The Interim Bureau of the Adelboden Group met for the second time at FAO Headquarters in Rome from 13-14 November 2006. As the consultative body to the SARD-M Project, 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.
Excellent progress at the regional level and promising first results at a global level
The Interim Bureau expressed its satisfaction with the progress and outputs that have been produced thus far at the regional levels. It was noted that the project is making use of the experiences gained from the implementation of policy assessments and that improvements were being made to the methodology and analysis in each of the regions.
The practical guide being developed for the rapid assessment of SARD-M policies, institutions and processes, for example, considers the experiences obtained from the policy assessments and integrates assessment tools developed by Regional Focal Points. The proposal to structure the findings of the policy assessments according to three analytical categories (policies, institutions and processes) was also deemed to be a relevant way for examining the results, both at the regional level and for the initial and promising interregional analysis.
While there have been delays in implementing the activities, the first five regional SARD-M policy assessments are expected to conclude by April 2007. The Bureau took note of the initiation of follow-up activities that address proposals made in each of the regions. The findings of the policy assessments are providing the impetus to develop activities that respond to needs felt in each of the regions.
For 2007, the Bureau showed a particular interest in the institutional capacity building activities proposed, such as the implementation of a possible pilot training workshop on participatory policy formulation. The possibility of conducting SARD-M policy assessment activities with the Global Mountain Programme of the CGIAR in Eastern Africa arose during the meeting and the Bureau reaffirmed the importance of developing activities in this region.
Strengthening project work on positive externalities of mountain regions
Positive externalities of mountain areas were reaffirmed as a major issue at the broad political level as it was thought to provide an excellent argument to convince policy makers and renew their commitment towards mountain areas. It was felt that the work being conducted on this project priority would complement and reinforce the analysis of the strengths and weakness of SARD-M policies. The Bureau welcomed the proposal made by Euromontana’s President to develop a discussion paper on positive externalities of mountains regions including, in addition to Europe, other regions such as the Andes and Hindu Kush-Himalayas, which could be fine-tuned during the Third Meeting of the Adelboden Group in 2007.
Valorisation and marketing of SARD-M Project outputs by all members
A great deal of interest was shown by the members of the Bureau in the first outputs of the SARD-M Project. The representatives of governments, civil society and international organizations have all expressed their willingness to assist in the promotion and dissemination of the SARD-M Project outputs.
As one of the members noted:
"The SARD-M Project has been very efficient in the use of its resources and has made the most of its available cash funding. Now that the Project is beginning the process of disseminating its first outputs, the Adelboden Group should mobilize itself to assist in their promotion and dissemination. This would help in raising awareness of the importance of SARD-M issues and mobilization of additional funds for the future."
In order to assist members in the dissemination of project results, a coherent strategy for marketing the SARD-M Project products should be developed. An integral component of this strategy would be to take advantage of the Adelboden Group members and networks. The Regional Focal Points will also have an important role to play at the regional level.
The development of different messages according to the audience that is being targeted was also deemed important. For example, the method of packaging the project outputs targeted for policy makers would have to be different from those developed for practitioners as well as for the general public.
The promotion of the concrete results of the SARD-M Project at international fora such as the Commission on Sustainable Development or Convention on Biological Diversity would, in addition, contribute to maintaining the visibility of mountain issues at the global level.
Task force created for elaborating a proposal on the organization of the Third Meeting of the Adelboden Group
The Interim Bureau established a task force responsible for preparing a proposal, which will be submitted to the SARD-M Project Steering Committee, on the organization of a Third Meeting of the Adelboden Group in July 2007. While the mobilization of some additional funding would be required for the meeting to take place, the task force has been given the responsibility by the President to develop a draft proposal outlining the vision of the meeting and issues to be discussed. The Government of Peru has expressed its interest in being considered as a candidate to host the meeting.
In order to better prepare for this meeting, the organization of an e-consultation in April 2007, in close collaboration with the Mountain Forum, has also been envisioned.