The conservation of mountains is a key factor for sustainable development. Unfortunately, mountain ecosystems and biodiversity are at risk for climate change, poverty and overexploitation, among other threats. To face these challenges, in December 2021 the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) declared the year 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development (IYM).
To launch this International Year, the Mountain Partnership hosted an online event on April 28 under the theme “Mountains Matter: for people and the planet”, which featured a series of statements by high-level representatives from government and organisations, as well as by other stakeholders. Speakers highlighted the International Year as an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of mountains for sustainable development, drawing attention to the ecosystems goods and services that these areas provide and the challenges mountain communities face.
MOVING H2020 project attended the event given the connection of its objectives with the goal of IYM. The project will make use of its results working in 23 mountain reference regions and analysing 23 different mountain value chains, to contribute to the resilience and sustainability of mountain territories. MOVING’s regional Multi-Actor Platforms (MAPs) are working in each of the regions, and their value chains, to give mountains and their communities the place they deserve.
Attracting young people is another of MOVING’s aims. The involvement and empowerment of this group is key for them to become agents of change in their communities and thus stop depopulation and enable sustainability. This requires training, services, employment opportunities and infrastructure.
It is undoubtedly a year full of challenges and opportunities to take stock of all the progress made and to give the necessary impetus to readjust these priorities and inspire collective action in mountain areas.
Happy International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development!