UN General Assembly has declared the year 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development (IYM2022). The resolution invites the Member States, the UN system, other international organizations, and stakeholders, including civil society, private sector, and academia, to celebrate this international year appropriately to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable mountain development, as well as conservation and sustainable use of mountain ecosystems. The resolution was endorsed by 94 governments including Nepal. As a part to the IYMSD, it is in the best interest of Nepal to celebrate the year and promote mountain agenda at local, national, regional and global levels.
Detailed knowledge about the impacts of climate change in mountain regions has also increased, with the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC) in 2019, which includes a High Mountains chapter.
In spite of this increased international support for the mountain agenda, mountain peoples and ecosystems remain highly vulnerable and requiring specific attention.
As a mountainous country with 14 of the world’s heights peak, Nepal has been expressing concerns over the impacts of climate change and threat to biodiversity and cultural heritages in various international forums such as Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Conferences of the Parties to UNFCCC and CBD.
Nepal government should continue lobbying for the mountain agenda during the negotiation processes so that mountain issues are part of the resolutions that will be adopted by the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 27 in November 2022) and of the CBD (COP 15) in May 2022. For this, continued efforts are needed with wider collaboration among government agencies, civil society organizations, academia, researchers, community groups, private sector and development partners. These efforts may include, but are not limited to, stakeholders meetings, workshops, conferences, research works, publications, policy reforms and community actions.
IYSM2022 is an opportunity for Nepal to draw local, national, regional and international attention to mountain agenda. It will bring together the mountain countries, particularly in the Hindu-Kush Himalaya to share knowledge, experiences, learnings and research findings associated with mountains and downstream linkages. In this connection, the Ministry of Forests and Environment, on behalf of the Government of Nepal and also as national focal point to the Mountain Partnership, is celebrating the International Year of Mountain Development in partnership with other government agencies, UN agencies, civil society organizations, academia and development partners through different campaigns and programs over the year 2022. There will be a number of events and programs including a regional conference in Kathmandu and an advocacy summit in Mustang.