CBD COP 15 side event: Celebrating International Year of Mountains - ensuring mountain biodiversity protection within the post-2020 GBF implementation

Montreal, Canada
From: 14.12.2022 to: 14.12.2022

Mountain biodiversity is important for human wellbeing at global scale. Mountains are biodiversity hotspots, providing home to outstanding natural heritage and habitat for unique species. They support the provision of essential ecosystem services to local communities and beyond: as water towers, mountain regions supply freshwater to over half of humanity and as reservoirs of genetic diversity of many food crops, they contribute to global food security. In the face of fast-changing climate, mountains can serve as a refuge for species shifting to higher altitudes. Given the severe impacts of climate change on mountain regions, tools to increase the resilience of mountain habitats, wildlife and human communities and methods to support their adaptation to these changes are urgently needed.

The continuous efforts to elevate mountains in the post-2020 agenda of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) underline the relevance of mountain biodiversity for securing a sustainable future for all. Given the uniqueness of our world's mountains and their ecosystems, and the growing challenges they are facing in terms of adaption, dedicated action towards implementing the new post-2020 in mountain regions is crucial.

In this regard, the CBD's Programme of Work on Mountain Biological Diversity provides a framework for collaboration and for the identification of common goals and targets to strengthen the conservation of biodiversity in mountain regions. The need to sustainably manage mountain regions and to build resilience to climate change and disasters to protect mountain biodiversity has also been strengthened in the 2019 report of the United Nations Secretary-General report on sustainable mountain development. The proclamation of 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development by the UN General Assembly on 16 December 2021, provides further strong impetus and an opportunity to continue highlighting mountains and their unique biodiversity under pertinent United Nations processes and initiatives such as the 3 Rio Conventions, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and other global fora. In this light, the CBD COP15 offers a strategic opportunity to reiterate the need for the protection of mountain biodiversity at global scale and of the ecosystem functions and services upon which communities in mountains and beyond rely, and highlight the solutions developed at transnational, national and community level to address the challenges mountain regions are facing.

This high-level mountain side event on 14 December 2022 at 18.15 (EST) highlights the efforts undertaken to elevate mountain biodiversity and the need for its protection within the post-2020 outcome and implementation and gives insights into supporting science-policy processes and products. The side event further provides a platform for dialogue and exchange of views among high-level representatives from countries working towards the protection of mountain biodiversity. Consequently, preliminary ideas for the roadmap of how mountain biodiversity will be addressed in the implementation of post-2020 will be collected. As a best-practice example, the renewed trilateral Memorandum of Cooperation between the CBD, the Carpathian and Alpine Conventions, will be presented as well as the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, including key flagships.

Other COP15 side events related to mountain biodiversity:

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