International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and 
Rural Development in Mountain Regions (SARD)
16-20 June 2002, Adelboden, Switzerland

Highlights for Tuesday, 18 June 2002 

On Tuesday morning , participants continued to meet in eight simultaneous workshop sessions to further discuss and learn from various case studies on mountains. In an afternoon session Eve Crowley, FAO facilitated an open space session and co-chaired by Sissie Matella, South Africa and Sylvia Tomic, Chile, to hear short presentations on particular problems and lessons learned of different mountain regions. Later in the afternoon participants also heard presentations on the outcome of the workshop sessions by the group rapporteurs, introduction of first elements of the Aldenboden Declaration, and information on conference excursions. Above photos L-R: Workshop sessions of group VII and IV.

Open Space session:
to follow

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Almagir, State Minister of Agriculture, Bangladesh, called for a development agenda comprising initiatives for inter alia prevention of soil erosion, formation of cooperatives, creation of rural development programs, setting up of industries, establishment of tourist facilities, and environment protection. 

to follow

Diego Gandara Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Ecuador, noted that Ecuador’s rich biodiversity is threatened by soil mismanagement, sedimentation, introduction of alien species, desertification and firewood consumption, and the resulting ecosystem changes were negatively impacting the lives of mountain people that comprise 45% of Ecuador’s population.

to follow

Linda Elswick, USA, announced the scheduled launch of the SARD FAO/Major Group Initiative at WSSD. The Initiative is aimed at promoting SARD cross-sectorally through a voluntary process of action-oriented commitments relating to improving access to resources (land, water, genetic, technological); promoting good practices for SARD, and fostering fairer conditions of employment in agriculture.

to follow

Aska Peltola, Finland, noting that many of the particular characteristics of mountain regions were also applicable to Artic and Antartic rural areas, called for this fact to be taken into account in the Adelboden Declaration.

to follow

The block of Latin American Case Studies was started off by Silvia Tomic from Chile presented a proposal on food sovereignity taking into account the special role of indigenous women. She stressed women are key to maintaining agriculture as a culture and can help give guidance in a time of globalization towards solidarity and economic justice to meet human needs.  

to follow

Hector Cisneros, Coordinator of the Andean Consortium for Sustainable Development in the Andean Ecoregion (CONDESAN), stressed the need to better the quality of projects through development studies and research and the quantity of positive impacts by promoting partnerships and involving political leaders.

Harshwanti Bisht, India, joined the 1984 Himalayan expedition as a female mountaineer and scaled the second highest peak, now engages in conservation of birch forest in her home area in India close to the temple of River Ganga, heavily impacted by pilgrimages and tourism, leading to deforestation and disposal of large amounts of garbage. 

to follow

Robert D’Costa of the Watershed Organisation Trust in India, reported on lands that had been degraded into deserts and hardly had any drinking water, leading to migration. Within 4 years of the rehabilitation project, building entirely upon local participation and ownership and training people how to conserve soils, they managed to re-green the area and increase the water table substantially in return leading to an increase in productivity.

to follow

Facilitator Cowley summed up what she referred to as a �mosaic of rich experiences� and proposals for action including building networks, organizations and projects. She then invited participants to continue the discussion informally.
  to follow
Listen to the presentation of workshop outcomes by the group rapporteurs:
   Michel Edmond Ghanem            Vugar Mehdiyev                   Million Belay                               Joanna Koch
    Dilwanaz Mahanti                  Danny Vengedasamy               Ricardo Roca                           Igor Marincek

Official Website of SARD-Mountains Conference
Sustainable Developments coverage of the launching of the International Year of the Mountains
Official Website of the International Year of Mountains
FAO and the International Year of Mountains
Mountain Institute

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