Ambassador/ Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations, Gyan Chandra Acharya has emphasized the need to take up the issue of mountains in a holistic manner from the perspectives of the people living there, ecosystem of the mountains, their impacts on all who are dependent upon or related to the mountain activities and as part of the global ecosystems.
He made the remarks while opening a side event entitled “Food, Water and Energy Nexus: Why Mountains Matter” organised by Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations in New York, in collaboration with ICIMOD, Kathmandu and Mountain Partnership Secretariat, Rome, with a view to highlighting the particular vulnerabilities and challenges of the Mountain countries and areas in the context of the Rio+20 negotiation process, at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday.
Ambassador Acharya stressed that Rio+20 would be a good opportunity to have a deeper, comprehensive and effective approach to sustainable mountain development taking into account the developments in the last two decades.
He underlined the fact that mountains today have 12 per cent of global population, but provide water and other services to about 50 per cent of the population. As a source of bio-diversity, water, clean energy, provider of ecosystem services, culture and tourism and above all livelihood to the people, they are a fundamental part of our global ecosystem. He said that mountain development should be looked at from the perspective of food security, culture and tourism as well. Knowledge and research, collaboration and global support are critical part of that process.
Ambassador Acharya also highlighted that Nepal has been working together with other mountain countries to highlight the issue of vulnerability of mountains in climate change negotiations from Copenhagen to Cancun and Durban. Nepal has also organized international conferences on sustainable mountain development including many sensitization and advocacy programs calling for stronger mountain agenda in the program of work of the climate change. He also informed the participants about the international mountain conference to be held in Nepal from 4 to 6 April 2012.
Earlier, Dr. David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD, highlighted the challenges and opportunities of Mountain development in the context of sustainable development. He spoke about the livelihood of the mountain people, water energy and food nexus, and the need for transboundary cooperation and international partnership for mountain as a global resource. He stressed the need for an integrated approach to mountain development and advocacy of the issues in Rio+20 process.
Ambassadors and experts from the mountain countries of all the regions, representatives from the UN organizations, International institutions and civil society were present during the side event.