June 2002: the Adelboden Conference and Declaration
Over 200 representatives of mountain people from 57 countries participated in the International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountain Regions that took place in Adelboden, Switzerland, in June 2002. At the end of the conference, participants adopted by consensus the Adelboden Declaration, which calls on governments, international organizations and civil society to develop and improve sustainable agriculture and rural development policies and action for mountain regions in order to enhance the livelihoods of their populations. As a result of the Adelboden Conference, the Adelboden Group was established, including representatives from governments, civil society and the international community. The Adelboden Group is "a platform for discussion of policies and policy instruments, exchange of experience, and preparation of initiatives" for sustainable development in mountain areas.
June and September 2003: designing and formulating the SARD-M Project
In June 2003, experts from governments, international organisations and Major Groups of civil society brainstormed on the issues related to SARD in mountain regions. This was then followed with a discussion by the Adelboden Group in September 2003 on a preliminary project proposal. On the basis of this participatory work, FAO, with the technical and financial support of the Swiss Government, formulated a four-year (2005-2008) multi-stakeholder SARD-M Project.
October 2004: the kick-off meeting
The Adelboden Group met for the second time in October 2004 before the launch of the SARD-M Project in early 2005. The members of the group committed to support the project, prioritized the activities for 2005 and discussed the implementation modalities and decision-making mechanisms.
February 2005: the project start-up
The SARD-M Project Steering Committee met for the first time, giving the green light for the project to initiate field activities in several mountain ranges and countries by approving the project work plan and budget for 2005.
December 2005: consultation of the Interim Bureau of the Adelboden Group
The Interim Bureau of the Adelboden Group, in its advisory capacity to the SARD-M Project, met on 12-14 December 2005 at FAO Headquarters in Rome. The main purpose of the meeting was to review the progresses made in the implementation of the SARD-M Project since its launch in February 2005, receive recommendations for improvement and obtain advice for proposed activities for 2006.
February 2006: second year of activities approved by the SARD-M Project Steering Committee
The SARD-M Project Steering Committee met for the second time at FAO headquarters and approved the continuation and reinforcement of activities started in 2005 and the expansion of the project into Sub-Saharan Africa.
November 2006: second consultation of the Interim Bureau of the Adelboden Group
The Interim Bureau of the Adelboden Group met for the second time at FAO Headquarters in Rome from 13-14 November 2006. The Interim Bureau reviewed the progress made in the implementation of Project activities in 2006, outputs of the project particularly related to the SARD-M policy assessments at the regional and interregional levels, and provided advice on the dissemination of project outputs and the project work plan for 2007. Specific discussions were also held on the organization of a Third Meeting of the Adelboden Group and the possible future of SARD-M work from 2008 and beyond.
February 2007: Towards a dissemination of SARD-M Project outputs through strategic mobilization of built-up social capital
The SARD-M Project Steering Committee met on 8 February 2007 at FAO headquarters and approved the project work plan and budget for 2007, the final year of the project. The project will implement follow-up activities related to the findings of the SARD-M policy assessments and disseminate the project outputs.
October 2007: Third Meeting of the Adelboden Group
The Adelboden Group met for the third time at FAO Headquarters in Rome from 1-3 October 2007 and discussed the findings of the SARD-M Project, its possible future as well as the future of the Adelboden Group. The Group strongly endorsed the key principles identified for improved policy packages and institutional processes for SARD-M, the need to continue with the work that has been started, including positive externalities of mountains, as well as other major issues to address in the future.
November 2007: Approval for a second phase of the SARD-M Project
On 29 November 2007, the SARD-M Project Steering Committee met at FAO headquarters to review the progress and results of the activities that had been conducted in 2007, discuss outcomes of the Third Adelboden Group Meeting held in Rome from 1-3 October and discuss on the possible activities for a second phase of the project. With the commitment of the Swiss and French governments to continue their support to the Project until 2009, the extension for a second phase was approved
March 2008: Planning for a new two-year strategy of the Adelboden Group
The newly elected Adelboden Group Bureau met for the first time at FAO headquarters in Rome from 3-5 March 2008. The overarching objective of the meeting was to revisit and clearly define the identity of the Adelboden Group, taking into consideration the experiences obtained up until now. The discussions proved to be fruitful with the development of a new mission statement and work plan with a list of activities to be accomplished over the next two years.
2009: Fifth annual meeting of the Adelboden Group Bureau and the Regional Focal Points, FAO Rome, 17th April 2009
On 17 April, the Adelboden Group Bureau and the Regional Focal Points held their fifth annual meeting in form of a joint session in the morning, then two parallel workshops in the afternoon, concluding with a plenary session.
Regarding the Regional Focal Points meeting, the workshop underlined the active communication strategy driven by all participants, Thus among others, the CIHEAM launched an electronic platform with an one-line discussion forum with Moroccan stake holders, and the SARD-M project participated to the COP 2 of the Carpathian Convention in June 2008.
The Adelboden Group Bureau held also its fifth meeting, and had a special discussion on the workshop and SARD-M project in general. First, the AG Bureau assessed the activities carried out in relation with the 2008 work plan and addressed the recent workshop. It discussed the thematic and financial issues and the challenges for the project and provided recommendations for the follow up SARD-M activities; such as using some of the pilot projects to develop carbon certificates, or paying particular attention to gender issue. Then, the AG Bureau built a work plan for 2009-2010 and beyond including the presentation of the SARD-M project at a Member States meeting in May 2009 at FAO Head Quarters, and the preparation of full proposal for the third phase of the project.