Advancing sustainable mountain development: Water towers for people and the planet (UN 2023 Water Conference virtual side event)

From: 23.03.2023 to: 23.03.2023

Mountains are of paramount importance as the world's water towers – both for people in the mountains and for around 2 billion people living in connected lowland areas. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically Target 6.6, recognise mountains' important role, calling for the protection and restoration of water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes, by 2030.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the cryosphere (including glaciers, snow and permafrost), is projected to continue declining in almost all regions throughout the twenty-first century, due to rising global temperatures. This situation is causing an increase of hazards and extreme weather events heavily affecting mountains in their role as the water sources for the planet, and is leading to water stress, affecting availability for agriculture, energy supply and food security.

Water, sanitation, health, food systems and nutrition are interlinked and the rising trend of losses caused by water-related disasters must be addressed with particular attention paid to people in vulnerable situations, including smallholder farmers in mountain areas. Greater actions and commitments are needed to minimise the negative effects of these global changes, promote adaptation measures, and cross sectoral responses, and ensure mountain communities' equal access to water resources.

Considering the global impact of the water crisis linked to the changes in the cryosphere and within the context of the Five Years of Action for the Development of the Mountain Regions 2023–2027, the UNGA resolution A/RES/77/172 on sustainable mountain development, and the follow up to the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development 2022, this session will discuss how to bring mountains to the forefront of international processes, in particular the Water Action Agenda. It will consider recommendations committed to stepping-up action, to accelerate transformative and political momentum towards inclusive, resilient, and sustainable mountain development.

Within the framework of the Mountain Partnership, the United Nations voluntary alliance of governments and organizations committed to sustainable mountain development around the world, the side event will exchange views and showcase initiatives and best practices. It will highlight the role of multistakeholder cooperation and cooperation at all levels for accelerating progress toward achieving the 2030 Agenda and in particular SDG 6.

It will also look at how to increase finance and private sector inclusion and contributions for climate change adaptation, sustainable water management and equitable access to water resources in mountains.

Furthermore, the commitment "Advancing sustainable mountain development and protecting the 'water towers' of the world", in line with the recent UNGA resolution A/RES/77/172 and this commitment to sustainable mountain development, will be discussed during this side event.

This virtual event is co-organized by the Governments of Andorra and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat. It will be held on 23 March 2023 at 10.00-11.30 EDT / 15.00-16.30 CET. 

Click here to join the Zoom meeting 
Meeting ID: 957 5387 8033
Passcode: 11572167

Download the event programme
Learn more about the UN 2023 Water Conference
See the list of Mountain Partnership side events

Home > mountain-partnership > Events