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SUMMARY REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN MOUNTAIN REGIONS
16 - 20 JUNE 2002

The International Conference on Sustainable Agrmiculture and Rural Development in Mountain Regions (SARD-M2002) was held from 16 to 20 June 2002 at the Kirchgemeindehaus, Adelboden, Switzerland. The conference was organized by the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture, in conjunction with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Over 200 participants attended the meeting, including government ministers and other senior officials, as well as representatives of different local populations, academic and research institutions, intergovernmental organizations, business and industry, non-governmental organizations, and the media.

The conference aimed to promote mutual understanding, solidarity and information sharing regarding the challenges and possibilities of sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD) in mountain regions. It sought to enhance networking and the creation of strategic alliances between various stakeholders, as well as to provide a forum to articulate concerns, share ideas and make recommendations for the future of SARD in mountain regions.

Participants heard keynote speeches, and engaged in panel and audience discussions to consider cross cutting themes in SARD. Participants then divided into eight working groups to study specific local initiatives and programmes, highlight lessons learned, define specific priorities for action, and formulate concrete recommendations. The recommendations flowing from the working groups formed the basis for the Adelboden Declaration on SARD Mountains.

The Declaration will be considered by the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), Johannesburg, 26 August – 4 September 2002, and the Bishkek Global Mountain Summit, Kyrgyzstan, 29 October – 1 November 2002, and is expected to promote and catalyze further implementation of Agenda 21.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN MOUNTAIN REGIONS

Mountains are globally important as water towers, repositories of rich biological diversity, target areas for recreational use, and centers of cultural heritage. They support one-tenth of humankind and provide goods and services to more than half the world's population. In general, mountain regions are characterized by restricted accessibility, fragility, marginality, and diversity, while mountain people are characterized by poverty, malnutrition, lack of essential health and education services, under-employment, selective migration and gradual depopulation.

In recognition of the vulnerability of mountains and the marginalization of mountain people, the international community devoted Chapter 13 of Agenda 21 to sustainable mountain development. Chapter 13 highlights the urgency of action and outlines programme areas focused on: generating and strengthening knowledge on the ecology and sustainable development of mountain ecosystems; and promoting integrated watershed development and alternative livelihood opportunities. Critical links exist between Chapter 13 (Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development) and Chapter 14 (SARD). Efforts to implement Chapters 13 and 14 of Agenda 21 in the decade following UNCED have resulted in increased awareness of the importance of mountain ecosystems and its inhabitants. The process received impetus from the United Nations General Assembly’s decision to declare 2002 the International Year of Mountains (IYM). FAO was assigned as the lead agency for the IYM. (For further information on the IYM see http://enb.iisd.org/crs/mountains).

In the context of the IYM, the Bishkek Global Mountain Summit, the World Food Summit - Five Years Later (held in Rome, 10-13 June 2002), and the WSSD, a number of governments, organizations and individuals have been examining the policies required to address the challenge of SARD in mountain regions, and have been working to generate the political will to turn policies into action.

REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE

The International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountain Regions opened on Sunday evening, 16 June 2002, in Adelboden, Switzerland. Master of Ceremonies Jacques Chavaz, Assistant Director, Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture, welcomed delegates and introduced the speakers.

WELCOME ADDRESSES

In his welcome address, Pascal Couchepin, Swiss Federal Councilor of Economic Affairs, highlighted the importance of mountain regions, noting that mountains sustain rich biodiversity, shelter one-tenth of the world’s population, and play a central role in stocking and transporting fresh water. He said that Switzerland had welcomed the UN General Assembly Decision declaring 2002 the IYM, and, in collaboration with the FAO, had taken the initiative of organizing SARD-M2002 in order to contribute to the year’s success. He noted that the Adelboden conference was part of a series of important events including the World Food Summit –Five Years Later and the WSSD. He said Europe’s Alpine countries were seeking to let two visions coexist, namely one of man as nature’s tamer and the other of keeping nature intact. The goal is to conserve economic vitality in mountain regions as well as autonomy for local populations in development decisions. He said the Swiss Federal Government would like the conference to lead to a common declaration that would be presented to the WSSD, as well as resulting in tangible propositions for programmes aimed at promoting SARD in mountain regions. He expressed hope that the conference would provide a new impetus to mountain region values.

Jacques Paul Eckebil, Assistant Director General of FAO, presented the address on behalf of Jacques Diouf, Director General of FAO. Eckebil highlighted the importance and vulnerability of mountain regions, and described mountain populations as the poorest and most marginalized in the world. He characterized the conference as an opportunity to build coalitions and influence the future. He said the Adelboden Declaration would be presented to the WSSD and the Bishkek Global Mountain Summit. He suggested that the process of bringing people together that began during the preparations for the IYM and the WSSD should continue and be formalized. He introduced the FAO’s food security programme in the mountains, which he said was tailored to meet the unique needs of mountain people.

Eckebil presented IYM medals on behalf of the FAO to Swiss delegates playing a key role in the IYM. The recipients were: Pascal Couchepin, Federal Councilor of Economic Affairs; Urs Gasche, Executive Councillor of the Canton of Berne; Walter Fust, Director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; and Felix Hari, President of the Municipality of Adelboden.

Urs Gasche, Executive Councillor of the Canton of Berne, said Adelboden was well suited as a conference venue for furthering mutual understanding, solidarity and information exchange. He drew attention to development disparities between urban and rural regions that could lead to gradual depopulation of entire regions. He identified the need for generous financial gestures, within the context of appropriate political arrangements, to enable sustainable economic development in rural areas, and discussed a new law on financial and taxation balancing, aimed at reducing the differences in taxation burdens brought about by different economic circumstances.

Felix Hari, President of the Municipality of Adelboden, introduced participants to Adelboden, its natural history and economic profile, and wished them an unforgettable week in Adelboden.

Manfred Boetsch, Director, Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture, introduced the proceedings, outlined the agenda and highlighted the objectives of the conference. He said that all levels of government – local, federal, regional and international – had been involved in the definition of priorities and were represented at the conference. He explained that the aim is to craft the Adelboden Declaration and an action plan, and to prepare concrete proposals for implementation.

OPENING SPEECH: "RECOGNIZING LINKAGES"

In his opening speech Jacques Eckebil focused on the linkages between Chapter 13 (Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development) and 14 (SARD) of Agenda 21. Noting that Agenda 21 would be reviewed at the WSSD, he clarified that Agenda 21 would not be reopened, but that discussion would focus on its implementation, and on overcoming restraints and developing partnerships. He also linked SARD-M2002 to the World Food Summit – Five Years Later, which called for new commitments in poverty reduction, and looked at the relationship between food security, hunger and poverty.

Eckebil explained that Chapter 13 tackled mountains as an important source of water and biodiversity, and as a source of life for all ecosystems. He suggested employing indigenous knowledge on sustainable management of resources and integrated watershed management. He stressed that SARD had to be seen as a holistic, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral topic, and called for stakeholder participation and a people focus. He suggested focusing on meeting basic nutritional needs, providing durable employment, enhancing productive capacity, reducing vulnerability of the marginalized and promoting diversification through the development of rural institutions and environmentally sustainable agriculture. The thematic framework proposed by the Swiss government, stakeholders and civil society is framed around the roles and tasks of agriculture, good practices, access to natural resources and fair work. He said he expected the conference to recommend SARD practices, share lessons learned, evolve a consensus on key issues and develop joint proposals for action.

KEY NOTE SPEECHES

On Monday 17 June, in a session chaired by Douglas McGuire, Head of the Co-ordination Unit for the IYM 2002, FAO, participants heard keynote speeches from diverse stakeholders, and engaged in plenary discussions. McGuire noted that the context of the IYM and the WSSD presented an opportunity to review the implementation of Agenda 21 and to discuss mechanisms for its better implementation. He stressed that the success of SARD-M2002 would be measured by its success in establishing partnerships between civil society and governments in the years to come.

Ambassador Walter Fust, Director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, explained that Swiss agencies focused on the national and international dimensions of mountain regions and mountain development. He added that mountain development connected the key issues Switzerland would focus on in the WSSD, including: freshwater, sustainable use of natural resources, climate change, biodiversity conservation, market access for marginal regions and the integration of the private sector and civil society.

Fust characterized mountain regions as: early warning systems for environmental change; hot spots for the conservation of biodiversity; and significant autonomous areas that have been disadvantaged due to external exploitation of natural resources and cultural change resulting in loss of local knowledge and identity. Fust suggested that the agricultural sector not be seen in isolation, but as an integral part of a system-wide approach to sustainable development in mountain regions. He defined sustainable agriculture as securing income and food production, while providing for the overall environmental conditions, preserving biodiversity and cultural landscapes. Fust highlighted differences between the South and North, noting for example that Switzerland can afford a form of agriculture that preserves landscapes, while poorer countries typically perceive agriculture as primary production for sustenance. The result is a conflict of interest between short-term economic interests and long term ecological interests. He suggested that social and cultural interests could serve as a bridge between the two. Fust stressed that development cooperation should put the local stakeholders first and focus on the management of natural resources through integrated production systems. He called for the elaboration of appropriate policies and instruments for sustainable development to feed into an integrated policy framework at the national and international level.

In his keynote speech, Andrea Negri, Vice President of Euromontana, focused on the work of the Third European Assembly on Mountain Regions. He noted that the European Community’s (EC) Agricultural Policy is based on two pillars, "support" and "rural development." While the former refers to the provision of subsidies to farmers, the latter involves inter alia assistance to agro-environmental development. He outlined numerous factors that will influence EC policy reform as envisaged in 2002, including: the European Union’s expansion; the WTO negotiations on productivity subsidies; and the real cost of agriculture, food-security and the environment. Negri pointed out that within this context, mountain agriculture would be faced with opportunities as well as risks. Of the opportunities, the Assembly focused on themes including: identifying ways of adding value to quality mountain products that cannot be cheaply and massively produced; recognizing positive external impulses; stimulating local dynamics and improving the effectiveness of inter-regional cooperation within rural mountain regions; and exploring the synergies between natural resource conservation and economic activity in mountain regions.

Negri noted that the current European regional policy consisting of structural assistance would be reformed in 2006 due to the integration of new Member States. He called for greater assistance for underdeveloped regions. He identified two ways in which the Assembly had contributed to ensuring that future regional policies took mountain regions into consideration. First, by presenting the results of pilot studies aimed at quantifying the socio-economic characteristics of Europe’s mountain regions, and second, by inviting elected representatives and scientists specialized in islands and sparsely populated zones to participate in the assemblies.

Claude Martin, Director General, WWF International, began his keynote address by questioning whether sufficient commonalities exist between mountain regions to justify a common agenda. He noted that the commonalities hinged mainly around topographical features: climatic vulnerability, fragility of soils, high infrastructure costs, and isolation. Martin stressed that climate change could be the single most important common issue affecting the lives of mountain people over the coming decades. He drew attention to the annual global mean surface temperature increases and the rising tide of natural disasters. He highlighted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s prediction that all large valley glaciers would disappear in 100 years, and cautioned that this would lead to substantial losses in water availability downstream, particularly in African mountain regions. He presented statistics on the World’s ecological footprints from 1961 to 1997 indicating a 50% increase in consumptive pressure on inter alia cropland and grazing land. These statistics also indicate that the world exceeded its absorptive capacity for CO2 in the 1970s. He noted that consumptive pressure would increase in poorer countries and highlighted the need in these regions for ecoregion conservation, resource efficiency, market and fiscal mechanisms, and trade rules supporting sustainable development.

Martin described the World Wide Fund for Nature project, Global 200 Ecoregions, an eco-regional planning initiative in the most biodiversity-rich areas in the world, many of which are in mountains. He explained that in each region WWF would look at commonalities and explore ways of maintaining harmony between man and nature. In conclusion, Martin called for better recognition of environmental goods and services inter alia through better communications, compensation schemes and alternative income sources, as well as better integration of environmental, economic and social goals through an eco-regional planning approach.

Discussion: One participant asked Fust to elaborate on market access and price concerns for developing countries with mountain agriculture. Fust responded that in the context of a transition from a subsistence economy to a market economy numerous questions arise including for example: how prices are created; how the income is spent; who selects the seed; and who does the marketing. He outlined Swiss efforts to counter post-harvest losses in certain developing countries. Another participant, raising concerns with the privatization of water resources, posed the following questions: who does water belong to; what rights do transnational companies have to acquire water resources; and should water be traded in the open market. Martin responded that water privatization would be one of the main sticking points at the WSSD. Fust added that the focus should be on the question: how water could be a public good, yet be used and serviced privately.

Bernard Lehman, Institute of Agro-Economy, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, addressed the question of why it was difficult to make a profit from agriculture in mountain regions. He argued that mountain agriculture involved lower productivity, higher transportation cost and the risk of migration, and that indirect and direct assistance was therefore justified to counter these. He analyzed the input of agriculture in a matrix that measured socio-economic potential and development. He found a great diversity among regions, with the most volatile economies being those where agriculture was the key sector, with limited employment in the secondary sector. He suggested ensuring "job-creation" in areas directly related to agriculture, such as food processing and transportation, so as to mitigate the threat of rupture and migration. He argued that with the development of special products and the opening of other sectors such as tourism, socio-economic potential would grow and the regions would become more stable. Yet Lehmann found that such moves would impact inter alia on biodiversity, water and the prevention of natural disasters. He proposed external assistance and national solidarity to cover the opportunity cost and to focus on the non-commercial elements of agriculture, making it more competitive. He postulated that future development in agriculture would either turn into a vicious circle, or a virtual circle to positive evolution, by creating as little friction and as many synergies as possible and trying to create profits for families that can then be invested in infrastructure. He demonstrated that ensuring survival and creating better living conditions for farmers depended on the ability to create values for stakeholders, attract people and capital, and adjust products and cultures.

Discussion: A participant queried how subsidies could be reduced. Lehmann clarified that if products were marketed locally and nationally, trade distortion did not automatically result, and that if non-commercial aspects were taken into account, support and higher prices could be justified. Another participant commented that mountain communities had always fought for their independence, yet were now at the risk of being swamped by development policies creating dependency. A participant from the Carpathian region explained that in his area, lack of policies supporting mountain agriculture were leading to a biodiversity loss and exploitation. Lehmann said he recognized the need for good policies, but also for diversification of employment over different sectors. A participant from the Andean region proposed intermediary strategies where the lowlands compensate the highlands. Lehmann urged participants to focus on the areas where the greatest margin in the economy could be reached, for example tourism.

Peter Moser, Historian, University of Berne, presented a historic analysis of the relationship between mountain people and the rest of the Swiss population. He traced Swiss history from 1848-1992, and found a discernable change in the perception of the different stakeholders towards mountain regions, yet continuity in the inequality between mountainous and other areas. In recent years he noted that mountain regions had become a laboratory for socio-economic measures. Tourism had become a growth sector that could replace cultural loss, resulting in the redistribution of land use, and the state providing more services in the mountains. Against this historical backdrop Moser raised questions relating to the advisability of moving away from agriculture, the distribution of resources, ecological economy and protectionist measures.

Discussion: One participant noted the overall similarity in history in other mountain areas of the world, but pointed out that differences in geography resulted in some areas lagging behind in development. He asked whether it would be possible to jump and arrive at the stage Switzerland was in today. Moser responded that history could not be fast-forwarded, but that the experience could be used to their advantage. Another participant asked what the implications of this historical analysis were for the future, especially for discussions such as at the WSSD. Moser explained that he was concerned less with political negotiations and declarations of intent, and more with real effects. He said that the weaker were likely to lose out and needed support.

IMPLEMENTATION OF SARD MOUNTAIN POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES

On Tuesday, 18 June, participants met in plenary session facilitated by Eve Crowley, Task Manager for Chapter 14 of Agenda 21, FAO, and co-chaired by Sissie Matella, Environment and Development Agency Trust, South Africa & Lesotho, and Silvia Tomic, Anamuri, Chile, to hear short presentations on the particular problems of different regions. After presentations from senior officials on the problems of Bangladesh and Ecuador, participants heard presentations on international, regional and national initiatives.

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Almagir, State Minister of Agriculture, Bangladesh, noted that the agricultural sector, as the dominant sector of the Bangladesh economy, constituted 25% of the GDP, contributing 20% of foreign earnings and providing employment to 63% of the rural population. He said that Bangladesh’s Chittagong hilly tracks covered 12% of the total land area and were home to more than a dozen ethnic groups. He identified acute poverty as the biggest problem, and isolation, harsh terrain and armed conflict as obstacles to overall socio-economic development. He called for a development agenda comprising initiatives for inter alia prevention of soil erosion, formation of cooperatives, creation of rural development programmes, setting up of industries, establishment of tourist facilities, and environmental protection. He also stressed the role of exogenous factors such as stability and peace in achieving this agenda.

Diego Gandara, Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Ecuador, highlighted Ecuador’s rich biodiversity. He noted that this biodiversity is increasingly threatened by: soil mismanagement, sedimentation, the introduction of alien species, desertification, domestic and industrial waste contamination, and firewood consumption. He added that these ecosystem changes were affecting the wellbeing of mountain people that comprise 45% (5.4 million) of Ecuador’s population. He stressed that 70% of the Ecuadorian population, the majority in highlands, were below the poverty line, thereby increasing the pressure on resources. He outlined Ecuadorian initiatives to increase productivity, diversify production, improve aggregate value, and develop the rural human capital. He called for technology generation, technical assistance, and agricultural sanitation, and stressed the role of the private sector in these processes. In conclusion, he emphasized that the achievement of productive and sustainable agriculture depended on economic development based on: improvement of productivity in terms of area unit; respect for the carrying capacity and limitations of ecosystems; and considering the socio-economic environment in which agriculture develops.

INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVES: Linda Elswick, International Partners for Sustainable Agriculture (IPSA), 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. She noted that the Initiative would build the capacity of the poor to develop policies and practices for SARD through the establishment of a resource center, a global facility, and a small grant funding mechanism.

Joanna Koch, Associated Country Women of the World, outlined the thematic areas and priority concerns discussed at the conference on Celebrating Mountain Women held at Chambéry, France, 30-31 May. The five thematic areas discussed were: legal, political and human rights; cultural and indigenous knowledge; health and well being; entrepreneurship; and natural resources and environment. She drew attention to the effect of globalization and trade liberalization on mountain people’s legal and political rights, and called for access to justice, health and social services, and information. She noted that mountain women faced physical barriers, rugged terrain, poor communication systems and limited marketing possibilities. She added that armed conflict over access to resources posed a significant obstacle to improving conditions. She recommended that the international community recognize the deteriorating situation of mountain women, including increased hardships such as food insecurity, mined areas, dislocation, physical abuse, and social ostracism, and that they take measures to alleviate it. She noted that mountain women were the keepers of the mountains and needed support, recognition and access to services if they were to continue acting as guardians of these areas.

Eve Crowley, on behalf of Vanda Altarelli, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), outlined the Partnership on the Program for Developing Mechanisms to Reward the Upland Poor in Asia for Environmental Services They Provide (RUPES) initiative. She said the initiative was aimed at enhancing livelihood and resource security for poor upland communities in Asia, as well as sustaining or increasing environmental services. The expected results include: identification of environmental service functions, and an assessment of where and how the benefits of these services are currently distributed; establishment of mechanisms to reward the poor for the environmental services they provide; provision of support to a transparent, enabling institutional environment at various levels so as to deliver rewards that are effective, equitable, and sensitive to marginalized groups; and the development of effective partnerships.

EUROPE: Harachick Javadyan, Foundation for Applied Research and Agribusiness, Armenia, presented the first of the talks on Europe, by highlighting the key questions: who are we; what do we want; what can we do; and, how can we solve the main problems. He hoped that the joint collaboration facilitated by SARD-M2002 would help reduce poverty in the world.

Asko Peltola, National Farmers Union, Finland, introduced participants to the topography of Finland and noted that mountain regions shared numerous characteristics with Artic and Antarctic rural areas, such as low yield, high production cost and fragile ecosystems. He recommended that this fact be reflected in the Adelboden Declaration.

AFRICA: Sissie Matela, Environment Development Agency, South Africa and Lesotho, described the degradation in the mountains at the border of Lesotho and South Africa and traced it to the breakdown of the communal grazing system. She suggested that only productive livestock should be kept and that minimum tilling practices be employed, but noted however that these suggestions found little favor with the men in the region who kept livestock as status symbols. In conclusion she stressed that development in Lesotho was intricately linked to women.

LATIN AMERICA: Silvia Tomic, Anamuri, Chile presented a proposal on food sovereignty, taking into account the special role of women in providing for their families. She reminded participants that the international commitments on poverty eradication had not been met, and that most of the world population still lived under the targeted standards. Tomic suggested respecting the diversity of farming, fishing and indigenous practices, and called for appropriate marketing and managing processes. In closing she called on governments to do away with transgenic foods and poisonous agrochemicals threatening humans and land.

Hector Cisneros, Coordinator, Consortium for Sustainable Development in the Andean Ecoregion (CONDESAN), introduced CONDESAN as an open forum for institutions for research involving development NGOs, private sector, donors and governments. He stressed the need for better quality projects, and added that improving development studies and research, promoting partnerships and involving political leaders led to more measurable impacts. He noted that CONDESAN prioritized management of natural resources and the conservation of biological diversity, as well as focussing on political lobbying and education, especially through the electronic information network, InfoAndina.

Celfia Obregon, Foundation for Regional Development, Peru, described their work on the protection of native potatoes in Peru. She explained that in her area alone more than 2000 varieties existed, with high output per hectare. She added that they were trying to enhance native potatoes through new means of production, integrated pest control and management. They worked with local research farmers and institutes whose research was then returned to the communities.

ASIA: Farooq Ahmed, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal, reported on Indigenous Honey Bees in the Himalayan region, a project started 10 years ago. Noting how the apis cerana mountain bee forms part of the natural heritage of the region, Ahmed explained that the project was about biodiversity conservation rather than income generation and productivity, and that the focus was on the perfection and integration of indigenous knowledge.

Pradeep Tulachan, ICIMOD, discussed community empowerment. He described mountain communities as central to saving mountains ecosystems, criticized policies that were not mountain specific, and called for participation of mountain communities in planning decisions. He concluded that the only way to save the mountain environments would be to empower people to make their own decisions.

Eklabya Sharma, ICIMOD, presented a case study on large Cardamon in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, a spice traditionally grown under the shade of trees. Sharma argued that as a low volume, high value, non-perishable, less labor intensive and perennial cash crop that did not need any fertilizer, it could help neutralize the globalization risk of open market economies.

Harshwanti Bisht, Government P.G. College, Uttarkachi, India, described her work replanting local birch trees in high alpine areas close to the temple of river Ganga, an area impacted by heavy flow of pilgrims and tourism. She highlighted the need to raise local awareness of traditional plants.

Robert D’Costa, Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR), India, reported on his work in watershed management, focussing on those areas that had been degraded into deserts, had limited drinking water, and from which many people had migrated. He explained that the WOTR trained local people to conserve soils by building trenches, terraces and ponds to capture rainwater, and added that this resulted in increased water tables, vegetation and productivity.

Crowley summed up what she referred to as a "mosaic of rich experiences" and proposals for action including building networks, organizations and projects.

WORKING GROUPS

After a brief introduction to the tasks assigned to the working groups, participants met in eight parallel groups on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. On Tuesday evening, participants met in plenary to hear rapporteurs from each group present the key outcomes from the working group discussions, and discuss cross-cutting issues.

Luis Botero, FAO, explained the purpose of the working groups as a forum to discuss the issues in-depth, share experiences and craft proposals for action. He outlined four strategic issues relating to mountain regions around which working group tasks revolved. These were: roles and tasks of agriculture; good practices; access to resources; and fair conditions for work.

ROLES AND TASKS OF AGRICULTURE: Working Group I & II focused on case studies relating to the roles and tasks of agriculture in mountain regions. In Working Group I, Zitan Abdellah, Forestry Ministry of Morocco, presented a case study of a participatory approach in watershed management initiated by the Moroccan government in the High Atlas Mountains. The main undertakings of the project were: protection and development of natural resources; improvement of income; and improvement of living conditions. Drawing on lessons learned from the case study, participants made numerous suggestions which Rapporteur Michel-Edmond Ghanem, International Chamber of Commerce, presented to plenary. The suggestions include: continuing actions and partnerships started in the IYM; creating greater awareness on specific issues relating to mountain regions; integrating the three pillars of sustainability; creating decentralized policies, taking into account human and cultural dimensions; reinforcing local capacities; improving family income by adding value on the spot, for instance, through special labels for mountain products; supporting access to resources, credit and technology; and measuring the risks connected with modifications of local systems.

In Working Group II, Carlos J. Perez-Aleman, Regional Coordinator of the Program for Sustainable Agriculture in the Hillsides of Central America (PASOLAC), described his programme located in the hillsides of Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras. The programme aims at increasing the adoption by small-scale farmers of sustainable land and water management techniques, as well as increasing their income. Rapporteur Vulgar Mehdiyev, IFAD, presented Working Group II’s suggestions to plenary. These include: drafting a special national strategy for integrated mountain development; reinforcing regional cooperation and exchange; and increasing the focus on mountain issues in the context of existing conventions. He suggested that the national policy process should establish and enhance multi-sectoral institutional framework for mountain issues, and include local issues and voices in national policy making processes. In particular he stressed that the national policy: identify important and vulnerable mountain areas; promote sustainable alternatives of production to the existing ones; formulate and implement strategic development plans at local and regional levels; promote the generation and transfer of appropriate technologies; develop basic and agricultural infrastructure; support local administration and municipalities; and implement information systems. He also suggested that the policy: develop appropriate financial mechanisms to support sustainable mountain development; reinforce education and training within local mountain communities; and build on existing traditional technologies and skills.

GOOD PRACTICES: Working Groups III & IV focused on case studies relating to good practices in SARD. In Working Group III Tesfaye Beshah, Alemaya University, Ethiopia, presented a case study on soil and water conservation interventions carried out from 1982 to 1996 in Southern Ethiopia. Case studies from Philippines and India were also discussed. Rapporteur Million Belay, Institute for Sustainable Development, Ethiopia, presented Working Group III’s conclusions to plenary. He identified seven thematic areas for good practice: ecological; technical; socio-behavioral; socio-cultural; institutional; economical; and other/transversal. Action points were highlighted within each thematic issue. On ecological and technical issues, action points include: identification of ecological zones based on fragility and vulnerability; development of appropriate criteria for a land use appropriate to each zone; participatory evaluation of existing land use; participatory implementation, monitoring and evaluation; monitoring ecological changes to mitigate natural disasters by taking prevention measures; and conservation of biodiversity. On socio-behavioral, socio-cultural and institutional issues, action points include: investigating the issue with the active involvement of communities; bringing stakeholders together to revise findings, consider possibilities and determine the way forward; and creating an institutional framework for continuing dialogue and collective action amongst stakeholders including policy makers. Finally, on economic and transversal issues, action points include: organizing farmers groups to strengthen their negotiating power; networking with government, marketing NGOs, farmers marketing groups and international marketing organizations as potential whole sale and retail outlets; mitigating costs of environmental clean ups; boosting farm production by promoting organic farming; organizing trade fairs to connect sellers and buyers and enable community based upland products to gain exposure; and encouraging government, UN, and multilateral bodies to provide environmental funds for community-based forestry programs and resource rehabilitation programmes.

In Working Group IV participants heard a presentation by Pius Hofstetter, REGIO Plus, Switzerland, on the Entlebuch Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO biosphere reserve in Switzerland. The Entlebuch biosphere reserve is aimed at preserving nature and landscape, strengthening the regional economy, integrating the population in the management of life spaces, leisure areas and economic poles, as well as scientific research and education. Participants proposed suggestions revolving around four principles: improving the existing basis; strengthening local institutions; integrating local actors; helping for self-help; and making focused investments. Rapporteur Joanna Koch, Associated Country Women of the World, presented these to plenary. On the principle of improving the basis of existence, she recommended establishing and maintaining adapted infrastructure by the government, and extending the narrow meaning of direct payments to finance transfers as compensation for creation of public goods. On the principle of strengthening local institutions she recommended: adopting the SMART concept which refers to "specific targets" that are "measurable," "doable," "realistic," and contain "clearly defined milestones;" and, integrating local actors into regional development processes, in particular integrating and recognizing neglected groups. On the principle of help for self-help, she stressed the importance of education, advice and communication. Finally, she suggested making focused investments in value chains of regional products such as organic farming and tourism.

ACCESS TO RESOURCES: Working Groups V & VI focused on access to resources, with Group V extending the topic to include access to resources for the development sustainable livelihood systems in mountain areas. Discussions in Group V were initiated by a case study presented by Pradeep Tulachan, ICIMOD, on the empowerment of local communities in decision making regarding life-stock resources in the Hindu Kush Himalaya. He reported on ICIMOD’s collaboration with FAO to study livestock resources in the context of natural resource management. He found a lack of community empowerment and involvement in decision making led to policies not adapted to the local needs. Resulting discussions defined different resources including: human, natural, social and financial. Based on the experiences, participants discussed impacts achieved, problems encountered, the potential to be mobilized, and concrete actions. Rapporteur Dilnawaz Mahanti, ILO, presented the group’s view that the informed participation of the community was central to creating an impact, and that it should be part of a needs assessment, management through the integration of traditional knowledge and policy advocacy. To counterbalance problems, she proposed supportive policies to ensure better access and utilization for mountain people through identifying gaps between policy and implementation, enabling ownership of and access to natural resources, support for good governance, and the development of channels for lobbying.

Working Group VI discussed a case study on coffee in the mountain regions of Yunnan, China. Hans Joehr, Corporate Head of Agriculture, Nestle, outlined the potential of the area for growing coffee for the Chinese market and explained that Nestle had introduced the crop to the area through training courses and supervision leading to increasing production. He argued that new crops should be economically sustainable and market oriented. Participants discussed how they could further outcomes and access to resources. Rapporteur Danny Vengedesamy, South African Chamber of Business, presented the group’s outcomes to plenary. He identified long term issues including land, water, credit, access to markets, and research. He found that the diversity of mountain areas carried significant potential as it enabled mountain people to develop special products. He added that this diversity called for a participatory bottom-up approach leading to the empowerment of, in particular, farmers and women. Vengedesamy suggested that all stakeholders listen to and develop partnerships with farmers as they had local knowledge. He called for international support for local NGOs, private sector involvement especially in technology transfer, research in close collaboration with locals, and sustainable project management and evaluation. Finally, he suggested urgent action on the creation of an international resource centre for information exchange and networking on SARD mountains, and support for local strategic planning.

FAIR CONDITIONS FOR WORK: Working Groups VII & VIII focused on fair conditions for work. Working Group VII starting off with a case study on Social Capital and Poverty Eradication in the Puno Highland in Peru. Jorge Reinoso, Centro de Inv. De Recursos Naturales y Medio Ambiente, Peru described the two main characteristics of social capital in the high plateau as: socio-economic and cultural, such as communal support and self-sufficiency; and agricultural practices, oriented according to crop diversity, and diversified use of different climatic zones and the land through crop rotation. Working Group VII then focused their discussions on environmental and social services in the mountains and the impact of globalization on mountain areas. Rapporteur Ricardo Roca, Minister’s Technical Advisor, Bolivia, explained how participants organized their ideas in matrices according to their proposals, the people involved and techniques. He presented their conclusions, calling for: market access for employment and income generation; stability of production over the whole production chain; sustainable production rather than overproduction; adding value to products through certification and trademarks; and empowerment of organizations to engage in specialized marketing through micro-enterprises. Roca discussed strategies for North-South and South-South cooperation through alliances and finding niches. He suggested that compensation be provided for environmental and social services, and concluded by suggesting that solutions based on social justice and equity be found.

Working Group VIII considered a case study on the Citizens Forum in the Stara Planina of Bulgaria. Belin Mollov, Natura Balkanika Society Dimitrovgrad, Serbia, explained how community forums and public meetings of main actors – including business, government and local citizens – are organized to discuss issues of mutual concern, including SARD practices, environmental protection and the development of proposals to empower people through democratic processes. Rapporteur Igor Marincek, Federal Office for Agriculture, Switzerland, presented the conclusions of Working Group VIII. He highlighted specific challenges faced by mountain regions, and underscored the right of access to resources and markets, the right to associate and form groups, and the right to cultural identity. He identified special groups, such as minorities and indigenous peoples, women, children, elderly, the landless and small farmers, and concluded that different rules at the local, national, regional and global levels were justified for them. Marincek stressed the importance of: informed participation, in particular, participatory assessment of needs, local resources and assets, and empowerment of mountain people; and supportive policies to facilitate an enabling environment for sustainable livelihoods of mountain people. In closing he noted the potential for: promotion through information technology, marketing, labels, and tourism; protection through preservation of culture and local products; and development through investment in social capital, education, infrastructure; and, research.

EXCURSIONS

On Wednesday, 19 June, participants had the opportunity to take one of four excursions planned by the organizers.

The excursion to the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Entlebuch, was aimed at demonstrating how landscape potential could be both sustainably managed and economically used, through the production of innovative products, tourism and mountain agriculture. The excursion included visits to core protected areas and farms in the Entlebuch Biosphere reserve.

The excursion to the Jura Bernois region, a region dynamic in the field of rural development, tourism, industry and high technology, was aimed at introducing participants to novel projects promoting sustainable rural development. The excursion included visits to the Bellay Centre for the preservation of natural heritage, the Tete de Montagne Cheese Factory and the Chasseral Regional Park Project.

The excursion to the Sierre region in the centre of the Canton de Valais, an important tourist and wine producing region, was aimed at familiarizing participants with projects in the ‘Agenda 21 Local’ context, at the regional as well as community levels. The excursion included presentations on the region and the interaction of the agricultural sector with other sectors, and a visit to Crans-Montana.

The excursion to the Pays-d’Enhaut Region, a middle-mountain rural region, was aimed at introducing participants to local initiatives to renew and diversify agricultural and tourist activities. The excursion included visits to pastures, farms, nature reserves and cheese makers such as the Cooperative of Etivaz engaged in a Quality Improvement Programme designed to add value to produce.

ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION ON NEXT STEPS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF SARD MOUNTAIN POLICIES, PROGRAMMES & PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVES

On Thursday afternoon, 20 June, in a session moderated by Jacques Paul Eckebil, Assistant Director General, FAO, participants engaged in round table discussions on the next steps for the implementation of SARD Mountain policies, programmes and partnership initiatives at all levels (local, national, regional, global) and involving different stakeholders.

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, State Minister for Agriculture, Bangladesh, outlined projects in the Bangladesh Hill area, whose population is mainly tribal and disadvantaged in access to education and health. He reported on efforts to develop the area through SARD projects. Sylvie Hubin-Desdenys, France stressed that there were lessons to be learnt from the diverse experiences of mountain regions. She noted that in France, through the EU mountain zone policy, services of mountain areas to society as a whole were compensated.

Tej Pratap, CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, India, offered access to the global network of the Mountain Forum for communicating and networking on SARD and possibly setting up future meetings. Reporting on the discussions of the South East Asian group, he noted interest in national and regional meetings and developing a programme for SARD in tropical rainforest areas. Sissie Matela, Environment and Development Agency Trust, South Africa and Lesotho, said the key issues for African group were access to resources, land tenure and HIV/AIDS. She criticized national land policy reform processes that lagged behind in implementation compared to other policies. She also reminded participants to report back to their communities so that they could be mandated for further work.

Hector Cisneros, Coordinator, CONDESAN, spoke for the Latin American group, who will continue sharing experiences and is planning initiatives, some of which are already under way while others require co-financing. He said the group would discuss water as one of the key issues, particularly in view of the Third World Water Forum, Kyoto, 2003, and noted that it was planning to organize bi-national fora. Milan Ivankovic, Natura Balkanika Society Dimitrovgrad, Serbia, spoke for European countries in transition that are planning to set up a network of civil society organizations to create synergies and reach sustainable development in the regions. He said that they could contribute people and capacity, but noted that they required financial support.

Willem Pleines, Swiss Society Association, Switzerland, suggested holding a follow-up meeting to evaluate results in two years, preferably in Peru, and again after 4 years, in Adelboden. He proposed researching future problems for Europe, like migration and a reconciliation project for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Tesfaye Beshah, Alemaya University, Ethiopia, reported on the creation of a South-South exchange on watershed development between participants affected by land degradation and water shortage. On the agenda in the short term is a visit to India to learn about the WOTR’s work, and in the long-term to develop a concrete watershed proposal for which they need government funding.

Thomas Forster, International Partners for Sustainable Agriculture, reported on the SARD Initiative to be launched at the WSSD and the SARD E-Forum that will be hosted on the FAO webpage from 24 June to 17 August 2002. Harshvanti Bisht, Government P.G. College Uttarkachi, spoke for the South Asian group, calling for funding for maintaining traditional crops threatened by the introduction of cash crops. She proposed projects regarding high altitude medicinal plants and local resources.

Michel-Edmond Ghanem, International Chamber of Commerce, offered to convey the information to relevant sectoral organizations, national committees and the international bureau in Paris. He promised to encourage national seminars and present the concerns expressed at ICC’s next congress in 2003. Sylvie Hubin-Desdenys also offered to convey the requests for support to her government.

ADELBODEN DECLARATION ON SARD MOUNTAINS

On Tuesday, 18 June, Gérard Viatte, Chair of the Drafting Committee, introduced possible elements of the Adelboden Declaration that he said would be drafted by the rapporteurs based on suggestions from the different groups. The draft Adelboden Declaration was circulated informally late on Wednesday, 19 June, and discussed in plenary all day Thursday, 20 June.

On Thursday, 20 June, in a session moderated by Manfred Boetsch, Director, Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture, participants discussed changes to the draft Adelboden Declaration. Viatte as the Chair of the Drafting Committee outlined the drafting process and introduced the committee’s work. He clarified that an open list of concrete actions had been prepared as an annex to the draft declaration. He stressed that the draft Adelboden Declaration was different as it had emerged from a multi-stakeholder group and had been structured to be readable and streamlined.

In outlining the draft declaration, Viatte drew attention to the preambular paragraphs that present an institutional context, as well as to subsequent paragraphs on the impact of SARD on mountain people, and the key disadvantages and potential of mountain areas. Viatte noted further that the second more programmatic part of the declaration contains a section on institutional frameworks, in particular on the social and cultural environment, natural environment, economic environment and capacity building and knowledge transfer. The draft declaration ends with language designed to place the declaration in the context of international initiatives such as SARD and the IYM. Viatte noted the emphasis in the declaration on participative community-driven processes including all stakeholders.

Boetsch invited FAO representatives to clarify two key initiatives. Eve Crowley, FAO explained that after Rio, and in particular at the Eighth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, the FAO had been given the mandate to bring governments and civil society together to discuss SARD issues. Crowley explained that the SARD initiative focused on capacity building, awareness raising and participation in development of SARD practices. Douglas McGuire, FAO, reported on the international partnership on sustainable development in mountain regions. He explained that as a result of negotiations in the lead up to the WSSD, a document elaborating the partnership had been prepared and circulated to governments, and it would be presented at the WSSD. He added that there would be sub-partnerships in specific areas, such as biodiversity conservation, and that the partnership would be an opportunity to merge the outcome of SARD-M2002 into broader partnerships.

Boetsch then opened the discussions on the draft Adelboden Declaration. Participants discussed and changed the title to the "Adelboden Declaration on SARD Mountains" and added an explicit reference to the Bishkek Global Mountain Summit.

In the paragraphs dealing with "SARD as an overall approach for the mountains," one participant sought a specific reference recognizing the challenges that arctic areas face, but participants preferred to leave the terms general. In recognition of these concerns, they added a reference to the challenges that "mountains and other fragile ecosystems" face. Participants agreed to reference not just the relevant chapters of Agenda 21, but also the issues that form part of Agenda 21 such as local populations and access to resources. After lengthy discussion on whether cultural and political dimensions should be added to the traditional pillars of sustainable development (social, environmental and economic), participants agreed to refer to the three traditional pillars, but also to take into account cultural dimensions.

In the paragraphs outlining the "disadvantages and potentials in mountain areas" participants differed on whether to: include a reference to mountain areas being "generally behind in development"; introduce a specific reference to "armed" conflict; and add a reference extending the declaration to areas where difficult climatic conditions limited the possibilities for using the land.

In the programmatic section on "improving policies and actions," participants discussed whether the chapeau should merely indicate that what followed are conclusions, or whether the chapeau should "call on governments, inter-governmental organizations and major groups of civil society" to take particular actions. Participants agreed to the latter, but added international organizations to the list of those called upon to take action. In the context of actions relating to political, legal and institutional environments, participants discussed and added references to inter alia: poverty alleviation; empowerment of local communities and individuals; the legal status and rights of indigenous and tribal peoples and those affected by HIV/AIDS; benefit sharing; ongoing local participation; good governance; and decent work norms. Extending actions to be taken on the social and cultural front, participants added references to the most vulnerable, especially in the developing world and "compensation for the eradication of illegal crops." Participants discussed actions relating to natural environments, and added references to: combating adverse effects of climate change and natural disasters; the use and strengthening of sustainable watershed and forest management; and soil and ecosystem restoration and enhancement. Participants differed on whether a reference to combating "disruption and privatization of water flows" should be introduced. While some argued that this was essential to ensure access to water, others perceived this as a national issue on which an international agreement should not pronounce. Finally, participants agreed to add a reference to combating "all forms of disruption of water flows." While discussing the economic environment, participants debated whether a reference to "sustainable farming practices, especially agro-ecological and organic farming" should be introduced. Despite considerable divergence, participants agreed to a reference to "all forms of sustainable farming practices." At the request of one participant, a new paragraph was added, stressing the urgency of implementing concrete solutions to conflicts that affect many mountain people.

Participants differed considerably on whether language on access to markets should specify fair/equal access to markets and contain a parenthetical reference to the elimination of export subsidies. A vote found the majority in favor of the altered language; however some participants then opposed language in the chapeau stating that the declaration was arrived at by "consensus." After considerable debate, participants agreed to introduce the following verbatim language from the Doha Ministerial Declaration: "substantial improvements in market access, reductions of, with a view of phasing out, all forms of export subsidies and substantial reductions in trade distorting domestic support." At the insistence of representatives of civil society, a specific reference to the Doha Ministerial Declaration was excluded.

The discussions on the final section linking international initiatives on SARD focused on clarifications of tasks and responsibilities of various international actors. Participants established an Adelboden Group on SARD in Mountains as a platform for discussion on policies and preparation of initiatives. Some participants proposed calling on the FAO and other relevant organizations and governments to make institutional proposals. In closing, participants stressed that the declaration should be promoted in their work as well as at other national, regional and international venues.

SUMMARY OF THE ADELBODEN DECLARATION ON SARD MOUNTAINS:

The preambular paragraph of the Adelboden Declaration positions SARD-M2002 in the context of other international processes (in particular the upcoming WSSD and the Bishkek Global Mountain Summit), and highlights the importance of Agenda 21 Chapters 13 (managing fragile ecosystems: sustainable mountain development) and 14 (SARD) for the livelihood of mountain people.

The next paragraph on "SARD as an overall approach for the mountains:" recognizes the close linkage of SARD to other issues dealt with by Agenda 21, thereby proposing a holistic approach to SARD in mountains; and notes that despite agriculture’s key role for mountain regions, sustainable livelihood systems and integrated rural development require diversification into other economic activities.

The Declaration proceeds to address "disadvantages and potentials of mountain areas and their populations." It notes disadvantages such as poverty, hunger, marginalisation, conflicts, geographical isolation and lower productivity, and potentials such as that mountain areas offer certain comparative advantages and provide wide range of goods and services.

The Declaration calls on governments, inter-governmental organizations, international organizations and major groups of civil society to develop and improve policies and actions in the following fields:

  • Political, legal and institutional environment: to inter alia focus more attention to mountain issues and specificities, poverty alleviation, ongoing local participation and good governance;
     

  • Social and cultural environment: to inter alia ensure access to food, clean water and basic services, fair working conditions, preservation of culture and protection of the weakest;
     

  • Natural environment: to inter alia combat deforestation, erosion, land degradation, all forms of disruption of water flows, and adverse effects of climate change, and, use among others, sustainable watershed and forest management, soil and eco-system restoration and enhancement;
     

  • Economic environment: to inter alia improve market access and reduce, with the view of phasing out, all forms of export subsidies, ensure access to credit and financial services, ensure fair compensation for environmental and other goods and services from mountains, encourage public and private investment, and further diversification within and outside agriculture.
     

  • Capacity-Building and knowledge transfer: to enhance inter alia research, training, technology transfer, exchange on information and best practices, and capacity for policy elaboration and implementation.

A list of elements pointing to future work and awaiting further development is reproduced in an Annex to the Declaration.

The final paragraph of the Declaration, "SARD Mountains: Combining SARD and Sustainable Mountain Development – Strengthening International Progress" supports the FAO SARD Initiative and the International Partnership on Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions; establishes an Adelboden Group on SARD in mountains; and invites countries to promote the Adelboden Declaration at the WSSD, Bishkek Global Mountain Summit and other regional and international venues.

CLOSING SESSION

Late Thursday afternoon, 20 June, Jacques Paul Eckebil, Assistant Director General of FAO, presented his concluding remarks on the conference. He said that progress had been achieved on numerous issues of SARD in mountain regions, which, if implemented, would make a positive difference in the lives of mountain people. He added that agreement had been reached on a list of specific actions as well as on concrete initiatives such as SARD and the International Partnership for Sustainable Development. He stressed that SARD-M2002 was a beginning rather than an end in itself. He noted agreement on bringing the declaration to the attention of the WSSD and Bishkek Mountain Summit, as well as establishing the Adelboden Group on SARD in Mountains. He added that opportunities existed both at Bishkek and WSSD to further explore the nature and functions of this group. Eckebil thanked the participants, Swiss authorities, FAO officials, Crea consultants and others.

Manfred Boetsch noted that SARD-M2002 was filled with "great moments, great events and interesting lively discussions." He thanked participants, organizers, translators, and assistants, and declared the conference closed at 6:45 pm.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR

SARD E-FORUM: 24 June – 17 August, 2002. To take place at http://www.fao.org/wssd/SARD/eforum_en.htm. Organized by FAO, this Electronic Forum is aimed at developing SARD implementation initiatives related to access to resources, good practices, principles and case studies, and fair conditions for employment in agriculture. For further information contact: Eve Crowley; Task Manager for Chapter 14 of Agenda 21, FAO tel: +39-06-5705-1; fax: +39-06-5705-3151; e-mail: Eve.Crowley@fao.org; Internet: http://www.fao.org/wssd/

SESSION ON MOUNTAINS IN URBAN DEVELOPMENT:  22 - 26 July 2002.  Buenos Aires, Argentina. This meeting, forming part of the XIII World Congress of the International Economic History Association, will look at the relationship between mountains and urban development and focus on urban growth and political power structures. For more information contact: Jean-François Bergier; tel: +41-91-912-4705; fax: +41-91-912-4740; e-mail: admin@isalp.unisi.ch; Internet: http://www.isalp.unisi.ch/gen/mountains_urban.htm

2002 WORLD ORGANIC CONGRESS - CULTIVATING COMMUNITIES:  21 - 28 August 2002.  Victoria, Canada. Organized by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, the event is expected to be attended by farmers, researchers, advisors, food processors, traders, certifiers, policy makers, consumers and others interested in organic agriculture and sustainable development. For more information contact: IFOAM 2002 Office; tel: +1-250-655-5652; fax: +1-250-655-5657; e-mail: ifoam2002@cog.ca; Internet: http://www.cog.ca/ifoam2002/

WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: 26 August - 4 September 2002. Johannesburg, South Africa. For more information, contact: Andrey Vasilyev, DESA; tel: +1-212-963-5949; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail: vasilyev@un.org; Major Groups contact: Zehra Aydin-Sipos, DESA; tel: +1-212-963-8811; fax: +1-212-963-1267; e-mail: aydin@un.org; Internet: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ECOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF MOUNTAIN FORESTS: 15 - 18 September 2002. Innsbruck, Austria. For more information, contact: Robert Jandl, Federal Forest Research Centre; tel: +43-1-878-38-1302; fax +43-1-878-38-1250; e-mail: robert.jandl@fbva.bmlf.gv.at, Internet: http://fbva.forvie.ac.at/iym/ecology.html

2ND WORLD MEETING OF MOUNTAIN POPULATIONS: 20 - 24 September 2002. Quito, Ecuador. Organized by the Association of Mountain Populations of the World (AMPW) and El Centro de Investigación de los Movimientos Sociales del Ecuador (CEDIME), this event is expected to draw representatives of 115 countries who will discuss the challenges facing mountain communities worldwide. For more information contact: AMPW / CEDIME Office; tel: +59-32-582478/282211; fax: + 59-32-582478; e-mail: cedime@ecuanex.net.ec; Internet: www.mtnforum.org/calendar/events/0209wmma.htm

CELEBRATING MOUNTAIN WOMEN: 1 - 4 October 2002. Thimphu, Bhutan. Organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Mountain Forum this international gathering will focus on the positive contributions of mountain women to local and national economies and launch a long-term programme for mountain women at ICIMOD. For more information contact: Ojaswi Josse, Coordination Unit of Celebrating Mountain Women, ICIMOD. tel: + 97-71-525-313 (ext. 418); fax: +97-71-524-509; e-mail: ojaswi@icimod.org.np; Internet: www.mtnforum.org/women

BANFF MOUNTAIN SUMMIT 2002 – EXTREME LANDSCAPE: CHALLENGE AND CELEBRATION: 27 - 29 October 2002. Banff National Park, Canada. Organized by the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture this conference will explore how mountains shape people’s lives and how people influence mountains. For more information contact: The Banff Centre for Mountain Culture; tel: +1-403 762-6675; fax: +1-403-762-6277; e-mail: cmc@banffcentre.ca; Internet: www.banffmountainfestivals.ca

GLOBAL MOUNTAIN SUMMIT: 29 October 2002 - 1 November 2002.  Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. This will be the feature event of the International Year of Mountains, drawing together the ideas and recommendations generated by previous events, from all levels and sectors of society, into proposals for concrete action. For more information contact: Andrei Iatsenia, UNEP Mountains Programme Coordinator; tel: +41-22-917-8273; fax: +41-22-917-8036; e-mail: iatsenia@unep.ch; Internet: http://www.globalmountainsummit.org/Home_Page.html


Sustainable Developments is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <info@iisd.ca>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin ©. This issue is written and edited by Lavanya Rajamani lavanya@iisd.org and Nicole Schabus nicole@iisd.org. The digital editor is Francis Dejon franz@iisd.org. The editor is Jonathon Hanks jon@iisd.org. The Director of IISD Reporting Services (including Sustainable Developments) is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI kimo@iisd.org. The Operations Manager is Marcela Rojo marcela@iisd.org and the On-Line Assistant is Diego Noguera diego@iisd.org. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the CreaConsult Ltd. The authors can be contacted at their electronic mail addresses and at tel: +1-212-644-0204. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Sustainable Developments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and other funders. Excerpts from Sustainable Developments may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. For further information on Sustainable Developments, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at kimo@iisd.org.