Priority 1: Assess, through analysis of existing literature and case studies, strengths and weaknesses of current mountain policies, including social, economic, institutional and environmental aspects, in relation to SARD principles
• Country assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of current policies for SARD in mountain regions
The development of policies for sustainable development is an iterative process that allows for the national and local levels to act in a coordinated and participatory manner to develop coherent policies that balance the economic, social and environmental objectives of sustainable development.
Assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of current policies for SARD in mountain regions which are being conducted in different regions of the world try to bring about a better understanding of how the SARD framework is applicable to mountain regions and examine the types of policies and policy packages, institutions and processes that are important to achieve SARD in mountain areas. Attention is paid to how comparative advantages and specific qualities or specificities of mountains can be harnessed to promote development in a sustainable manner.
Due to the diversity that exists in the social, cultural, economic, environmental, and institutional situation in various countries and regions and in order to ensure that assessments are conducted along similar lines, a framework has been developed to provide some basic guidelines and references for the studies that are being conducted/coordinated by Regional Focal Points and partners of the SARD-M Project.
In general, each of the assessments follow the methodological framework developed which consists to implement the following activities:
• A review of pertinent documentation and interviews with key persons within government structures and civil society organizations at the national and decentralized levels;
• Organization of a national workshop, where relevant, to discuss the findings of study and next steps to improve upon current policies for SARD;
• Production of a report containing results of country studies and/or synthesis of regional policy strengths and weaknesses and proposals for follow-up activities.
The following assessments have been completed by the SARD-M Project through the Regional Focal Points, the UNEP-Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention and the Balkan Foundation for Sustainable Development:
Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of mountain policies inspired by SARD principles carried out by ICIMOD in Hindu Kush-Himalaya, namely Bhutan, China (Sichuan Province), India (Sikkim) and Nepal.
Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of mountain policies inspired by SARD principles carried out by PASOLAC in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of mountain policies inspired by SARD principles carried out by the Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (UNEP) in three Carpathian countries, i.e. Romania, Slovak Republic and Ukraine.
Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of mountain policies inspired by SARD principles carried out by CIHEAM in collaboration with Plan Bleu in Lebanon and in Morocco.
Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of mountain policies inspired by SARD principles carried out by GMP-CIP/CONDESAN in the Andes, namely Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Interregional analysis of the major findings of rapid SARD-M policy assessments conducted in the regions mentioned above.
• Regional workshops
Regional workshop held on 17-18 July 2006, in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Workshop on making a framework for the rapid assessment of policies for SARD in the hillsides of Central America (16-17 November 2005, in Managua, Nicaragua).
Workshop on Strengthening SARD-M Policies for the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (24 October, in Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovak Republic).
Regional workshop on "Drawing lessons and learning good practices on policies for sustainable livelihoods of mountain people in the Mediterranean region", organized in collaboration with the FAO Livelihood Support Programme (LSP), held on 8-10 September 2006 in Tabarka, Tunisia.
Regional workshop held on 29-30 March 2007 in Lima, Peru.
• Follow-up activities
Development of practical approaches and tools to promote better inter-agency coordination to design and implement SARD-M interventions in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas in 2007.
Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of mountain policies inspired by SARD principles carried out by the Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (UNEP) in four additional countries in 2007, i.e. Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Serbia.
• Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of mountain policies inspired by SARD principles carried out by the Balkan Foundation for Sustainable Development (BFSD) in 2007 in three South East Europe Mountain Region countries, i.e. Albania, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
• Implementation of a SARD-M Platform for exchange of information and networking in the Mediterranean region
• National workshop in Morocco, to be held in 2007 to follow-up and get commitments on the implementation of outputs of SARD-M policy assessment.
• Implementing a Participatory and Negotiated Territorial Development (PNTD) approach
This territorial approach carries the idea of an open diagnostic process as a vehicle for the construction of a collective territorial project. It proposes a new angle of analysis to solve or, better still, prevent problems involving local competition for access to as well as use of land and natural resources.
This approach of understanding the territorial system points to a negotiated set of local demands and facilitates the adaptation and/or redefinition of local and national policies.
The objective of the proposed process places value on reinforcing the links of dialogue as well as trust between stakeholders and between stakeholders and institutions.
The activity was implemented in 2005 and 2006 in Peru and supported in strategic accord with CEPES and a group of NGOs that work in the central area of AMUZCEH. The local stakeholders of the central zone of the province of Huancavelica (local governments, sectorial and private public entities, rural communities, local organizations) worked together and developed their capacities for organized zonal management in a coordinated, multisectorial and participatory manner.
• Collecting documentation related to SARD-M policies
As an initial step to start the analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of existing mountain policies, a questionnaire was sent out to the members of the SARD-M Project, Mountain Partnership and the Mountain Forum at the end of 2004, in order to collect relevant documentation (policy studies, partners’ experiences, case studies, etc.) concerning social, economic, environmental and institutional policies for sustainable agriculture and rural development in mountain regions.
With the information that has been collected thus far, a database has been developed that allow the project to know what has happened and been happening in terms of mountain policies related to SARD in various parts of the world. This collection of documentation is an ongoing process and we welcome the submission of the information that you feel is relevant to the database by filling out the database questionnaire and sending it to the following email address: SARD-M@fao.org. Information received will be inserted into the database after validation. The database is continually updated throughout the life of the project.
Priority 2: Analyze positive and negative externalities of mountain regions through a comparative review of existing methods and tools
In 2005, the project has contributed to the following activities, designed and implemented by project partners, as a first step leading to identify its comparative advantage:
• EUROMONTANA’s Seminar on positive externalities (Scotland, 10 – 11 November 2005);
• A study carried out by the Roles of Agriculture project (RoA) in Morocco on mountain environmental services;
• A limited review organised during PASOLAC’s regional seminar on the assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of mountain policies in Central America.
Theses actvities implemented by the Project partners constituted a first step for the identifiaction of comparative advantages of the project.
A second step was the production of a stock-taking of documentation related to mountain positive externalities and an analysis of the lessons learned from a policy and institutional point of view. For more details, the report on the valorisation of positive externalities in mountain regions is available on the right side of this page.
In 2006, the third step has been to draw relevant elements from case studies related to mechanisms implemented to compensate local people for the positive externalities they provide in mountain regions. This was done in order to obtain better insight on ways of valorising positive externalities, to compare mechanisms to do so and to deduce recommendations.
For more details, a report, including 16 technical files describing the implemented mechanisms in four regions, is available on the right side of this page.
In 2007, the activity focused on the development of a discussion paper on Positive mountain externalities: valorisation through policies and markets including non European regions perspectives, developed in collaboration with Euromontana. This identifies key issues, makes recommendations and poses some questions suggesting areas of further research and development.
2008: please go to the section Phase III
Priority 3: Strengthen local institutions by developing training materials and courses, in close collaboration with NGOs, producers’ associations, cooperatives and community-based organizations
The pursuing of SARD and local development strategies requires that institutions, both private and public, need to acquire new knowledge and skills in order to develop their capacities for the new roles they will need to play.
The SARD-M Project has contributed to the refinement of the SARD ImpleMed Project document (ongoing fund-raising activity): a first step towards the activation of coordinated efforts for promoting SARD within the Mediterranean Region. The overall aim of the project, strongly connected to the overall objective of the SARD-M Project, is to "facilitate the process towards the formulation, implementation and evaluation of SARD policies in Mediterranean Countries, in order to sustain local development schemes".
The project should aim at creating local capacities in the public and private sectors and civil society, providing knowledge, skills and attitudes and establishing multi-stakeholder mechanisms of dialogue and action to foster the necessary development of changes. It would foster constructive synergies among international organizations (FAO, ILO and CIHEAM) and local governments.