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Protecting mountain environments around the world

Photo: © FAO/Sunder Subramanian

FAO and University of Turin re-confirm partnership to support mountain ecosystems

02/04/2019 - 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the University of Turin have agreed to continue collaboration to promote sustainable development in mountain regions. The partnership, which promotes education and knowledge sharing in cooperation with the university’s Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences Department, aims to equip people with the necessary skills to address the unique challenges faced by mountain ecosystems. Mountain ecosystems play a fundamental role in the global context, providing water, energy and biodiversity to more than half of the world’s population.

The collaboration will provide continued support to the members of the Mountain Partnership, a voluntary alliance of partners dedicated to improving the lives of mountain peoples and protecting mountain environments around the world. Created in 2002, the Mountain Partnership is comprised of more than 360 member organizations, including governments, subnational authorities, inter-governmental organizations and major groups from civil society, NGOs and the private sector that are actively engaged in and committed to achieving sustainable mountain development. The Mountain Partnership’s key pillars of work are based on advocacy, knowledge management, capacity development and action on the ground, to ensure that mountain peoples are fully engaged in the decision making processes regarding the future of mountain communities and ecosystems.

Among the educational initiatives organized by the Mountain Partnership is IPROMO, a training programme on sustainable management of mountain areas. The two-week course, organized every summer since 2008, brings together experts from academia and the United Nations, offering participants a good mix of theoretical and practical experience and perspectives. Participants look at key challenges and opportunities for mountain sustainable development, on topics ranging from watershed, natural resources and soils management to disaster risk reduction, climate change, economic development, mountain forestry, governance and communication.

Since the partnership between FAO and the University of Turin was established, eleven courses have been organized through IPROMO and over 300 practitioners, technicians, officers of governmental institutions and NGOs have been trained on management of mountain areas. Participants are selected according to a good regional, scientific and gender balance; an alumni network allows participants and instructors to maintain the connection and continue sharing information.

“The courses have provided the participants not only with a strong set of skills but also with an extensive network of friends and colleagues working on mountain development around the world,” said Rosalaura Romeo, coordinator of the IPROMO programme. “The partnership contributes to improving the life of mountain peoples and the management of mountain ecosystems in a very concrete way.”