Advocating for mountains in development goals
As the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) enter the final stages of debate before being adopted in September 2015, the Mountain Partnership Secretariat and members are engaging in a social media campaign advocating that mountains be included in the final version of the document. The current document has three mountain-related targets:
- 6.6: By 2020 protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.
- 15.1: By 2020 ensure conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
- 15.4: By 2030 ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, to enhance their capacity to provide benefits which are essential to sustainable development.
Urging the inclusion of these three targets, Mountain Partnership Secretariat has coordinated messages that are circulating on social media, on blogs, in news outlets and other fora, stressing the importance of mountains.
The MPS jointly with the FAO Statistics Division has developed an indicator, a ‘Green Cover Index’ that would measure progress on mountain component of the targets above.
“With mountains covering 22 percent of the planet’s land surface and being home to 14 percent of world population, it is essential that these goals remain a part of the final version,” said Rosalaura Romeo of the MPS. Mountains are also people’s main source of water, providing 60-80 percent of all freshwater resources, she noted.
Once adopted in September, the SDGs will go into effect in January 2016, and will be used to guide development for the next decade and a half, running their course in 2030.