Beyond the International Year of Mountains: A preliminary assessment by the FAO, the United Nations lead agency for IYM2002 80 (2004)

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The International Year of Mountains has changed the way many people think about and relate to mountains. Thanks to a global awareness-raising campaign that has prompted countless special events and celebrations, newspaper articles and television reports, educational programmes, and conferences — not to mention 9 major global events — many people around the world understand that mountains are crucial to life on earth and that half of humanity depending on mountains for a source of fresh-water.  The genetic diversity preserved in mountain ecosystems also helps ensure food security. The United Nations (UN) declared 2002 as the International Year of Mountains to increase awareness of the global importance of mountain ecosystems and the challenges faced by mountain people. This unprecedented opportunity to address mountain issues and celebrate mountain culture evolved from the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, where mountains became the singular focus of Chapter 13 of Agenda 21, the blueprint for sustainable development. The UN designated the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as task manager for coordinating the implementation of Chapter 13 and as lead agency for the International Year of Mountains. When the International Year of Mountains 2002 was conceived, organisers agreed that it must, above all else, be a catalyst for long-term action to improve the well being of mountain people, protect mountain ecosystems, and encourage peace and stability in mountain regions. Now that the Year is over, it is time to consider key questions. What did the Year achieve? What challenges lie ahead? What are the next steps? The answers will determine the way ahead and, ultimately, when people look back in future decades, whether the International Year of Mountains is judged a catalyst for change.
Year: 2004
Language: English
In: Mountain Research and Development 23(1):80-83. http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.1659/0276-4741%282003%29023%5B0080%3ABTIYOM%5D2.0.CO%3B2,

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 Record created 2011-12-21, last modified 2013-01-17