Reflections from COP21, Thursday 10th December
Everyone at COP 21 knows about the terrible impact of climate change on Small Island States – but what about the populations of the world´s mountain ranges who are amongst the most vulnerable and marginalised globally?
Mountains have not been very visible here at COP 21, but as it is International Mountain Day tomorrow (December 11th), a number of events will take place in an attempt to make mountain people and their struggle against the impacts of global change more visible.
Today´s side event ‘Adapting to climate change – success stories and challenges from across mountain ranges’ highlighted the impacts of climate change across the continents, with cases being presented from the Swiss Alps, Nepalese Himalayas, Peruvian Andes and Tajikistan Hindukush.
Meeta Pradhan from The Mountain Institute Nepal, presented the extra challenges that mountain dwellers are facing in the aftermath of the April 2015 earthquake, stressing the importance of improving preparedness and disaster risk reduction based on a livelihood and ecosystem based approach.
Mohammed El Moatamid from Morocco’s Agricultural Ministry and the host country of COP22 presented Morocco’s mountain development strategy, which offers hope that mountains might play a more prominent role within the climate negotiations in the future.
Mountains had already received special attention, when at the Peruvian Pavilion famous glaciologist Benjamín Morales announced the creation of an Andean Mountain Museums in the city of Huaraz in Peru.
On the sidelines of the negotiations it has also became known that the government of Switzerland is planning to propose an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Mountains; to broaden knowledge of climate change issues in mountains, put the science before key audiences and aim for a more substantial role of mountains within the context of the Climate Convention.
The event, co-organised by the government of Tajikistan, the Peruvian NGO Oikos and the Mountain Partnership coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), was the start celebration of International Mountain Day - for which the topic this year is the promotion of mountain products to improve livelihoods of mountain people.
Everyone is invited to join in on Friday 11th December at 13:15 in Observer Room 04. Happy Mountain Day everyone!
Pic: Dirk Hoffmann