Mountain Futures Conference in Kunming, China. The initiative seeks to foster local innovations for resilient livelihoods in mountain regions worldwide; it aims to identify, develop and scale up mountain-based solutions to global problems.

In...

Read more »
15 years of Mountain Partnership

15 years of Mountain Partnership

publication

This publication celebrates the work of the Mountain Partnership - the only United Nations alliance dedicated to improving the lives of mountain communities and their ecosystems - over 15 years. It profiles key players, charts the achievements at global, regional and national level, and showcases success stories around the world....

Download »
2030 Agenda for Mountains - Framework for Action

2030 Agenda for Mountains - Framework for Action

publication

On International Mountain Day (11 December) 2017, a Framework for Action to support concrete actions, put in place long-lasting processes, and establish policies to strengthen the resilience of mountain peoples and environments was launched at the fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership. The Framework will aim to ensure that sustainable...

Download »
Le Programme 2030 pour les Montagnes - Cadre d’action

Le Programme 2030 pour les Montagnes - Cadre d’action

publication

On International Mountain Day (11 December) 2017, a Framework for Action to support concrete actions, put in place long-lasting processes, and establish policies to strengthen the resilience of mountain peoples and environments was launched at the fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership. The Framework will aim to ensure that sustainable...

Download »
Повестки Дня На Период До 2030 Года Для Гор - Рамочная программа действий

Повестки Дня На Период До 2030 Года Для Гор - Рамочная программа действий

publication

On International Mountain Day (11 December) 2017, a Framework for Action to support concrete actions, put in place long-lasting processes, and establish policies to strengthen the resilience of mountain peoples and environments was launched at the fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership. The Framework will aim to ensure that sustainable...

Download »
La Agenda 2030 para las Montañas - Marco de acción

La Agenda 2030 para las Montañas - Marco de acción

publication

On International Mountain Day (11 December) 2017, a Framework for Action to support concrete actions, put in place long-lasting processes, and establish policies to strengthen the resilience of mountain peoples and environments was launched at the fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership. The Framework will aim to ensure that sustainable...

Download »
« Previous 1 2 3 4 5 ... 15
Home > mountain-partnership > Our work > Indigenous People