FAO touts cooperative, multi-pronged solutions for fighting climate change in Pyrenees


“Despite serving vital functions for the ecosystem and people, mountains are facing unprecedented threats, with climate change as the main one. In this context, it is essential that we prioritize climate action for sustainable mountain development emphasizing a multifaceted, collaborative solution,” said Carla Mucavi, Director of the FAO Liaison Office to the United Nations in New York, at the event “Tackling Climate Change in the Pyrenees region” on 4 March.

Co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Andorra, France and Spain, FAO, the Mountain Partnership and the Pyrenean Climate Change Observatory, the event addressed the impact of climate change on mountain ecosystems and the challenges and opportunities on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for mountain communities.

Elisenda Vives Balmaña, Permanent Representative of Andorra to the United Nations, opened and moderated the event, underscoring the importance of implementing climate action to preserve the biodiversity and richness of the Pyrenees and to provide livelihoods to the peoples living in the Mountains.

Agustín Santos Maraver, Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations, provided historical contexts on the Pyrenees region and stressed the need for strengthened regional cooperation, effective use of financial resources, and well-coordinated population movement.

In her remarks, Mucavi added that FAO attached great importance to sustainable mountain development and is a founding member of the Mountain Partnership, the only UN voluntary alliance dedicated to improving the lives of mountain peoples and protecting mountain environments. All the Governments present are also Mountain Partnership members.

Mucavi also stressed that action at the local level is needed to strengthen the adaptive capacity and resilience of mountain communities. She shared examples of how FAO and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat are contributing to climate resilience through the diversification of food systems and livelihoods options, including the Mountain Partnership Products initiative, a participatory certification and labelling scheme for small-scale mountain producers, and the Mountain Partnership Food & Tourism for Mountain Development initiative, which connects small-scale producers with tourism service providers to help promote mountain products from the Philippines.

Vincent Jechoux, Head of Climate & Development Unit of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations, noted the many ways by which his government is working to combat climate change, including renewing commitments made by France and other member states at the Paris Agreement and the upcoming Group of Seven (G7) Summit taking place in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, a region located near the Pyrenees.

Isabel Aranda, Executive Office of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Summit 2019, informed that there is a need for greater ambition and action to fight climate change now, requiring unprecedented efforts to decrease emissions by 45 per cent below the 2010 levels by 2030. Aranda also noted transformational areas that should be prioritized, including energy efficiency, the industry transition to a low carbon one, and the sustainable use of resources.

The event featured two technical presentations that provided a situational analysis on the effects of climate change in the Pyrenees while also sharing the experiences of cooperation and partnership between countries on transboundary issues relevant to climate action.

Carles Miquel, Director of the Office of Energy and Climate of Andorra, presented on the unique ecological contexts in which the Andorran Pyrenees range is located, as well as the specific ecological threats it faces from climate change.

Idoia Arauzo, Coordinator of the Pyrenean Climate Change Observatory, highlighted the effects of climate change in mountain ecosystems and the need for adaptation policies, which comprise part of the cross-border cooperation strategy among countries sharing the Pyrenees.

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Concept note 

Statement by Carla Mucavi Director of the FAO Liason Office to the United Nations

News and Photo by FAO LONY

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