The International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development 2022: an opportunity to promote action for mountains


On 16 December 2021, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly proclaimed 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development (IYM2022) at the proposal of the Kyrgyz Government.

The UN General Assembly resolution on the IYM2022 was sponsored by 94 governments and invited the Mountain Partnership (MP), in collaboration with all relevant organizations, to facilitate the observance of the Year.

Founded in 2002, the MP is the UN alliance dedicated to mountains and mountain people. Through the exchange of experience, knowledge and expertise among its members (counting 60 governments, 11 subnational authorities, 18 intergovernmental organizations, 362 major groups as of 26 April 2022), the MP addresses challenges facing mountain regions at the global level. Its main role is to facilitate dialogue on priority issues faced by mountain peoples and environments. The pillars of work of the alliance are advocacy, capacity development, communications and knowledge management as well as joint projects among members.

The MP is supported by a Secretariat that is hosted at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and supported by the Governments of Andorra, Italy and Switzerland.

The IYM2022 represents a unique chance to raise awareness on the role of mountains and mountain people for the planet and sustainable development as well as for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is an opportunity to catalyse action and investments to build the resilience of vulnerable mountain communities and ecosystems in the spirit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind. It also marks the twentieth anniversary since the first International Year of Mountains in 2002 as well as the twentieth anniversary of the MP.

The following opinion article outlines the major mountain milestones that have been achieved since mountains first became recognized for their global importance, highlights why mountains and sustainable mountain food systems are relevant today for all people and the planet, and provides a roadmap for how the IYM2022 can be an opportunity to promote action for mountains.

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Author Rosalaura Romeo, Sara Manuelli and Samantha Abear

Themes: Strategic Initiative on Mountains and Climate Change

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