Students advocate for mountain women and sustainable mountain development


The Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at Utah Valley University, continues to actively promote sustainable mountain development.

On 3 March 2022, the UIMF hosted a discussion on mountains with Ambassador Harold Forsyth, Chair of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) and Permanent Representative of Peru to the OAS. The students presented on topics of sustainable mountain development and the challenges faced by mountain communities around the world. In response, Ambassador Forsyth expressed that he would discuss the opportunity to create a caucus on mountain issues with his colleagues representing mountain states at the OAS.

On 21 March 2022, 15 students from the UIMF, Snow College (United States of America) and Osh Technological University (Kyrgyzstan) hosted a virtual parallel event on the sidelines of the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66). The event, titled “Inclusive student engaged learning model to empower mountain women globally”, was organized in the framework of the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development 2022.

During the parallel event, the students shared their personal experiences related to the impacts of climate change on the lives of mountain women in Argentina, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Peru. The UIMF members discussed how they support mountain communities in the American state of Utah through service projects in collaboration with the Orem-Lindon Rotary Club. They advocated for mountain women and families to be focused on in the CSW66 outcome document.

The UIMF’s advocacy efforts were highlighted in a written statement (E/CN.6/2022/NGO/141) that was co-sponsored by the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and the Utah China Friendship Improvement Sharing Hands Development and Commerce – two non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council that are members of the Mountain Partnership – for the CSW66.

News and photo by Alitha Thompson and Dallas Karren

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