Consortium for the Sustainable Development of the Andes Ecoregion (CONDESAN)
  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Name: Consortium for the Sustainable Development of the Andes Ecoregion (CONDESAN)
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Keywords: Commission on Sustainable Development (0 hits), CSD (0 hits),

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Sustainable Mountain Development

Draft Regional Report Andes

prepared for the Lucerne World Mountain Conference 10-12 October 2011

20 years of Sustainable Mountain Development in the Andes - from Rio 1992 to 2012 and beyond -

Final Draft v3 - September 2011


1. State of the Andes

? The Andes mountains, understood as the contiguous mountain region of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, run over 8000 km, down the length of South America, with an area of more than 2,500,000 km2, (33% of total country areas) and a population of almost 85 million (45% of total country populations), making the northern part, the most populated mountain region in the world.
? However, the Andes are an incredibly diverse and heterogeneous area, in terms of cultures, biodiversity and economic systems, with large differences between countries.
? Some of the most biodiverse regions of the planet, and areas of highest species endemisms exist in the Andes, important centres of crop origins are also present.
? The Andes are incredibly important for the economies of the seven countries, providing agricultural area, mineral resources, and water (for agriculture, hydroelectricity and domestic use), and some of the largest business centres of South America.
? Some of the poorest areas, and with the most challenging living conditions exist in the Andes, especially in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
? Pressures on natural resources in the Andes result from expanding populations, expanding agricultural areas and intensity, and increasing mineral extraction.
? Climate change will exacerbate other pressures in some mountain areas, for example in more erratic rainfall patterns, changes in water regulation capacity, especially of high altitude ecosystems and in the south, melting glaciers, and changes in climatic suitability for some crops, (although not all areas are equally affected, and some may benefit), and increasing extinction risk to biodiversity.

2. Progress on implementing sustainable mountain development, incorporating recommendations

? National policies, resulting from Rio 92 have been implemented in all Andean countries, and at regional level in Andean Community countries, with many favourable aspects for SMD, albeit, not specific to mountains.
? Recent regional level policies (often resulting from above point), decentralisation and increased opportunities for participation of civil society have also played an important role, although dependence on aspects such as electoral periods, governing parties, makes implementation in some areas difficult.
? Regional initiatives on SMD, such as organizations, academic meetings and supranational agreements have increased greatly over the last 20 years and supported awareness raising, knowledge sharing, and implementation of international agreements.
? National parks, protected area systems, other conservation areas, and instruments for biodiversity conservation, both through state and civil society processes, have increased greatly in the last 20 years. Although issues still remain with regard to effectiveness of their protection, the recent participative processes in identifying and declaring sites has undoubtedly furthered awareness of environmental conservation and its importance on livelihoods in mountain regions.
? Mining represents an opportunity for development, but presently is often not implemented in a responsible manner, and benefits do not always reach mountain areas where mining takes place
? Management of water resources in the Andes has seen novel initiatives at a variety of scales, from micro- basin to administrative divisions, but uncertainty in water availability, and conflicts of resource use are still a threat to SMD.
? Approaches to SMD have evolved, e.g. ecosystem approach to biodiversity conservation, increasing importance of livelihood concerns within conservation (e.g. incorporation of more social issues into conservation); international cooperation projects have changed in the last 20 years, with a recent focus on incorporating learning processes into institutional frameworks (e.g. in policies and programmes) at both national, regional and local level.
? Academic and traditional knowledge has played an important role in supporting SMD, gaps still exist in applying knowledge, and although the value of traditional knowledge is increasingly recognised and understood, this does not flow into general practice.

3. Key Challenges and recommendations

Strengthening institutional frameworks

? Increase dialogue between government sectors, and government levels
? Increase inter-institutional dialogue
? Further institutionalisation of participation instruments
? Raise awareness of mountain issues on political agendas
? Consolidate or create specific mountain initiatives where appropriate
? Regional integration - role of CAN, UNASUR

Improving knowledge and information systems

? Increase availability of academic and traditional knowledge for specific SMD purposes and decision making
? Coordinate research priorities for implementing SMD
? Consolidate or create specific national or regional mountain initiatives
? Research and monitoring of climate change adaptation mechanisms, especially with regard to water availability
? Decision support systems - helping to bridge gap between science and policy


1.1 Introduction

The Andes, the world?s longest mountain chain, on the east side of the Pacific ring of Fire, form the backbone of South America and are a major global physiographic feature, influencing climate, seismic energy, biodiversity, human culture and history around the world. The Andes cover a latitudinal length of approximately 6,600 km, from Venezuela to Chile, passing from tropical climates with rainforests on their lower slopes, topped by cold, highland grasslands and snow-capped peaks in the north of the continent, to temperate, seasonal forests and large extents of permanent glaciers in the south. They reach their maximum width of approximately 900 km between Peru and Bolivia at about 15°S, and maximum height at 6962 m in Argentina. Their varied topography, including rugged peaks, altiplanos, or highland plateaus, have played a major role in affecting the geography of human habitation and associated activities such as agriculture and industry, as well as the use of biodiversity in the region. The enormous variety of ecosystems makes the Andean region one of the most biodiverse on the planet. The Andes are a major influence on livelihoods in seven of South America?s 14 countries, as a major source of cultivated crops, instrumental in providing water to more than 100 million people, account for a significant portion of the region?s GDP, provide energy and have shaped the culture of a large part of a continent. However, many of the mountain region?s inhabitants live below the poverty line and pressures such as unsustainable use of highland areas, increasing urbanization and climate change seriously threaten the sustainability of the region?s development. This report reviews progress in major issues of sustainable development in the region over the last 20 years as well as providing recommendations for future directions in sustainable mountain development. An added complexity to such a report is the difficulty in attempting to draw regional conclusions from such a large, complex and varied region, where important variations exist between countries.

1.2 Characteristics of the Andean region

1.2.1 Defining the Andes For the purposes of this report, the Andean region has been defined using a combination of ecosystem classifications (Olson et al. 2001), ruggedness measures (Riley et al. 1999) and altitudinal limits within the seven Andean countries of South America (Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina) (Figure 1a). All terrain above 1000 m was included in the contiguous region of the Andean cordillera, as well as very rugged land over 500 m, following categories defined by Meybeck et al (2001)and using montane ecoregions as a guide in certain regions1. Different altitudinal limits have been employed to define the Andes, often varying over latitude, from 500 to 800 m (Anderson et al. 2011). In these terms, the geographical focus of this report is the contiguous mountainous region of west South America (Figure 1a), and will be different to many other ecological, geological or even cultural definitions of the Andes, for example, in the inclusion of some mountain ranges of very different geological origin, not always classified as Andean. As defined by this method, the Andes have a latitudinal extension of more than 6,600 km, and occupy an area of 2,728,760 km2, or 33.3% of the total area of the seven Andean countries, and 15% of all South America, however marked differences exist at country level (Figure 1b). The Andes reach their maximum altitude in Argentina, at 6962 m on Aconcagua.

Table 1. Summary information for Andean countries

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1.2.2 Demography

Currently, the Andes hold a population of approximately 84,500,000 people, or 44.5% of the total population of the seven Andean countries, making them the most highly urbanized mountain region in the world. Current patterns of human inhabitancy of the mountains change considerably from north to south (Figure 1b). In the former, the area of the Andes with regard to the total country area is small, yet a disproportionately large proportion of the country?s population inhabit the mountains, while towards the south of the continent the opposite is true, and in Chile, the mountains occupy a large proportion of the country, but are inhabited by a relatively small percentage of the country?s population. However, more important than a head count within a geographic delimitation of the mountains, the Andes undoubtedly provide ecosystem services to an even larger proportion of the seven countries´ inhabitants, including, for example, all the major cities on the Pacific slope of the Andes, with a further estimated 20 million people also dependent on the Andes.

Over the last 20 years, Colombia has been the most populated country (45m in 2010; DANE 2010a), with Bolivia also maintaining the smallest population (10m in 2010), however, population growth has changed between countries, for example, Argentina and Colombia began the 1990s with similar populations, but Colombia showed a higher growth rate towards the end of the 20 year period. In the northern Andes,

population density has also increased more within the Andean region than outside (Figure 2b). In terms of percentage of countries? populations living in the Andes between 1990 and 2010, this has decreased in Venezuela and Bolivia, increased slightly in Argentina, and remained approximately level in the remaining countries.

Figure 1.

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The percentage of the population has increased in urban areas over the study period, with now between 69% and 91% of the Andean countries´ population living in urban areas, compared to 55% to 87% in 1990 (CEPAL 2000a). The highest rates of change correspond to Bolivia and Ecuador, with difference of 13 and 15 percentage points, respectively. The largest cities in the Andean countries (>1,000,000 inhabitants) are evenly distributed inside and outside the Andean region (Table 2), however, many of those outside, including Lima, the most populated city in the Andean countries, depend heavily on the Andes for resources, such as water and electricity. Although the number of regional capitals outside the Andes is considerably larger than within the Andean region, the total population of the cities between the two regions is almost the same (Table 2), and of the total area covered by cities in the Andean countries (calculated from CIESIN 2004), 29% lies within the Andes, implying that urban population density is considerably greater within the Andes than outside. By 2000, between 54% and 77% of total country populations were living in cities of over 20,000 inhabitants (CEPAL 2000b)

Table 2. Administrative region capitals and federal districts. Population data from most recent census

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Figure 2. Andes area showing a) major cities by population size [REF], b) normalised changes in population density (1990-2010) (CIESIN 2010).

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1.2.3 Environmental characteristics

The Andes represent one of the most biodiverse regions of the world, especially in the north, where estimates of species richness in the Tropical Andes Hotspot are among the highest of any region on the planet (Mittermeier et al. 1999). Multiple climate types, ecosystems and habitats as well as high rates of speciation and presence of physical barriers are in part responsible for this diversity. Endemism is also pronounced, especially in the north, where an estimated half of the 30,000 plant species are endemic to the Tropical Andes biodiversity hotspot (Mittermeier et al. 1999). Further south, the Andean region also contains part of the Chilean Winter Rainfall-Valdivian Forests, where almost 2000 of the approximately 4000 plants are also endemic. The Andes are also important in providing habitat to many migratory species, for example, millions of neotropical migrant birds spend several months of the year wintering in the Andes, or passing through to sites in the Amazon or Southern Cone grasslands.

According to the ecoregional classification (Olson et al. 2001), three major biomes account for more than 75% of the Andean region, 1) dry forests, scrub and deserts6 (14%), including dry forests of the interAndean valleys and dry scrub at lower altitudes on the coastal side of the Andes in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru; 2) montane grasslands (31%), including paramo in the north from Venezuela to north Peru, and the puna of the Central Andes, as far as north Argentina, and 3) tropical broadleaf forests (29%), including cloud forest along the outer flanks of the Andes in the north to the yungas of Bolivia and north Argentina. Temperate grasslands and broadleaf forests (10% each) make up most of the remaining area, including the Valdivian and Magellanic forests and Patagonian steppe of Argentina and Chile.

The longest rivers originating in the Andes include the Pilcomayo (Bolivia, Argentina), Marañon (Peru), Putumayo (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru), Magdalena (Colombia) and Salado (Argentina), as tributaries of the Amazon in the first three cases, and the Paraná, in the latter. Total glacierized area in the Andes has been estimated at 25,000 km2 (Dyurgerov & Meier 2005)and 36,700 km2 (Radić & Hock 2010), representing 3.5% of the world´s glaciers (including Antarctica and Greenland) by volume and 5% by area (Radić & Hock 2010). Of these glaciers, about 80% are found in Chile [REF].

1.2.4 Influence of the Andes on the regional economy

Mountains are hugely influential on the economies of the seven Andean countries, albeit with important differences between countries, in part, dependent on the proportion of national territory occupied by the Andes. The Andes contain important mineral resources for nearly all countries, large areas of agricultural land, provide water for agriculture, domestic use and hydroelectric energy production, and house some of the largest business capitals of South America.

GDP per capita in the seven countries has risen over the last 20 years (Figure 3), although effects of economic crises at national (2002, Argentina, Venezuela) or global level (1999, 2009) are evident, and order of magnitude differences between highest and lowest GDP among countries remain throughout the period (Table 1) . Ecuador and Bolivia show the smallest increases, while Argentina has risen dramatically, despite the dip in 2002, in part reflecting slightly lower rates of population increase in this country. In terms of the specific contribution by the Andean region to GDP, data are generally unavailable, but an approximation may be made where GDP is broken down by administrative region. [Subnational GDP]

Figure 3. GDP per capita 1990-2010 for Andean countries

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Demographic trends in urban populations over the last 30 years also reflect economic transitions. A general approximation classifies countries according to degree of urban transition CEPAL (2000), with those in mid urban transition having large industrialized areas and characterised by development of tourist and industry sectors, corresponding to Colombia and Peru in the Andes. At the other ends of the extreme are those countries with an advanced urban transition (Argentina, Chile, Venezuela), representing post-industrial settlements with larger proportion of urban populations, and moving towards economies based on services; whereas those considered as having moderate urban transition (Ecuador, Bolivia) have important areas destined towards agriculture and rural activities. Although this may provide general indication of trends, precisions within countries, such as a strong agricultural sector in Argentina, or tourist development in Ecuador, should be taken into account.

Globally important reserves of metals and minerals are found in the Andes, with the mining sector representing a major part of the economies of all seven countries, gaining importance since 1990, with increasing trends in production of minerals (CEPAL Stat). However, its role in national economies is very different to that played by agriculture, for example, in that the activity generally employs less people, and represents a smaller contribution to GDP, but provides a large proportion of the total exports. For example, in Peru, mining contributed 4.1% of GDP in 2010, but accounted for 70% of exports, with metals, almost all originating from the Andes, representing 61%. Direct employment generated by mining activities was just under 1% of the economically active population, and including related service industries would have reached two or three times this figure, but remains small when compared to approximately 30% in agriculture. Growth of mining in Peru, between 1990 and 2010, as a percentage of total exports, has risen by almost 15 points, whereas the direct employment generated by the activity has remained relatively steady at 1% throughout the same period (ILO 2011).

Figure 4. Agricultural production, harvested area (left axis) and chemical use (right axis) in Andean countries, 1990-2008 (CEPAL 2011, FAO Stats).

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Agricultural production in the seven Andean countries reached almost 300 million tonnes in 2009, representing a 75% increase in production since 1990, whereas the area harvested has remained relatively stable over the same time period (FAOSTAT 2010), implying an large increase in yield and agricultural intensity. Pesticide and fertilizer use during the same period showed parallel increases in all countries (Figure 4). The value of agricultural production has also increased in the last 20 years in all Andean countries, with annual growth rates of production value between 2 and 6% (calculated from FAO Stats), with the highest absolute difference between 1990 and 2009 registered in Argentina ($14,000 m USD), and the highest growth in Peru (6.6% annual growth). For the year 2009, agricultural crops in the Andean countries contributed to between 3 and 13% of GDP (World Bank).

However, without detailed analysis of agricultural production at subnational level (although administrative boundaries are not aligned with the Andean region either), relative importance of the Andes for many products produced in mountain areas or outside is difficult to establish and the above trends may largely represent those in lowland areas. There have certainly been important increases in certain biofuel crops, for example, soybean or palm oil (e.g. in Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia), corresponding largely to areas outside the Andean region. An analysis of mainly Andean crops representing approximately 10% of the total agricultural production value for the seven countries, shows that although value has increased over the last 20 years, production has levelled off and area harvested has slightly decreased. However, important crops, such as rice and maize, cover both Andean areas and lowlands, and are difficult to break down into mountain and non-mountain components. Similarly in livestock, the Andes vary in importance for animals such as cattle, with the lowlands in Colombia, Venezuela and Argentina accounting for much of growth in this area, however, Andean camelids have shown increases in yield and value over the 20 year period in Peru and Bolivia. What is certain, is that water from the Andes, in two of the largest agricultural exporters, Peru and Chile, accounts for almost all water used in this activity.

The importance of the Andean region for agriculture was estimated using two models of cropland area for principal crops in South America (You et al 2000, Ramankutty et al., 2008) intersected with the Andean region, as defined for this report. Overall, the Andes contributed to 15-17% of the total cropland area of the seven countries, with marked differences existing between countries, with the Andes being more important in the north, with large proportions of total crop area in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador

Dams and reservoir infrastructure in the Andes provide water for hydroelectric power and agriculture, with the mountain region holding 76% of the dams in the seven countries(data from Lehner et al 20078), however, most uses of reservoirs in this database are not specified. Hydroelectric energy represents between 7% and 28% of total energy supply across the Andean countries (CEPAL 2004), the great majority of which comes from the mountain region.

1.2.5 Social characteristics and quality of life

A wide range of social groups exist across the Andean countries, including an enormous diversity of indigenous communities, as well as other well defined social groups, such as rural peasant farmers, and Afro-descendents, although the latter are generally settled in lowland, coastal areas, outside the mountainous region.

Democracies have existed in all Andean countries for at least the last 20 years, with some for much longer periods of time, although several abrupt changes of government, have taken place in countries since 1990, such as Ecuador.

Spanish as a common language has also benefitted social dialogue and integration across the Andes, as opposed to nearly all other mountain regions around the world. A variety of indigenous languages are also spoken throughout the region, but with a dominance of Quechua, which unites some 10 million speakers from northern Ecuador to northern Argentina, reflecting a certain degree of social unity, or Andean civilisation, from earlier times, albeit without political integration (Kuiper, 2011).

Multiple and diverse opportunities for coordination of indigenous movements in the Andes have been in recent years with national constitutions recognising the plurality of cultures and autonomy over decisions affecting indigenous, or other native community territories. In this sense, all Andean countries ratified the Convention 169 on rights of indigenous and tribal peoples between 1991 and 2008 (Table 6). Article 15 of this convention relates to obligatory consultation over resources within indigenous territories, as well as the participation of communities in the exploitation and management of these resources. Despite this article being employed repeatedly to defend indigenous rights, to date, only Peru has brought out legislation to implement this measure in law (see section 1.3.4).

1.3 Drivers of change in the Andes

1.3.1 Population pressure and migration The growing population in the Andes has increased demands on water and resources over the last 20 years. A 57% increase in energy consumption has been registered in all Andean countries between 1990 and 2009 (OLADE 2010), but the contribution of renewable sources of energy has decreased sharply in all countries except Venezuela and Argentina, dropping from 23% to 17% on average (CEPAL, calculated from OLADE 2010). Population pressures on ecosystems, measured in terms of population numbers and accessibility, show high degrees of threat in the Northern Andes at South American level, and in Patagonia where the road network is dense, despite low population levels (Jarvis et al. 2010).
Migration processes have also played a role in changing regional dynamics, with moves towards cities, and migrations to other countries. A lack of water resource management (see section 2.5) has contributed to migrations away from rural areas towards cities, as a result of increasing poverty through worsening agricultural production, soil erosion and scarcity of water, among other issues (Acosta & Alvarez, in press). Hard hit areas include the River Santa basin in Ancash, Peru and River Checua, Cundinamarca, Colombia where in the latter, migration was actually promoted in the higher reaches of the river to detain further deterioration. In terms of international migration, receiving countries are principally the USA and Spain (Pizarro 2011) with Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia representing the most numerous nationalities of immigrants to the latter country. Since the end of the 1990s, some 11% of Ecuador?s population live outside the country, impacts on the economy can be appreciated in that remittances sent from abroad represent the greatest contribution to GPD after petroleum exports (Pizzaro 2011). If migrants generally send money back to their regions of origin, then more than 40% of those leaving are from the Andes, given that of five regions where more than 70% of remittances are concentrated, four are in the Andes, making up almost 40% of the total9. Effects on family life are also strong, with many children being left behind to be brought up by an older generation. In Colombia the situation is similar, with an important wave of migrations during the 1990s. Remittances in Colombia have increased almost threefold in the last 10 years, reaching 2.7 times the value of coffee exports in 2009. More than 50% of remittances are received in mainly Andean provinces of the country (DNP 2010), with a strong concentration in the Coffee-growing region.

1.3.2 Land use and agriculture

Parts of the Andes have been populated almost continuously for more than 20,000 years (Dollfus & Lavallee 1973), and this long period of human presence with associated changes in technology and land use systems has had a major impacts on natural landscapes. Areas within the Andes, especially the Tropical Andes, form part of at least 10 main centres of crop origin (Balter 2007), with the Southern Andes, also included in some classifications (Mannion 1999). The history of agriculture in the region dates back to at least 9,000 years ago (Dillehay et al. 2007; Piperno & Dillehay 2008), with indications of adoption of important crops such as potato, squash, cotton and possibly maize around this time. In fact, mayor land cover changes took place in the Andes several millennia ago (Young 2009).

Current changes in land use, strongly linked to agriculture, are responsible for growing pressures on natural systems in the Andes. At a regional level, South America suffered the largest net loss of forest between 1990 and 2010, at about 0.6 hectares per year above Africa for the period 2000 - 2010 (FAO 2010). Between 1990 and 2010, forest extent for the whole of the seven Andean countries decreased by 239,110 km2, as reported to the Forest and Agriculture Organization (FAO 2010), representing a decrease of 38% to 35% of country area covered in forest. During the same period, planted forest extent rose slightly , by almost 25,000 km2 (Figure 10). Forest cover of the seven countries varies considerably, from 10% in Argentina, to over 50% in Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela, largely in proportion to their Amazon extents.

In a regional ecosystem map, covering the mountainous region of the northern Andes (without Chile and Argentina), transformed ecosystems were found to correspond to 22% of the area mapped for the period 2000-2003 (Josse et al. 2009). Differences between countries are marked, ranging from 3% of transformed areas in Bolivia to 58% in Colombia, with generally lower percentages of remaining natural ecosystems in the north of the continent, where the transformed area is actually larger than the area of natural vegetation, with the opposite occurring in the Central Andes (Josse et al. 2009).

Food supply from agriculture is subject to increasing uncertainty in areas where climate change could impact negatively in climate suitability for major crops, although changing climates are also predicted to increase agricultural production in some areas, and could increasingly drive agricultural expansion. Emerging issues, such as land grabbing, reducing civil society decision making capacity through reduced land ownership, could also effect the future distribution of agricultural production, however, available information emphasises investments in countries such as Brazil and Argentina, where investments focus on lowlands.

1.3.3 Mining

A common denominator of the seven Andean countries is that their economies are heavily based on mineral extraction. Apart from petroleum and gas, mainly concentrated outside the Andes, the region is affected to different degrees in each country, but areas of high altitude, for example, paramos in the north and puno, further south, are increasingly affected by mining or are under concession. Mining is cited in Peru´s CBD national report as a threat for fragile mountain systems (Ministerio del Ambiente 2006). An analysis of mining concessions and exploitation in the northern Andes shows that mining exploitation is currently (2009) concentrated Peru and Bolivia, while large areas have been granted concessions in Colombia and Ecuador, including in national parks in the latter [REF]. The study shows that large areas of montane forest in the four countries are under mining concessions, with up to 75% of humid forest in Ecuador (Cuesta et al. 2009; Figure 6). Only a small area of each concession is actually used for exploitation, although the impacts of the activity, for example in pollution, opening access to undisturbed areas and changes in local social dynamics and economies, are often much further reaching. Conflicts for resources, especially water, are also increasingly common, and with a potential to become more serious as climate change affects water availability. In Argentina and Chile mining projects have caused controversy by destroying glaciers. Although mining has represented an important factor in the development of Andean countries over the last 20 years, social or economic investment in the actual areas of exploitation has not been proportional to the mining effort (e.g. Renaud, 2008). Mining activities have grown in all Andean countries as evidenced by growth in exports of mining products.

Figure 5. Mining concessions and exploitation in the northern Andes (Cuesta et al 2009)

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Investment in mining has been encouraged by most governments in the region, through legislation or hierarchies of applying legislation and norms. The Survey of Mining Companies, published by the Fraser Institute (McMahon & Cervantes 2011), provides trends on attractiveness of mining policies, based on opinions of mining company high executives. In the last five years, Colombia and Ecuador have both showed increases in potential, according to mining company bosses, Chile remains stable and Bolivia and Peru have shown decreases, possibly due to indigenous protests in Bolivia and new legislation in Peru. In Argentina, the government introduced a packet of laws in the 1990s, paving the way for investment by multinational mining companies, at the same as creating a body for environmental control of mining, but under the control of the same body promoting mining investment, instead of the ministry of environment and sustainable development, or provincial environmental organizations.
Specific safeguards are also present in legislation on mining, for example, in Peru and Colombia. In Peru, a new law requires companies to seek agreement with rural communities for projects that effect them or their ancestral territories, with obvious implications for mining projects, although the right of veto is not included. In Colombia, a new law on mining excluded mining activities in paramo mountain ecosystems, however, its future is uncertain given that it has been declared unconstitutional (for other reasons) and a further limitation is that an exact definition and delimitation of paramos is yet to be produced.

1.3.4 Climate change

Climate change has already affected, and is set to increasingly affect biodiversity and livelihoods in the Andes, for example, in changes in climatic niches and habitats for biodiversity and changes in water availability and climate suitability for agriculture.

Mountain areas have experienced above average warming during the 20th century (IPCC 3), in the Andes this is no exception. Key trends in climate change include increasing temperatures (driven by greenhouse gases), less precipitation, upward shifts in cloud bases, and affecting soil moisture content (CONDESAN 2011 in press, Young 2009), but with different impacts locally (Table 3). Given the close relationship between climate and ecosystems (Rivas-Martínez 2008), ecosystems are expected to change, especially in areas, such as the Tropical Andes, where interannual variation in climate is less than predicted changes in climate (Anderson et al. 2011). Young et al (2011) present a synthesis of the vulnerability of tropical Andean ecosystems to climate change, among those classified as most vulnerable are those with shortest history of human use, paramos (given their location on mountain tops, their area is likely to decline due to invasion of woody plants from lower altitudes and unsuitable soils for immediate colonisation higher up) and cloud forests (base levels of cloud will rise with warming temperatures, leading to less humidity, and also increasing vulnerability to conversion to agricultural uses). However, the high variation in relief may also buffer some impacts of climate change, with large climatic gradients over small areas providing potential sites for colonisation.

Table 3. Expected climate change impacts in the Andean region of countries (National UNFCCC communications)

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Nevertheless, this vulnerability of high Andean ecosystems, such as paramo and puno, to effects of climate change, in addition to more erratic precipitation patterns, increased evapotranspiration and alteration of soil properties, will have serious consequences for their function in surface water provision, (Panorama, Buytaert). The role of Andean forests in water regulation is also important, although uncertainty exists as to how feedback from effects of changes in paramos ecoystems will affect cloud forests, with both higher or lower levels of cloudiness possible (Buytaert et al. 2011).

Evidence shows retreating glaciers in all Andean countries over the last three decades due to atmospheric warming, with the complete loss of numerous glaciers, for example, 145 cases in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru and rates of reduction of 26% between 1970 and 2003, 87% reduction in the Mérida Cordillera in Venezuela in the last 50 years, 27% in Ecuador from 1997 to 2006, and 2 to 5% annually in Colombia over the last 10 years. The annual rate of contribution to rising sea levels from the Patagonian ice fields has doubled in the period 2000-2005, compared to 1975-2000, with reductions of up to 50% in the area of small glaciers in the Argentinean Tierra del Fuego.

Melting glaciers, especially in regions where glaciers become the most important source of runoff during dry seasons, will also affect water availability, as well as risk of flooding. There are already concerns for both drinking water and hydroelectric power in cities such as La Paz, Lima and Quito (Stern, 2006), although the production of glacier runoff is minimal for Colombia and Ecuador (Buytaert et al. 2011), but more important for Peru and Bolivia. Effects will also be felt on Andean valley agriculture (Stern, 2006), including important contributions of meltwater supporting regional economies in the Cordillera Norte and Central in Argentina and Chile (López Arenas & Ramírez Cadena 2010). Decreases in water levels in rivers originating in mountains in the provinces of Río Negro and Neuquén, probably due to reductions in snowfall in the Andes, have already led to 40% reductions in hydroelectricity generation (República de Argentina 2007).

Frequency of extreme climate or weather events in Andean countries (not all necessarily associated with climate change), such as flooding, extreme temperatures, landslides, droughts and wildfires have increased by almost 40% in the period 2001-2010, when compared to 1991-2000, affecting 200% more people, but with a reduction in estimated cost of damage.

Although these figures represent country level, mountains will be especially susceptible to extreme events such as landslide and events will especially affect areas with lower standard of urban living and greater dependence on agriculture (CEPAL 2011, Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, 2009), for example in Andean regions of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, as well as densely populated mountain areas, for example in Colombia and Venezuela (República Bolivariana de Venezuela, 2005). In Bolivia, flooding caused over $450m US worth of damage in 2007 and 2008, representing 5% of GDP (Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, 2009).

A study by the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT CONDESAN, 2011) modelled changes in climate suitability for principal crops in the northern Andes. Analysis of 25 crops showed reductions in suitable areas of crops for the following countries, in order of magnitude of effects (Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia). In the case of Ecuador and Peru, some changes could be interpreted as positive, given that 17 out of 25 crops show increases in suitability under both emissions scenarios. In economic terms, Colombia and Venezuela are the most seriously affected countries, with regard to production of coffee and potato, followed by Bolivia. However, Ecuador and Peru, could gain on at least one of five principal crops analysed, with increases in production value of potato in Ecuador, and potato and beans in Peru (Zapata-Caldas et al 2011).

1.3.5 Other drivers

Armed conflict has effected three countries in the Andes over the last 20 years, with internal conflicts in Colombia and Peru, and a border conflict between Peru and Ecuador. Impacts have also been felt in neighbouring countries, especially Venezuela and Ecuador as a result of the Colombian conflict, however, armed conflict cannot be considered as a regional phenomenon during the period of this report. The Colombian conflict began in the 1960s and continues to date, and has effected almost all areas of the Country, including the Andes. Conversely, the armed conflict in Peru, from the 1980s to the early 1990s, was

concentrated in the mountainous regions of the centre south and Amazon foothills of the country. The Peruvian-Ecuadorian war of 1995 had its origins in border disputes dating back to the independence of both countries from the Spanish, although this outbreak, known as the Cenepa War, was localised in the Cordillera del Condor, a mountain range emerging from the Amazon region of both countries towards the Andean foothills.

The armed conflicts have undoubtedly effected sustainable mountain development, but a detailed analysis is beyond the scope of this report. In Colombia, the ongoing armed conflict has limited rural development in many places, especially in areas where a confluence of different armed actors exist. More positively, the peace accord between Peru and Ecuador in 1998, created an propitious environment for integration and development on the border area, including a binational development plan, leading to joint projects in development and conservation, but largely outside the Andes. However, a proposed joint conservation area in the Cordillera del Condor is being discussed and was set out in the peace agreement itself.

The illicit production and trade of drugs still has major impacts on the societies, economies and environment of Andean countries, with especial relevance for Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, although impacts are not limited to the mountains, and supply routes affect all countries. Although armed groups may have initiated without direct links to illicit trade in drugs, they are now increasingly linked to this trade.

Armed conflict and the illicit drugs trade are some of the transboundary issues affecting the Andean countries, as well as issues such as access to water, security, distribution of benefits and tourism.

1.4 Effects of drivers on biodiversity

A global classification of priority ecoregions, based on a representation approach of biological distinctiveness (Olson & Dinerstein 1998) included 24 of the ?Global 200? ecoregions within the seven Andean countries. Of these, 11 have most of their area within the Andean region, and 10 are classified as Critically Endangered, or Vulnerable (Olson & Dinerstein 2002). In total, 46% of the area of threatened ecoregions of the seven Andean countries are within the Andean region (in 33% of total country area).

A study to quantify threats to ecosystems in South America modelled effects of fire, grazing, accessibility, infrastructure, oil and gas, and (recent) conversion to agriculture. High values of specific threats in the Andes mountains, correspond to fires and grazing in the high Andes of Peru, recent conversion to agriculture on the Pacific slope in Colombia, the Andes of Ecuador and Valdivian forests in Argentina and Chile. The highest values for combined threats are in Venezuelan Andes, the eastern cordillera of Colombia, the high Andes of Ecuador and Peru and the forests of Patagonia (Jarvis et al. 2010).

Figure 6. Principal threats to endemic species of the Andes

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Using spatial information on threatened species distributions (BirdLife International 2010, IUCN 2010), the proportion of species threatened within the Andean region was calculated, giving 77% of threatened birds in the seven countries, 91% of threatened amphibians and 59% of threatened mammals occurring in the Andean region. Very high rates of endemism exist among threatened species, given that 57% of all threatened birds, 80% of amphibians, and 34% of mammals are endemic to mountain region. Principal threatening processes include agriculture, affecting the highest percentage of species in the Andes, followed by biological resource used, where mammals have a slightly higher percentage, reflecting greater hunting pressures (Figure 6). Threats to mountain systems mentioned in the thematic reports of Andean countries to the CBD program of work on mountain biodiversity include infrastructure development, mining, agriculture, climate change and invasive species. Trends in threat category show increasing extinction risk between 1988 and 2008, in the case of bird species occurring in the Andean region.


2.1 Introduction

The following section evaluates processes contributing to, and limiting, sustainable mountain development in the Andes over the last 20 years. The report focuses on drawing conclusions at regional level, but recognises that the size and heterogeneous nature of the region makes this difficult with regard to many issues. Some differences between countries are highlighted, but it is beyond the scope of this report to enter into a detailed discussion of national dynamics. Furthermore, the section attempts to highlight aspects of international, regional and national agreements, initiatives and legislation playing an important role in sustainable mountain development, but with the understanding that this often implies the specific application of more general policies rather than specific mechanisms themselves existing for mountain issues or regions. However, over the last 20 years, many events and declarations have been made with specific reference to sustainable development in the Andes (Table 3) , derived from, and organized through both international and regional processes, providing important platforms for dialogue among different actors, and catalysing new Andean initiatives.

Table 4. Major events and agreements contributing to sustainable mountain development in the Andes

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Finally, this section draws heavily on nine case studies, summarised below (Table 5), and from which thematic components are compared across countries. The coincidence of several themes across the case studies and at two consultative workshops(Appendix 5.1), provides confidence that some general trends can be drawn from this relatively small sample size, and also provides the structure for this section. Furthermore, the case studies were chosen as representative sites across the Andes (Figure 7), both in terms of latitude and altitude, and document relatively long periods of interventions in sustainable mountain development, many of which span 20 years. A further important factor in choosing the case studies was the presence of existing documentation, given that field visits and evaluations were not contemplated as part of this report, although a workshop was held to support their preparation (Appendix 5.1).

Table 5. Overview of case studies

Figure 7. Case study locations

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2.2 Policies and institutional frameworks Sustainable development initiatives in the Andes have been greatly influenced by global and regional events and agreements, including some before the time period of this report. However, the Rio 1992 conference undoubtedly provided a major impetus in positioning sustainable development, and especially its environmental component, on national agendas. This section outlines some of the major global, regional and national mechanisms, while highlighting their significance for the Andean region.

One of the landmark agreements to come out of Rio 92 was the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), aimed at biodiversity conservation; sustainable use of biodiversity; and equitable sharing of the benefits deriving from genetic resources. According to article 6, each party is required to develop national strategies and action plans, as a means to implementing all three components of the convention, which all Andean countries had completed by 2003 (Table 6). Countries are currently updating their strategies, in line with the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, although Venezuela has already completed its second version for 2010-2020. Andean countries are also generally up to date with reporting obligations with both the Framework Convention on Climate Change (and Kyoto Protocol) and the Convention to Combat Desertification. Under the latter, national action programmes, as part of commitments acquired within the convention, were completed between 1997 and 2004 (Table 6).

Several programmes of work within the CBD to further the convention´s implementation are relevant to conservation of mountain biodiversity, especially those on mountains, protected areas and forests. Implementation of the programme of work on mountains has been mixed within the region, with only three countries completing their thematic reports (Table 6). However, Ecuador has also implemented activities to further the program (Toppe pers comm[Complete with info from EC]). The country thematic reports for this program of work highlight concerns such as centralization of resources and lack of administrative inter-sectoral mechanisms to implement legislation and include national responses, such as management plans and zoning for high Andean ecosystems and protected areas, restoration of forests, priority setting and characterisation of Andean wetlands, decentralization for river basin management (Argentina) as well as several bilateral or regional initiatives.

Other international agreements with specific components on sustainable development in the Andes include the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Convention on Migratory species (including an MoU, signed in 2008 by Bolivia, Chile and Peru, to protect migratory flamingo populations and their habitats) and the exclusively Andean Convention for the Conservation and Management of Vicuña.

The High Andean Wetlands strategy is a regional initiative of the Ramsar Convention, resulting from a contact group of Andean countries, formed in 2002. The strategy aims to conserve and ensure the rational use of High Andean wetlands, which, although highly important in provision of ecosystem services for Andean communities and further downstream, are fragile and vulnerable ecosystems often lacking special attention from governments and other stakeholders (Ramsar 2005). The strategy provides a framework for regional cooperation between all seven Andean countries as well as Costa Rica, covering a projected 10 year period from 2005. Its implementation is supervised by a contact group, including the convention´s national focal points, NGO representatives who hold regular meetings. The strategy has successfully focused initiatives on national wetland policies, inventories (including threats), valuation of ecosystem services, management plans and specific site conservation actions, identification of new Ramsar sites, and provided important opportunities for cooperation between countries and organizations. Difficulties in implementing the strategy lie with coordination and communication between different jurisdictions, authorities and sectors related to high Andean wetlands, lack of funding and political support (REF).

The Convention for the Conservation and Management of Vicuña, signed by Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador in 1980, is aimed at their conservation and sustainable use. The agreement is supervised by a committee, meeting annually, and has been successful in protecting wild Vicuña populations, to the point that they were moved from CITES appendix I to II, allowing sustainable exploitation of their wool, providing

important incomes for Andean populations and simultaneously providing incentives to prevent illegal hunting of the species. The agreement has also served to promote technological advances in Vicuña management through its cooperation mechanisms, as well as trade promotion, products by creating a brand and opening markets abroad for Vicuña products.

Table 6. Year of ratification of International and regional mechanisms supporting sustainable mountain development in the Andean region

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Several supranational political agreements cover the Andean region, including the Andean Community (CAN), a regional integration organisation11, Mercosur, primarily a trade and migrations agreement between Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil (and Venezuela awaiting ratification), the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI), also primarily concerned with trade agreements, the Latin American Parliament, with commissions on regional development and the environment; and the Organization of American States (OAS).

Perhaps the most influential in sustainable mountain development have been initiatives within the Andean Community, in terms of supranational environmental policy. The Committee of Environmental Authorities was created in 1998, within the Andean Community, to advise and support the Secretariat in implementing community policy in the environment. At the beginning of the 2000s, the country presidents of the Andean community agreed to establish joint policies in environmental management and sustainable development, also serving to strengthen the Andean Community?s negotiating power at international level. In 2001, the document, ?Guidelines for environmental management and sustainable development in the Andean Community?, established sustainable development as a prerequisite for economic growth, social development and environmental management. These guidelines address specific threats to mountain communities, calling for a sustainable development strategy for mountain ecosystems, especially, for paramos, promoting integral management of soils, water and living resources, employing an ecosystem approach. The strategy has not been completed as such, but an alternative development strategy covering the whole of the CAN region was produced in 2005, with general focus on environment and illegal drug crop eradication, among other aspects.

In 2002, members of the CAN approved the Regional Biodiversity Strategy, launched at the Sustainable Development Summit in Johannesburg. The strategy, put together while most countries were also working on their national biodiversity strategies for CBD, aims to set a basis for common policy in biodiversity, in view of challenges related to free trade agreement negotiations and international environmental agreements. Importantly, the strategy, is an official instrument, representing supranational legislation, and is legally binding to all Andean Community countries.

The Andean Community established a plan to monitor progress of the Johannesburg summit in the areas of biodiversity, climate change and water over the period 2003-2005. Subsequently, the Andean Environmental Agenda 2006-2010 was drawn up, based on three main areas, Biodiversity, Climate Change and Water, with three overarching themes covering sustainable development, education and strengthening trade. The Agenda is also articulated with the Andean Paramo Project (box 2.1.1). A new Agenda is currently being drafted to cover the period 2011-2015, and as opposed to the first agenda, the second version aims to become a legal instrument, similar to the Biodiversity Strategy. Themes of the second agenda will cover biodiversity, climate change and water.

Progress by countries in implementing the first Environmental Agenda is currently being evaluated, and results will be published this year. However, the CAN Secretariat has also facilitated its implementation through the coordination of regional projects, including evaluating changes in land cover, measuring impact of, and developing capacity to adapt, to climate change.

An important consideration for future integration in South America is that both Mercosur and CAN will eventually be superseded by the recently formed, Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), seeking to achieve common policies in issues such as migration, economics, defence and environment, through greater integration of South America as a major bloc on the world stage. The constituent treaty, signed in Brazil in 2008, includes the formation of a supranational parliament, and includes the sustainable development of the region within its objectives. However, a ministerial council on environmental matters is yet to be established, although eight other councils have been formed, on issues ranging from defence, drugs, and infrastructure to health, education and science.

The Organization of American States has also provided impetus for sustainable development in the region over the last 20 years. In the 1990s, as a response to new global priorities, the OAS updated its program on Environmental Protection, to include sustainable development objectives, for example, in the modification of the OAS charter to update the mandate of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development in 1993 (OAS 1993), the inclusion of a special chapter on sustainable development and the natural environment in the Plan of Action of the First Summit of the Americas (OAS 1994), and a subsequent resolution on Sustainable Development, including the creation of an Inter-American Committee on Sustainable Development in 1996 (OAS 1996) as well as the Plan of Action resulting from the first summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The Department of Sustainable Development, as an executing body, supports OAS members in the design and implementation of policies, programs and projects oriented to integrate environmental priorities with poverty alleviation and socio-economic development goals (OAS 2011). OAS technical cooperation programs address such areas as river basin management, the conservation of biodiversity, preservation of cultural diversity, planning for global climate change, sustainable tourism, and natural disaster mitigation.

The Mountain Partnership, a type 2 United Nations organization, was formed in 2002 as a result of commitments taken on at Rio+10, and represent an alliance between countries and civil society organizations. CONDESAN,the Consortium for the Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion, hosts the secretariat hub for Latin America. To promote priority themes of the Aliance in Latin America, the Andes Initiative was formed in 2004, and consists of all Andean countries (led by Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru), a further four countries, and almost 50 other inter-governmental organizations and NGOs. The Andes Initiative (regional section of the Mountain Partnership) provided an important platform for dialogue, regional relations and different initiatives with regard to mountain issues.

The Tucumán declaration of 2007, established an Action Plan for the Andes Initiative, revolving around the following five central themes:
1. Sustainable livelihoods in mountain areas
2. Conservation of ecosystems and preservation of biodiversity and cultural and national heritage
3. Consolidation of institutional capacity in mountain issues
4. Climate change and its effect on mountain areas
5. Cross-cutting issues (education, awareness raising and capacity building, gender, youth and the aged, networks, local participation)
Although declarations and an action plan on sustainable mountain development have been produced for the Andes, follow-up to the declarations and implementation of the plan has not been systematically approached. Difficulties in organising activities within the Andes Initiative relate to the mixed nature and disperse membership of the Partnership, whereby countries and NGOs have equal voice and vote, although the Tucuman Plan of Action was only signed by countries, and a full assembly is yet to be held

The above international agreements have had important repercussions on regional and national initiatives and legislation in the region, with many derived policies and strategies on sustainable development, with some, but not many, specifically focused on mountain issues. In turn, national policies, have also derived subnational or local policies, often linked to decentralisation processes, for example, the national biodiversity strategies, leading to subnational strategies over the last 10 years in countries including Colombia, Chile, Peru and Argentina, allowing integration with local agendas, across different institutions and with participation at community level (Box 2.1.2).

National legislation on the environment has also largely been created since 1992, as well as specific guarantees regarding the environment within political constitutions (Table 7). Moreover, the new Ecuadorian and Bolivian constitutions place emphasis on the rights of nature, as well as specific mention of fragile ecosystems in the case of Ecuador. Ministries of the Environment and/or Sustainable Development are present in all countries, the earliest in Venezuela, since 1976, and many have gone through processes of reform, fusion and/or separation. Environmental legislation in all countries is strong, and some have specific provisions for vulnerabilities which could be applied to mountains. An analysis of national instruments applicable to protection of high mountain ecosystems in the northern Andes (Corporación Ecoversa 2010) found 20 effective items of effective legislation in four countries, financial mechanisms such as payment for ecosystem services, tax exemptions for conservation, purchase of land for water production, and participation mechanisms (see below). In terms of water retribution schemes, an analysis of schemes in the Andes found that all had local legal instruments to formalise systems, including municipal bylaws and statutes (Quintero 2010).

National strategies and policies related to mountain ecosystems are also found in several countries, especially for paramos and wetlands, for example in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. In Colombia, the six-year ?Proyecto Andes? of the Instituto Humboldt, produced more than 50 publications, including strategies for the sustainable development of rural mountain landscapes, manuals on biocommerce, guides on Andean fauna and flora and

management plans, based on pilot experiences implemented as part of the project. The former Ministry of Sustainable Development and Planning in Bolivia, published a strategy on ?Political Priorities for the Development of Mountain Ecosystems?, destined at public and private sectors as well as civil society, as a result of activities during the International Year of Mountains (see below). Argentina has plans for a national policy on mountains, to be drawn up by the Mountain Committee, furthermore, the Strategic Tourism Plan (2005) supports protection of mountain ecosystems, especially with regard to awareness raising (Secretaría de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable 2007). Chile has implemented an altitudinal limit of 1000 m on urban construction in an attempt to protect mountain ecosystems within local legislation of the Metropolitan Region, containing the city of Santiago de Chile (Comisión Nacional del Medio Ambiente 2005) .

Decentralisation of functions and autonomy in regional government differs among countries, with notable progress in Colombia, where regional environmental authorities have high degrees of autonomy, favouring participation at local level in environmental management. A further product of decentralisation in Colombia and Peru, results in land-use planning according to river basins, rather than administrative divisions (Box 2.1.1). The Argentinean constitution of 2004 seeks to ensure that decentralised environmental governance has a minimum protection standard, with sectoral laws being introduced from 2002 onwards, on issues such as water, PCBs and industrial residues (di Paola 2006).

Climate change has been incorporated into national policy through a variety of mechanisms, including the creation of government departments, committees, designation of responsibilities to existing institutions, and the production of national strategies and legislation (Maldonado et al 2011). Over the last 20 years, focus has shifted from mitigation, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promotion of Clean Development Mechanisms, to adaptation and research on the effects climate change, in line with global trends (Maldonado et al 2011). Research has included monitoring stations, for example as part of the Global Observation and Research Initiative in Alpine Environments, with 15 permanent plots established across the High Andes, and a further eight plots planned. More recently, strategies for climate change adaptation have been produced in at least four countries, including at regional level in Peru. Specific focus on mountains includes a side event organized jointly by Chile and Peru at COP 16 in Cancún, Mexico in 2010 on adapting to the impacts of climate change in mountain areas.

The institutionalisation of policies and strategies within national scenarios has gained momentum in recent years, as focus and priorities for interventions have shifted, especially with regard to international cooperation. The importance of inter-institutional approaches, and working simultaneously at different levels (from national to local) has been increasingly recognised, and has facilitated the incorporation of learning from previous or pilot experiences into government agendas at appropriate levels. Experiences in climate change adaptation and forest management from Andean areas show how knowledge is transferred.

Box 2.1.1 Changing perspectives of forest management through Swiss cooperation

Forestation with an economic and social perspective, was the starting point in the Andes for over 30 years of Swiss cooperation. Work was prioritised in the Andean region of three countries, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, using exotic species, mainly because forestry knowledge in these species was more advanced. At the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s, Andean forest remnants became an important new focus of attention, with studies taking place in native species with forestry potential. Over the next 15 years, work focused on protection of forest remnants in protected areas, from a perspective of combating poverty and reducing pressures on natural ecosystems. At the beginning of the 1990s, the Swiss approach

was novel in linking poverty reduction and forest conservation, given that for many organizations, themes such as these were still treated separately. During this time, a very local strategy was employed, very focused on communities as beneficiaries, with relatively little political involvement. However, this was later identified as a limitation, and deliberate steps were taken in subsequent program to position the issue of Andean forests in national and regional agendas, as well as incorporating lessons learnt from the earlier interventions.

Thus, the ECOBONA programme was established in 2006 with a specific mandate to synthesise previous learning employing a systemic approach (as Andean forest ecosystems) and institutionalize knowledge as a specific five-year exit strategy. The programme, following the prior mandate to combat poverty, also became more focused outside protected areas, using a method of ?ecological exchanges?. To transfer knowledge, the implementation of this programme was different in that it established a primary contact with intermediate level government from which both national government, and communities and municipal government levels were reached.

In evaluating the relative success of this approach between countries, factors that influenced the programme´s outcomes included the size of the country, the level of decentralization, and dependence on the capital city, degree of citizen participation in policy development, and maturity of different levels of government. A further important conclusion, is that while frameworks and guidelines can be useful, the local situation is often very different and programmes must be adapted accordingly.

The International Year of Mountains (IYM) in 2002, provided impetus for a range of activities promoting sustainable development in mountains, foremost of which were the establishment of national mountain committees in nearly all Andean countries (Table 7), coordinated through the Mountain Partnership. Committees were mostly coordinated through Ministries of Foreign Affairs, with a strong inter-institutional make-up. In most cases, committees were set up at least two years before IYM, after the United Nations decision in 1998. National committees have implemented diverse activities nationally and jointly with other countries, such as research and evaluations of mountain areas, meetings and symposia, health issues in mountains, planning for mountain development, as well as many communications activities to promote awareness of mountains. Mountain committees remained active in most countries after IYM, with Argentina, Peru and Ecuador having particularly active committees, in the case of Colombia, mountain issues were treated by different research institutes, without the need for a specific committee. The Mountain Partnership recently began a 2.5 year project, funded by FAO, to strengthen regional institutional and technical capacity among members of the Andean Initiative, especially by involving mountain committees.

A frequently cited limitation to sustainable mountain development relates to a lack of coordination between or within government sectors, and across decision making levels, from national to local level, for example, between mining and environment sectors. Other examples include overlapping functions in legislation regarding the same issue, in Peru, a mandate for land-use planning was established in regional governments, but then also given to the newly created Ministry of the Environment (Box 2.1.2).

Table 7. Government structure and legislation for sustainable development and environmental management in the Andean region

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Box 2.1.2 The role of local and regional policies in land-use planning

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2.3 Participation, awareness and knowledge

There is no doubt that public awareness in Andean countries on the issues underpinning sustainable development has greatly increased in the 20 years following Rio 1992, particularly regarding the conservation of natural resources, such as water and forests, and its potential impacts on livelihoods. In a context of more opportunities for participation, resulting from both formal and informal mechanisms, as well as more educational opportunities, civil society has played an important role in bringing about changes in mountain areas (Box 2.3.1).

Decentralization of government structures, and transfer of powers, have provided greater opportunities for civil society participation in sustainable development in the last 10-15 years, depending on the country. Participation includes mechanisms for control, denouncement, exercise of rights, access to information and reaching consensuses with local government. For example, participative decision making processes in Colombia, include the participation of civil society organizations on the board of the regional environmental authorities, as established in environmental legislation (Box 2.1.2, 2.3.2). The decentralisation process in Ecuador has led to many policies, strategies and a plan for decentralised environmental management, with regional governments having mandates to support protected area management as strategy to guarantee the sustainability and supply of ecosystem services from these reserves (Poats and Suarez, 2007)(Box 2.1.2). In Peru, the participative municipal and regional budgets (2003) allow civil society organizations to propose local government projects and vote on setting priorities among them (Box 2.3.1), with similar mechanisms in Bolivia and Ecuador. In Argentina, the government structure is effectively decentralised, in that the country is a federation of autonomous provinces. The mountain province of Mendoza pioneered environmental legislation, with protection laws established in 1992, especially in establishing and regulating environmental impact assessments, with obvious relation to mining. In 1994, the same province, established a law requiring drivers of all-terrain vehicles to sit an exam on biodiversity conservation, recognising the fragile nature of the ecosystems in the province (Gobierno de Mendoza, 2009).

Box 2.3.1 Different approaches to participation in land-use planning

Academic knowledge has also played an important part in sustainable mountain development initiatives in the Andes. There are now many postgraduate level courses offered at universities throughout the Andes on sustainable development, often in connection with subjects such as environmental management and local government, and generally aimed at graduates in a diverse range of subjects. University research is also in a position to make direct contributions to local processes, providing that the relevant dialogue with local authorities and decision makers is established (Box 2.3.2), however, there are still many gaps between research and its application, as well as setting research agendas which are more geared towards local needs (Box 2.3.2).

An important integration process among academics was played by the Association of Andean Mountains (AMA), an academic organization, specifically focused on the sustainable development of the Andean region. AMA?s main achievement has been the organization of five international symposia, between 1991 and 2005, on sustainable mountain development in the Andes (Table 4), with the participation of academics, NGOs, community members and government authorities. The symposia provided valuable opportunities for dialogue and exchange of ideas between different actors, catalysing other initiatives, such as the Proyecto Paramo Andino. However, since the last meeting, AMA has been generally inactive, but possibilities exist that CONDESAN will organize the next symposia within the context of its annual meetings.

The use and recuperation of tradition knowledge is also playing an increasingly important role in sustainable mountain development, but does not always occupy the position within academia that it merits, and is often not matched, or integrated against other types of knowledge. Traditional knowledge related to farming practices and water management will become increasing important in issues such as agricultural innovation and climate change adaptation. An important limiting factor to overcome is the relative value placed on traditional knowledge, which can be overcome to a certain extent by recovering pride in Andean cultures and practices (Box 2.3.2). A limiting factor in benefit sharing mechanisms for environmental services is the lack of exchange between academic and practical knowledge (CONDESAN 2011).

Box 2.3.2 Traditional and academic knowledge

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2.4 Environmental management

The first national parks in the Andean countries were established at the beginning of the 20th Century in Chile and Argentina. National park coverage has grown at a steady rate since the 1970s, with a higher percentage of area covered within the Andean region, than outside (Figure 8), although in absolute terms, the area covered by national protected areas is less within the Andes, representing approximately 40% of the total 800,000 km2. Overall, 12% of the Andean region lies within protected areas, compared to 9% outside the Andes within the seven countries, although percentages vary nationally, from 6% of the Argentinean Andean region, to 20% of the Ecuadorian Andes (Table 8). National protected area systems in the Andes. Growth patterns of protected areas show similar heterogeneity, with Chile, Venezuela and Ecuador having already established the majority of their existing protected areas by 1990s, whereas Peru, Bolivia and Colombia showed significant growth over the last 15 years.

The creation of protected area systems, allowing a coordinated approach to biodiversity protection and protecting viable populations of species and representative samples of ecosystems, is the fundamental aim of the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas (Dudley et al. 2005). The first protected area systems in the Andes were established in Venezuela and Chile, in 1983 and 1984, respectively, although Ecuador also identified strategies to plan for its protected areas jointly in 1989. The remaining countries implemented systems during the last 20 years, with Argentina completing its proposal in 2003. Nearly all systems allow for the inclusion of private and regional conservation areas, and Colombia has made provision for regional protected area systems at three different levels (see Box 2.1.2). In terms of biome representation by protected, temperate broadleaf forests, of the southern Andes have the highest representation at over 30% of the biome?s area, followed by Tropical moist forest (15%) and montane grasslands(8%). As well as growth in national park areas, the effectiveness of their management must be measured in order to evaluate this component of sustainable development. Schemes have been implemented in some countries (e.g. Colombia), but the recurring limitations of national parks, for example, lack of adequate staff, budgets and management are still present in mountain areas [REF].

Table 8. Proportion of the Andean region within protected areas

Figure 8. Growth of national protected areas within (blue) and outside (red) the Andes, showing dates of creation of protected area systems.

Box 2.4.1 Regional system of protected areas in the Coffee-growing region of Colombia

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Other conservation areas have also increased greatly over the last 20 years, including international categories within environmental agreements, such as Biosphere reserves (MAB 2011), World Heritage Sites (UNESCO 2011) and Ramsar sites, as well as civil society initiatives such as Key Biodiversity Areas(Eken et al. 2004; Langhammer 2007), Important Bird Areas (Devenish et al. 2009) (Box 2), WHRSN, and Zero Extinction Alliance (Ricketts et al. 2005).

Figure 9. Growth of conservation areas within IEAs (Ramsar sites, World Heritage, Biosphere Reserves) inside and outside the Andes 1970 - 2010

Biosphere reserves, established under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, consist of protected core areas and buffer zones, aimed at promoting sustainable development. A total of 41 biosphere reserves have been declared in the seven Andean countries, totalling some 550,000 km2, of which approximately half lies within the Andes (24 reserves). World Heritage Sites, established within the UNESCO convention of 1972 (UNESCO 1972), aim to protect cultural and natural heritage of outstanding value to humanity around the world. A total of 44 sites have been declared in the Andean countries, of which 23 are in the Andes, with a heavy bias towards cultural sites, with only six sites either natural or mixed. Ramsar sites, established between 1981 and 2009, of the total 74 sites in the Andean countries, totalling 212,651 km2, 29% of their area are within the Andes, representing 42% of the number of sites. In all, 75% of sites of all three initiatives in the Andean countries were established between 1990 and 2010. In terms of civil society initiatives, 689 and 566 sites were established over the last 10 years outside, and inside the Andes, respectively, including WHRSN, IBAs and AZE sites.

Strategies and planning for biodiversity conservation have increased greatly over the last 20 years, with all countries in the Andes completing their National Biodiversity Action Plans between 1997 and 2003 (Table 6), which have also led to planning documents at smaller geographical or taxonomical scales, for example, wetland or ecosystem conservation policies, conservation strategies for birds (Ecuador, Colombia, Chile) and regional conservation plans (Table 6). Species action plans for both threatened and non-threatened species have also been produced, with at least 30 species covered in the region.

Red Data books have been produced in all seven Andean countries over the last 20 years, covering species at national level, to date 50 publications have been produced, representing more than 15,000 evaluations. In at least three countries, red lists have been adopted into national legislation, providing different levels of protection to designated threatened species. An appropriate updating cycle, within appropriate biological and administrative timescales (e.g. for lists within national legislation), is important for continued functionality of red lists, and at least three countries have produced second or third editions of red lists over the last 20 years. Multiple editions of red lists also provide a means to measure changes in extinction risk over time, provided that compatible methods are used for each red list evaluation and that changes in category are ascribed to genuine changes in state, rather than resulting from new knowledge.

Civil society initiatives to monitor biodiversity have also increased in the last 20 years, for example, Christmas Bird Counts have accrued data from XX sites in XX countries, of which XX are in the Andes, and the Neotropical Waterbird Censuses have been implemented at least once at more than 1600 sites across the seven Andean countries between 1990 and 2011, but continuity at sites is a limitation in both these initiatives.

Box 2.4.2 Proyecto Paramo Andino

The Proyecto Paramo Andino, coordinated by CONDESAN, and implemented over the last six years by national partners in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, aims to protect ecosystem services and improve the livelihoods of the inhabitants of the High Andean paramo. The initiative has its origins within the Working Group of Paramos, established in 1999, and project formulation began in 2003.After approval by GEF in 2005, the initiative established pilot projects at 14 sites across the four countries, including the three case study sites of Gavidia, El Angel and Rabanal, focusing on sustainable management, policy, training and education. The project has been successful in catalysing consensuses from within local communities in the management of paramo ecosystems, a process which has evolved from an era characterised by a dichotomy between conservation and use (effectively excluding people from conservation), evolving to an approach based on sustainable use, but actually reaching conclusions of strict conservation, in some areas, as initiatives arising from within communities. In this sense, and given the relatively long period of implementation, important results can be attributed to the education component which has been fundamental in bringing about these changes in awareness within local communities, as well as changes in attitude among conservation practitioners. To facilitate replication of successful projects, the initiative has worked to bring together different actors interested in the sustainable development of the High Andes, through events ranging from community meetings to international conferences, as well as setting up a clearing house mechanism where experiences, management plans, legislation and project documents can be accessed. Masters and doctoral students from the region have also been funded through the project.

2.5 Exploitation and use of resources

This section examines progress and challenges resulting from the use of resources, with regard to ecosystem services, mining and land use. Central themes revolve around use of water, for example, in regard to retribution schemes for environmental services, and conflicts with regard to use, especially relating to mining. Conflicts could be further exacerbated by changes in water availability due to climate change, and also affect distribution patterns of agriculture.

The constitutions of all Andean countries include state obligations in environmental protection (Table 7), as well as including the provision of the private sector to receive economic contributions for contributing to the protection of natural resources. Only in the case of Ecuador, is it unclear in the new Constitution whether this type of alternative is viable (Quintero 2010). Payment for environmental services is not specifically mentioned in legislation in the Andean countries, but both Colombia and Peru are preparing a strategy and a law, respectively, treating the issue (Quintero 2010). Also, proposals going beyond the solely economic nature of retribution for environmental services propose benefit sharing mechanisms to ensure livelihoods within river basins, based on dialogue and social consensus (CONDESAN 2011). Research on, and implementation of water management and retribution schemes has grown over the last 20 years, and initiatives have been implemented at different scales. In rural mountain areas, lessons have been learnt in the appropriate scale of water management schemes, and advantages have been found favouring an approach based on very small scale basins [REF]. Recently, in a context of climate change, important progress has been made in the incorporation of a systemic approach to watershed management, with communities playing leading roles in the management of natural resources through participatory drafting and implementation of local watershed management plans (Becerra et al 2011).

Although the issue of climate change may have provided such a boost, integrated water resource management has steadily been gaining ground in the region. Until the 1970s, water management in the Andes, was compartmentalised according to sector (e.g. hydroelectric, agricultural or urban use), resulting in highly trained professionals in each area, but did not take into account the needs of other sectors, or the effects of each sector´s use on others. Early experiences in water resource management at river basin scale, taking a more integral approach, in the Andes come from the CVC in Colombia, implementing research in Aguacatal basin in the 1970s, and in Rio Colorado in Argentina (Dourojeanni, 2011).
The river basin approach became more generalised in the 1990s, with the introduction of specific legal frameworks in countries such as Colombia, and Chile, albeit with very different approaches. Brazil´s laws on water became a reference for Andean countries, taking the lead from this approach based on integral management of river basins, rather than Chile´s more marketed oriented laws, allowing property rights for water. In 2000s, countries such as Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador began drafting laws on water, although only Peru has managed to approve a general law on water, with political processes in the latter two countries not favouring the law´s approval. Six pilot sites have been set up to test run Peru´s new law on water of 2010, where requirements, such as water basin committees (see Box 2.5.1) and river basin delimitation are beginning to be implemented. However, it is widely thought that it will take some 10-15 years for a generalised implementation at national level.

A recent study of experiences in Integrated Water Resources Management (Acosta & Alvarez, in press), found that most initiatives had not implemented activities across the whole river basin, from protecting higher areas, to improving efficiency of water use in lower regions. As a result of priority setting amongst activities, mainly due to budgetary constraints, most initiatives concentrated on protecting upstream regions. However, in other cases, separate initiatives, especially through development projects, had implemented projects on improving efficiency in agricultural use of water, but not as an integrated approach to river basin management. Important factors for successfully converting to integrated water resource management were found to be connected to generating knowledge of the particular river basin; improving educational processes whereby communities learn about the importance of the water cycle and where their water actually comes from (especially for downstream communities, within and outside the Andes); and involving a large number of stakeholders, including regional and local government, water users, water authorities, among others (Acosta & Alvarez, in press).

Two routes generally lead up to the conformation of specific platforms for water management (i.e. participation and shared management), first, as a result of specific problems associated with water (e.g. degradation of ecosystems, scarcity, conflicts of use, pollution) a political process is started, aimed at reaching agreements on solutions and better management, however, disadvantages of this route mean that the implementation of concrete actions is often delayed, with the process becoming an end in itself. Second, specific actions, such as reforestation, or upstream protection, have triggered political processes leading to concerted water management, although in some cases by this route, these processes are not sufficiently strong to become sustainable. A further important contributing factor to improved water management has been the legal instrument to create associations between different regional or local governments (e.g. from the mid 2000s in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador). Before this was possible, municipalities were not able to invest in upstream protection if these areas were physically outside their administrative region, with the ability to create associations, local governments can implement joint projects, with each municipality or regional government, contributing funds for its execution. Political willingness is an important factor in the success of such associations (Acosta & Alvarez, in press).

Many of the schemes to compensate environmental services revolve around water, with examples at different scales, although mainly still at the pilot stage. In some of the largest cities in the Andes, water funds have been set up, where users pay into funds for the water they receive, as part of the Latin American Water Funds Partnership, established by the Nature Conservancy. The initiative helps to protect Andean forests and grasslands in Quito and Cuenca in Ecuador, Bogotá and Valle de Cauca in Colombia and Lima, Peru (TNC 2011).

In an analysis of environmental services related to water in the Andes (Quintero 2010), participation in different components of retribution schemes was summarised. All schemes followed a cyclical system, broken down into components related to funding, regulation, administration of funds and investment in environmental protection and had legal instruments to formalise them. Actors providing funding included water users, local or regional governments and NGOs or international cooperation with funds administered by private or public banks or trust funds. Types of investment in environmental protection included payment, incentives or credits to landowners for protection; purchase of land, forest conservation or regeneration (mainly implemented by NGOs or local authorities); vigilance, as well as educational activities.

Other mechanisms providing economic retribution for protection of environmental services, appearing in public policies in the Andes, include incentives for reforestation or conservation of forests, tax exemptions, extra water tariffs and royalties from exploitation activities (Quintero 2010). One such program was recently started to protect high Andean ecosystems in Ecuador whose forests have one of the highest deforestation rates in South America (Clirsen 2000), threatening ecosystem services and livelihoods among local communities and causing CO2 emissions of up to 55,000,000 tonnes per year. The ?Socio Bosque? initiative, launched by the Ministry of the Environment, aims to provide economic incentives (up to $30 USD per hectare) to individual owners and rural communities (peasant farmers or indigenous groups) who voluntarily commit themselves to protecting their forests, paramos or other native vegetation for a period of 20 years. In 2009, at the World Conference on Paramos, the program launched a special goal of conserving 65% of the remaining high Andean paramo ecosystems. Inhabited areas of paramos in Ecuador make up 40% of their total area, with a population of some 500,000 people, the remaining area is divided between national parks (40%) and large estates (20%) (MAE 2009).
By 2010, almost 540,000 ha had already been included in the scheme, with an investment of $2,668,025 USD and 631 agreements signed, of which 91% are with individuals (MAE 2011).

Box 2.5.1 Water management

Important progress was made in agricultural innovation at the end of the 1990s and beginning of 2000, with the objective of replacing traditional schemes of research and development, with more participative approaches for renewing agricultural initiatives. New approaches include the participation of social scientists, anthropologists and economists, as well as changing sources of knowledge to include local knowledge systems as well as the academic sector. An recent study analysed 31 cases of agricultural innovation in the Andean countries (above 1000 m altitude), where innovation was directly related to economic growth and poverty reduction in rural areas (see Box 2.5.2), resulting in changes in social organizational systems and agricultural technologies. A lack of connection was found between those implementing innovation and public policies, especially in terms of upscaling initiatives to wider regional environments even though policies in countries such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru do focus on integrating research and development with the private sector (Montoya, M. P. & Fano, H. In press).

The variety and complexity of traditional farming systems in the Andes (e.g. planting multiple crops on different fields, at different altitudes and exposures), on the condition that they are preserved, and their knowledge passed on, could provide an important pool of farming practices for rapid adaptation to changing climates (Young 2009). In fact, research has showed that pre-Columbian agrarian societies implemented innovations in agricultural strategies and infrastructure in response to both temporary and long-term environmental change and uncertainty (Dillehay & Kolata 2004). However, farming practices may also be forced to change, as a result of climate change induced reductions in water availability through less rainfall or melting glaciers, and in some areas farmers will need to move towards more elaborate irrigation schemes, or become more dependent on livestock, such as sheep or goats (Young 2009).

As discussed above, mining has increased in the Andean region, and is a vital part of economies. The theme is present in almost all the case studies, and in many, has changed local dynamics, but rather than opposing mining categorically, the case studies present responsible mining as a challenge (see Part 3). Nevertheless, in terms of sustainable mountain development, mining, as currently addressed by the case studies, is seen as a direct threat to biodiversity conservation, a source of conflicts in resource use between mining operations and communities, and as creating divisions within communities (e.g. Bebbington et al 2008) as regards their best choices for development (see Box 2.5.2).

The majority of mining-related conflicts revolve around water and land. In areas where water resources are more plentiful, such as paramos ecosystems, pollution problems are potentially more serious, whereas, in areas of water shortage, such as the mountains of south Peru and north Chile, use of water by mining companies competes with undervalued or unvalued ecosystem services or directly with the water needs of communities.

Legislation within the majority of Andean countries (REF) generally treats surface land and subsoil independently, and are even administered by different sectors within the state, often lacking the necessary coordination between them for correct land-use planning. This can lead to complaints on environmental issues caused by mining being treated by sectors outside environmental jurisdictions. For example, in Peru or Chile, complaints made about mining are not treated by agricultural or environmental sectors of government.

An information system to document social and environmental conflicts in Latin America (OLCA) ( presents a diverse array of mining conflicts in the region, including at least 145 communities, most of which were from the mountain regions (Table 9). However, what is reported often depends on the degree of institutionality and legislation in each country. For example, differences in the constitutional structure of Colombia, compared with Chile or Argentina, favour the former in providing opportunities for social control and making formal complaints or information requests. In Peru, conflicts related to mining, reported to the Ombudsman?s Office, rose from 33 to 89 between 2007 and 2009 (Bebbington 2009).

Table 9. Mining conflicts reported by county (OLCA 2011)

[UNDESA/DSD]--Please download original submission to view tables and figures

Over the last 20 years, mining companies have developed biodiversity and social strategies. However, the effect of these on mining operations and their impact on livelihoods is not clear, given that many appear to be offset strategies, rather than addressing direct operational issues, for example, one strategy aims to have a ?net positive impact? on biodiversity. In this sense, biodiversity conservation projects in adjacent areas to mining operations, or infrastructure construction in municipalities where mining takes place have their benefits, but their focus on changing operational procedures or resolving conflicts related to resource use is more limited.

Box 2.5.2 Balancing economic alternatives with use of resources

The role of mountain ecosystems in fomenting tourism has resulted in an increased value being given to both altered and undisturbed landscapes, according to different focuses of tourism. Nature and adventure tourism tend to favour undisturbed landscapes, whereas agro-tourism, or that based on rural communities, focuses on cultural or agricultural landscapes. For instance, in Argentina, the declaration of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujuy, in 2003, as a World Heritage Cultural Landscape attracted a greater number of tourists to the area (Box 2.5.3).

Although tourism can be a sustainable activity in the mountains, and considered an ecosystem service, the majority of tourist activity does not comply with criteria of sustainability. However, many initiatives exist to present sustainable models, particularly rural ones, as alternatives for development in mountain regions. The Mountain Partnership, for example, is supporting sustainable tourism projects in frontier regions of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.

Tourism has grown at an annual rate of almost 3% in the Andean community since the 1990s (IICA 2008), and an influx of tourists in rural areas has meant changes to working routines among rural communities, with many projects implemented in capacity building, training and preparation of tourist products over recent years. Tourism is presented as a complementary, rather than alternative strategy for development, alongside more traditional rural activities or other alternatives for development, an important consideration given the seasonality of the activity. Different types of rural tourism have been identified, ranging from community tourism, where community projects provide a joint service with sharing of benefits, to those based more on individual landowners providing accommodation on rural estates, or in family homes. Many national strategies and plans on sustainable tourism have been released over the last 20 years in the Andes, as well as the conformation of national and regional networks of service provides, academics and government bodies, with regular conferences and meetings on the subject. More specialized types of tourism have also increased across the whole region, such as birdwatching, but especially focused on regions with high rates of endemism, such as the Tropical Andes, with national strategies and guidelines produced, for example in Ecuador.

Box 2.5.3 Opportunities and threats from tourism in the Andes

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2.6 Funding and international cooperation for development International cooperation (ODA)12, has channelled substantial funds for reaching development objectives in the Andean countries significantly over the last 20 years. As a proportion of GDP, development assistance reached maximums of almost 20% in Bolivia, and 3% in the other countries, but is decreasing in the Andean region (Figure 10a), as GDP increases and cooperation remains stable. However, as cooperation agencies realign their priorities (e.g. to other regions such as Africa), it is expected that this source will cease to be a major funder of sustainable development initiatives in the next 10 years, with possibly the exception of Bolivia, with some agencies recently defining exit strategies in some Andean countries (e.g. CSD will shift priority to Bolivia while closing existing operation in Ecuador and Peru). The implications for the region are that more regional sources, for both funding and technical support will need to be found (see Part 3).

With regard to the implementation of Rio 92 objectives in sustainable development, analysis of ODA shows that funding has increased slightly in absolute terms and as percentage of total development assistance in projects with principal or significant objectives related to biodiversity, climate change or desertification13 (Figure 10b), reaching over 10% of all assistance by 2009. However, the slight increase observed at the end of the 2008 period may be an artefact of obligatory reporting being implemented from this time, as well as reporting cycles and changes in thematic focus, therefore a trend is difficult to diagnose. Individual components of aid to Rio objectives show an increasing trend in funding for both biodiversity and climate change components, and decreasing in desertification-related aid, with climate change overtaking biodiversity only in the last two year period (Figure 11). However, in terms of numbers of projects, more have been implemented in biodiversity related themes consistently over the last 20 years.

Figure 10. a) Development aid as percentage of GDP (OECD, IADB); b) Total ODA funding, and broken down for environment sectors and Rio 92 markers.

[UNDESA/DSD]--Please download original submission to view tables and figures

Figures on development assistance for environmental sustainability not only includes specific environmental projects, but also other development projects with environmental components (OECD 2009). Aid for environmental sustainability peaked in 1996 in Andean countries, but has shown an increasing trend since 2005, reflecting aid to Rio objectives over the same period, and reaching over 20% of all development assistance to Andean nations in 2009 (Figure 10b).

Figure 11. Numbers of projects (bars, right axis) and total funding (lines, left axis) for implementation of Rio objectives in development assistance 1996-2009.

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Although climate change is now firmly on the agenda of governments, NGOs and funding agencies, compared to 20 years ago, initiatives formerly focused on desertification may be classified more generally related to water issues and overlap with climate change, perhaps related to a semantic understanding of reporting markers. Development assistance to implement Rio objectives falls into five principal sectors (agriculture, energy, forestry, environmental protection, water), with proportionally more being spent on energy related initiatives (due to climate change related initiatives), and less on forestry related initiatives in the last five year period.

Projects addressing climate change funded by Official Development Assistance (see note 4) in the Andean countries have increased steadily over the last 15 years, to almost 600 projects implemented over the period 2008-2009, with funding increasing from $45.3 million USD in 1996-7, to $432.4 million USD in 2008-9, for a total of $1,215 million USD over the whole period14, with over 75% of this funding provided by Germany, Netherlands and Japan, and over 65% corresponding to GTZ, KFW (Germany), MFA (Netherlands) and JICA (Japan).

2.7 Conclusions on processes promoting or limiting sustainable mountain development in the Andes

A wide variety of institutional processes have promoted sustainable mountain development strategies in the Andes over the last 20 years, in a progression which can often be tracked from commitments acquired as part of international agreements, leading to incorporation into political constitutions, resulting in national policies or legislation, and implementation at regional or local level. Increasing protagonism at local level has been supported by decentralisations processes. This vertical movement through government levels has been repeatedly singled out as a vital component for effective implementation, especially since this process is a necessary precursor for community participation. It is when this process is interrupted, that limitations are identified to sustainable development, for example, in overlapping authorities, lack of coordination or integration between levels, or separate treatment of such interdependent quantities as water and land.

Participation at regional and local levels has also been a major promoter of sustainable development, enabled through policies which have largely been created over the last 20 years. Limitations are again identified when participation processes are interrupted, for example, through deficiencies in knowledge, budget restraints, corruption and conflict of interests, institutional instability in NGOs and dependence on electoral periods. Experiences from Peru and Ecuador clearly show the positive value of local participation in alliances towards sustainability, but also make evident its incipient fragile nature. As a result, it is important that these processes are firmly institutionalised, but also embedded culturally, in an attempt to prevent loss of confidence in them and ensure effective social control. In Colombia, participation has a longer history, and in some regions this cultural component is already evident, with limitations revolving more around information gaps. Decisions as to when or when not to participate become more important at this stage.

In general, these limiting or promoting institutional factors, are not intrinsic to mountain areas, and would surely be identified in a wider survey of sustainable development at national levels. What is important, though, is to take into account the specific mountain context in their analysis, in that greater levels of poverty may exist, greater vulnerability of biodiversity, greater risk from climate change impacts and water shortage, and greater potential for conflicts regarding resource use. Of course, these statements do not hold across the whole Andean region, and as has been made clear throughout this report, the size and diversity of the Andes make a synoptic regional analysis difficult, but at local level, they certainly compound the limiting factors identified in this report.

A recurring theme revolves around water management and availability, with effects of changing climates contributing to serious challenges ahead for the livelihoods of mountain communities. Examples abound from cases in Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Argentina, where water shortages will require sustainable solutions, above all, within institutional frameworks. Retribution schemes for ecosystem services, such as water provision, from micro-basin level to the scale of cities, have shown great promise, with emerging approaches in benefit sharing, rather than straight economic payment for services.

A second recurring theme is related to resource exploitation, and burgeoning economies of some countries, based on extractive systems. Often related to these cases, is that land-use planning instruments, combined with decentralisation and other favourable institutional frameworks have failed to reach consensus as to the use of mountain resources, whereas they have been very successful in other cases. It is these economic systems that demand a larger quantity of resources of mountains than is sustainable, creating conflicts of interest, which will be exacerbated with reductions in water availability and its consequences. Furthermore, market forces, such as the price of commodities, exert influences which are often uncontrollable at national level, but have wide-ranging effects.

The sustainable exploitation of mountain resources, including for tourism, agriculture and biocommerce (especially with regard to native species), has great potential among the diverse visual scenery and wealth of cultures and species in the Andes. Experiences at local levels, have the potential to provide incomes and improve livelihoods, and could consider high quality, but low volume products. In this respect, certification, denomination of origin schemes and other market instruments, will favour sustainability and alternative exploitation of natural resources. Furthermore, the recuperation of traditional Andean knowledge will also play a key part in alternative income generation from these sources. It should be noted, however, that these experiences are also valuable as local strategies, where export markets are not the prime target.

Environmental management has become stronger in the region since 1992, with many specific instruments for better identification of priorities, better management of ecosystems and better incorporation of livelihoods into conservation schemes, as shown by examples from Colombia and Venezuela. Greater awareness of environmental issues on the part of civil society, has also been a goal of many of these measures, and in turn, has facilitated others.

Many projects have been implemented at national, bilateral and regional level with objectives in-line with sustainable mountain development, including biodiversity conservation, protected area creation, land-use planning, and poverty eradication, among others. On balance, many international agreements have a high rate of uptake among Andean countries, with high compliance in terms of reporting commitments, and important progress in the creation and implementation of derived national policies, action plans on climate change, reports on specific programmes of work. Implementation has also become incorporated into national legislation, in action plans and threatened species protection, for example, as well as national policies. However, indicators for the achievement of environmental Millennium Development Goals in Latin America show mainly negative trends (CEPAL 2010), including the 2010 CBD biodiversity targets (Butchart et al. 2010).

The relative importance of mountains within the different Andean countries somewhat reflects the degree of implementation of sustainable mountain development initiatives. For countries with small mountains areas, such as Venezuela and Argentina, priority is perceived as low, although in the case of Venezuela, the country is much more dependent on mountain systems (e.g. in terms of population and ecosystem services). In the case of countries with a much larger proportion of the Andes making up their territory, such as Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile differences also exist. For example, in Peru and Chile, the relative priority given to mountains is lower, in Peru, in part due to a large degree of centralization in Lima on the coast, although the city is very dependent on mountain systems. In Ecuador and Bolivia, the situation seems to be more balanced, and in Colombia, where almost the opposite occurs, in that priority is given to mountain systems where the population is concentrated, even though they make up a relatively small part of the national territory. These observation highlight the importance of raising awareness of the importance of mountain systems at national level. For example, the International Year of Mountains played an important part in the formation of national mountain working groups, and creating awareness of mountain issues nationally through diverse activities in all countries.

In addition to awareness, information created on mountains, has been identified as both limiting and promoting mountain development, as a function of its utility in decision making. This depends greatly on its degree of processing and format, as well as the level of communication with the appropriate authorities, at all stages of academic activities, that is, before, during and after research activities.

Experiences have shown when local knowledge is included in initiatives, there is a higher uptake by stakeholders, there is no shortage of local knowledge in the Andes, and combined with an incredibly diverse territory of cultures, species and ecosystems, spanning a mountain range of more than 6000 km in length, a complexity results in multiple dimensions. Tapping this complexity itself, ranging from gene pools and seed banks, to traditional farming practices and indigenous languages, is surely one of the key factors to attain sustainable mountain development with approaches originating in the region.


3.1 Future challenges for sustainable mountain development in the Andean region

Following consultation (see Appendix 2b), and from the conclusions of the above report, the following challenges have been prioritised in terms of sustainable mountain development in the Andean region. Challenges fall into two broad areas (see 3.2), and many imply changes to institutional frameworks or are related to implementing green economies.

? Regional differences and integration
As this report has highlighted throughout, many differences exist between the North and South Andes, and the same is true of the challenges. For example, in the south, mountain issues do not have the same exposure on national political agendas, even in Chile, which has one of the highest proportional areas of mountain region per country in South America. In the north, mountains are more important to livelihoods (not just economies) and increased social participation in the last 20 years has ensured a wider exposure of mountain issues. A further consideration, in terms of regional integration, is the purpose and scope of such integration, given the wide differences between countries. Although exchange of information and experiences in sustainable mountain development among countries of the continent has undoubted benefits, it is rather idealistic to envision a complete integration across a wide spectrum of issues. Rather, integration must serve specific purposes, in areas where such integration is both feasible and useful, especially given the difficulties and timeframes of reaching agreements between just four countries in the Andean Community (CAN). Nevertheless, the CAN has played an important role in integration in the north of the continent, especially with supranational legislation, for example, in the Biodiversity Strategy. However, this type of political proximity between countries, for the purposes of joint construction and implementation of policies on sustainable mountain development, will only be possible with an underlying political pact. In this case, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), may eventually provide this opportunity, if it takes on and supersedes the role of the CAN (and Mercosur to a lesser extent) across the continent. UNASUR has only just been created as a political entity, and although the potential for such integration is clearly set out in its statutes and proposed commissions, it is still too early to comment on its effectiveness. What is important, however, at this crucial initial stage, is that issues relative to mountains are clearly set out on UNASUR?s agenda by the member countries.

? Economic systems
Given the importance of extractive industries in the economies of the Andean countries, and the perceived incompatibility of many of these with sustainable development, a major challenge relates to how resources are valued, and how benefits are distributed. Economic systems need to incorporate the real value of resources, including the full process used to obtain benefit (e.g. extractive industries, water provision) and include retribution systems taking this value into account. Retribution systems and benefit sharing, understood as mechanisms based on dialogue and social consensus, not just economic schemes, must ensure that inhabitants benefit fairly and that ecosystems are adequately protected. For example, in the case of water provision from northern Andean paramos, a sustainable use must ensure protection and/or restoration upstream, often in areas which are far from the largest concentrations of users. In the case of mining, a responsible use must ensure adequate protection measures for ecosystems and inhabitants during exploitation and restoration at the close of activities.
Bringing about changes in economic models is perhaps the hardest, but most important challenge for sustainable mountain development. The challenge of determining the capacity of Andean systems to support these economic models must be addressed under criteria of sustainability. However, given the important mineral reserves still within the Andean mountain region, it seems very unlikely that economic models will change in the short to medium term unless governments radically change their policies.

? Intra- and inter-institutional dialogue
A further major challenge identifies strengthening inter-institutional dialogues at a variety of scales and levels, both within and between public and civil society sectors. With regard to the changes in economic models mentioned above, a lack of dialogue between government sectors has been repeatedly recognised as a major limitation to sustainable mountain development. It is often the case in Andean countries that conflicts of interest and jurisdiction, sometimes resulting from hierarchies of authority, exist between and within the different government departments responsible for the environment, sustainable development , agriculture , mining and petroleum extraction. Improving joint agendas for responsible development is necessary between government sectors, and with the participation of the private sector, which often include multinational companies. Private companies also have an important role to play, and although practices and policies must be regulated by the state, existing private company strategies on biodiversity and social development, for example, could be further aligned with national policy.

? Decentralization
Trends in decentralization have been very positive for sustainable mountain development in many countries, with important benefits to environmental management and civil society participation at different levels. Implementation of strategies derived from international agreements at regional and local level has become a reality over 20 years, with strong local participation. It is often at this level where results are most tangible, for example, in improving livelihoods or in biodiversity conservation, underlining the importance of regional contexts to many development processes. However, maintaining these trends in decentralization and the opportunities for dialogue between national and regional level remains a challenge, given a certain dependence on changes within national politics or on periods of office of regional and national governments (e.g. changes in governors, political parties), rather than a reliance on institutionalised state policies.

? Research agendas and traditional knowledge
Universities have an important contribution to make to achieving sustainable mountain development. Areas where challenges exist include further alignment of research agendas with policy gaps and priorities; more emphasis on including traditional Andean knowledge; and better dialogue with government and NGO sectors. Research is necessary in all areas of sustainable mountain development in order to ensure that decisions are based on sound knowledge, whether its source is scientific or traditional. However, research agendas at universities are not always in line with the priority needs of policy makers. In the case that universities want to contribute to decision-making processes through research results, dialogue is needed on the part of both those who set and communicate the priorities and those who ensure that ensuing results are fed back to decision makers in an suitable format.

Traditional knowledge, for example, social dynamics of Andean families, farming techniques and irrigation systems, are increasingly valued in processes related to sustainable development. The variety of farming techniques, for example, is an important source for adaptation measures related to changes in climate.

Recuperating traditional crops also has untold potential in terms of feeding populations, including up to global scales, given the importance of the Andes as centres of crop origin. Already, small scale-projects have been successful in regaining esteem among communities as to the value of traditional crops, in economic and nutritional terms. Making sure these pilot schemes are communicated and fed back into policy is an important, and sometimes neglected part of a project cycle or loop.

? Specific mountain initiatives
Significant progress has been made in specific sustainable mountain development initiatives in the Andes, both within civil society and the state sector, albeit relatively few exist. A lack of continuity in others, is also, to some degree, an indicator of the relative importance placed on the subject on the part of both public and civil society sectors. Furthermore, there has been little interaction between different initiatives in the region, even though in many, the same actors or focal points are involved. Before creating more specific initiatives in sustainable mountain development in the region, two points should be addressed, the inclusion of specific mountain themes in existing initiatives (and national policies) as a way to increase awareness of the importance of mountains, and to ensure that mountains are treated on a par with other thematic issues, and that greater interaction between existing initiatives makes their implementation more efficient. Nevertheless, there is still scope for more regional initiatives, such as monitoring and information systems, but ensuring that existing institutional frameworks, such as CONDESAN, the Andean Community, the Mountain Partnership, or the Strategy on High Andean Wetlands are used.

Interactions could also span continents, across northern South America and southern Central America, where obvious cultural similarities exist, for example, between Panama and Colombia, and biogeographic affinities, for example, in paramo ecosystems in Costa Rica and northern South America.

? Regional information sources
Compiled regional information on the Andean countries is generally lacking, and to an even greater extent on the mountain region of these countries. Although much information exists at country level, without time- and resource-intensive processes to consolidate this at regional level (e.g. ensuring compatible scales, methods etc.) comparisons are difficult to draw. This applies to many different topics, from landscape changes to legal frameworks. A regional information system, incorporating monitoring results of environmental, social and economic indicators and compiled, standardized information at regional level would improve decision making processes within existing initiatives.

? Water and climate change
Other challenges cover cross-cutting issues, such as climate change, water and rural livelihoods. Without a doubt, water availability is a critical issue in most of the Andean region, increasingly affected by, and highly vulnerable to, changes in climate. Ensuring adequate water availability throughout the year is already becoming noticeably difficult in some regions. Pilot processes have been successful in increasing water availability through integral river basin and water management, such as alternative irrigation systems. As mentioned above, it is important that these type of projects are adequately communicated and fed back into policy and decision making arenas. At a larger scale, research is still needed to evaluate the full effect of changing climate on glaciers, paramo, puna and montane forests with regard to water availability throughout the region, however, it will be almost a race between obtaining the information and implementing suitable adaptation mechanisms, where possible, undoubtedly with elements of risk involved. An important factor here is to use existing experiences where changes in climate have already led to adaptation measures. In general, research on climate change is still troubled by uncertainly, especially regarding future climate models for the Andes, requiring more emphasis on the development of regional models.

The effects of climate change also need to be considered across policies and initiatives, for example, with regard to large scale infrastructure development related to agriculture (e.g. some projects within the Regional South American Integration Initiative) where changes in climate must be related to crop suitability in the future. As adaptation measures are implemented, a major challenge relates to upscaling or rolling out initiatives after pilots have been implemented without adequate timescales to allow for monitoring to provide sufficient data to assess their effectiveness. However, given the estimated timescales for changes in climate taking place in the Andes, a balance must be reached between waiting for monitoring results and having enough time for implementation. Care must also be taken that other issues are not marginalised by an increasing focus on climate change, for example, with regard to habitat loss, which remains the most important cause of threat to species and hydrology in the region.

? Funding and international cooperation
In terms of funding, international cooperation in the region has remained stable, but decreased as a percentage of GDP in all countries, and is not expected to increase. Some cooperation programmes are also in their final stages as global priorities shift. Moreover, economic crises, for example of 2008-2009, have recently hit North America and Europe harder than South America, and caused instability in funding sources and international cooperation from the north. A new, more strategic model of cooperation, going beyond the traditional approach, needs to be implemented, where cooperation catalyses processes rather than funds projects.

Achieving financial stability, and fairer distribution of wealth is a fundamental factor in achieving sustainable development. In this sense, given the enormous wealth of the region, the challenge is also very related to developing alternative economic models (for example, considering stability rather than growth, as important indicators or that outlined in green economy model) which include both the provision of funding within countries and technical cooperation from within the region as well as South- South cooperation (e.g. with Africa, Himalaya). Models also need to include greater capacity to respond to changing environments (e.g. climate change, financial instability), and systems such as adaptive management could become increasingly important in many different scenarios.

3.2 Summary of key challenges and recommendations for sustainable mountain development in the Andes

The key challenges and recommendations are summarised below, grouped into the two broad themes of strengthening institutional frameworks and improving knowledge and information systems, as well as cross- cutting themes.

3.2.1 Strengthening institutional frameworks

? Institutionalised and regulated framework for incorporating real values of renewable and non-renewable resource exploitation into economic models, especially those based on mining and petroleum extraction.
o Achieve socially and environmentally responsible mining (combat illegal mining, consolidate regulations, change attitudes), with special focus on ensuring proper conciliation and dialogue between sectors (e.g. mining, local communities, conservation)
o Design, implement and/or consolidate retribution systems to protect (restore, if necessary) and transfer benefits to mountain areas and inhabitants from resources generated within them, e.g. regulatory function in water cycle of high Andean ecosystems, royalties from mining in the Andes

? Inter-institutional and inter-sectoral dialogue within and between governments (national and regional level), especially important where conflicts of interests, jurisdictions and authorities exist, e.g. between Agriculture, Environment and Mining authorities within government.
o Strengthen or create mechanisms for inter-institutional dialogue within countries, e.g. between universities and local government, between local and national government

? Increase presence of mountains on political agendas o Emphasis on regional participation from mountain areas in the national political agenda
o Achieve policies on mountains which are integrated with national policies (not separate)
o Consolidate an ecosystem approach to sustainable development in mountain areas, determining compatible and incompatible land uses with sustainable mountain development

? Ensure decentralization continues to provide benefits.

? Consolidate or create specific national or regional mountain initiatives, derived from national policies or regional agreements, in areas such as vulnerability to climate change, biodiversity conservation, monitoring systems, combating poverty, avoiding emigration from mountain areas, etc, using existing frameworks, e.g. Mountain Partnership, High Andean Wetland Strategy, etc.
o Build on and consolidate CBD Program of Work on Mountains, ensuring full coverage of this program across Andean countries.
o Use regional platforms, such as CONDESAN, to facilitate formulation and implementation of sustainable development strategies

? Improved institutional frameworks for risk management (economic, natural disasters, extreme climate events, etc)

3.2.2 Improving knowledge and information systems

? Integrate local and traditional knowledge into existing mechanisms for knowledge management, e.g. routes for incorporating research results into policy.
o Ensure traditional knowledge is adequately covered by university research agendas
o Recuperate and create awareness of the real value of knowledge on Andean family dynamics, social structure and farming methods, especially as input for climate change adaptation measures, alternative incomes, improving rural livelihoods, etc.

? Enable research priorities and research results to be communicated between decision makers and research institutes/universities

? Implement a monitoring and information system at Andean level geared to support decision making, incorporating environmental, social and economic indicators (including climate change and adaptation), with participation from universities and governments
o Include a special emphasis on planning for extreme climate events in mountain areas

? Achieve further integration of, and dialogue between specific mountain initiatives in the Andes
o Revitalise national mountain committees where necessary
o Further relations between north South America and Mesoamerica (especially south) building on cultural and biogeographic similarities

? Continue to cover gaps in knowledge of current situations, given that the most important source of uncertainty on future scenarios is due to this lack of information.

Measure volume of flow to measure effectiveness of integrated water resource management, as well as other indicators such as area of forest planted/restored, upstream protection, etc.

3.2.3 Cross-cutting challenges

? Year-round water availability, especially in climate change context.

? Implement adaptation measures to climate change, with emphasis on the most vulnerable mountain regions

? Food security - priorities for rural Andean inhabitants

? Land ownership. There is an increasing amount of foreign investment in land in the Andes, especially in the south, if inhabitants do not own land, they are left out of decision making processes.

? Financial stability for sustainable mountain development

? Continued and increasing participation on part of civil society



20 years of Sustainable Mountain Development in the Andes

  Executive Summary 

1. State of the Andes 

 The Andes mountains, understood as the contiguous mountain region of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile,  Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, run over 8000 km, down the length of South America, with an  area of more than 2,500,000 km2, (33% of total country areas) and a population of almost 85 million (45%  of total country populations), making the northern part, the most populated mountain region in the  world. 
 However, the Andes are an incredibly diverse and heterogeneous area, in terms of cultures, biodiversity  and economic systems, with large differences between countries.  
 Some of the most biodiverse regions of the planet, and areas of highest species endemisms exist in the  Andes, important centres of crop origins are also present. 
 The Andes are incredibly important for the economies of the seven countries, providing agricultural area,  mineral resources, and water (for agriculture, hydroelectricity and domestic use), and some of the largest  business centres of South America. 
 Some of the poorest areas, and with the most challenging living conditions exist in the Andes, especially  in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. 
 Pressures on natural resources in the Andes result from expanding populations, expanding agricultural  areas and intensity, and increasing mineral extraction. 
 Climate change will exacerbate other pressures in some mountain areas, for example in more erratic  rainfall patterns, changes in water regulation capacity, especially of high altitude ecosystems and in the  south, melting glaciers, and changes in climatic suitability for some crops, (although not all areas are  equally affected, and some may benefit), and increasing extinction risk to biodiversity. 

  2. Progress on implementing sustainable mountain development,  incorporating recommendations 

 National policies, resulting from Rio 92 have been implemented in all Andean countries, and at regional  level in Andean Community countries, with many favourable aspects for SMD, albeit, not specific to  mountains.  
 Recent regional level policies (often resulting from above point), decentralisation and increased  opportunities for participation of civil society have also played an important role, although dependence  on aspects such as electoral periods, governing parties, makes implementation in some areas difficult. 
 Regional initiatives on SMD, such as organizations, academic meetings and supranational agreements  have increased greatly over the last 20 years and supported awareness raising, knowledge sharing, and  implementation of international agreements. 
 National parks, protected area systems, other conservation areas, and  instruments for biodiversity conservation, both through state and civil society  processes, have increased greatly in the last 20 years. Although issues still remain  with regard to effectiveness of their protection, the recent participative processes in identifying and  declaring sites has undoubtedly furthered awareness of environmental conservation and its importance  on livelihoods in mountain regions. 
 Mining represents an opportunity for development, but presently is often not implemented in a  responsible manner, and benefits do not always reach mountain areas where mining takes place 
 Management of water resources in the Andes has seen novel initiatives at a variety of scales, from micro‐ basin to administrative divisions, but uncertainty in water availability, and conflicts of resource use are  still a threat to SMD. 
 Approaches to SMD have evolved, e.g. ecosystem approach to biodiversity conservation, increasing  importance of livelihood concerns within conservation (e.g. incorporation of more social issues into  conservation); international cooperation projects have changed in the last 20 years, with a recent focus  on incorporating learning processes into institutional frameworks (e.g. in policies and programmes) at  both national, regional and local level. 
 Academic and traditional knowledge has played an important role in supporting SMD, gaps still exist in  applying knowledge, and although the value of traditional knowledge is increasingly recognised and  understood, this does not flow into general practice.   

3. Key Challenges and recommendations 

Strengthening institutional frameworks 

 Increase dialogue between government sectors, and government levels 
 Increase inter‐institutional dialogue 
 Further institutionalisation of participation instruments 
 Raise awareness of mountain issues on political agendas 
 Consolidate or create specific mountain initiatives where appropriate 
 Regional integration ‐ role of CAN, UNASUR 

  Improving knowledge and information systems 

 Increase availability of academic and traditional knowledge for specific SMD purposes and decision  making   Coordinate research priorities for implementing SMD   Consolidate or create specific national or regional mountain initiatives   Research and monitoring of climate change adaptation mechanisms, especially with regard to water  availability   Decision support systems ‐ helping to bridge gap between science and policy      

                  ABOUT CONDESAN   

Lead questions 

  1. When and by whom was the institution created?   

CONDESAN was created in 1993 by a group of institutions that was promoted for the International Potato Center  (CIP) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). In 1995 it becomes an ecoregional program of  Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).   

CONDESAN  has  evolved  into  a  new  organizational  structure  and  since  September  2009  it  has  been  an  independent regional research for development platform, disengaged from Consultative Group on International  Agricultural Research CGIAR and its host center, the International Potato Center (CIP).   

2. Why and with which purpose (out of which rationale/necessity)? 

  In the beginning CONDESAN was created in order to determine appropriate strategies for action to promote the  development  of  Andean  agro‐ecosystem,  which  in  turn  establish  a  proper  relationship  between  the  research  actions and stakeholders.   

Currently, CONDESAN has mission to mobilize the wealth of the Andes, in order to overcome poverty and social  exclusion.  It  seeks  to  create  and  share  information  and  knowledge  about  the  environment  in  Andean  rural  societies,  to  promote  policy  dialogues  with  local  actors,  national  governments,  and  regional  organisms,  and  to  strengthen Andean human and institutional capital in order to promote new leaders for sustainable development  on the Andes.   

3. What has it achieved so far? Which are its major concetre achievements and impacts? 

  CONDESAN  has  evolved  as  a  regional  organization  focusing  on  issues  concerning  sustainable  development  and  environmental management. Its activities help to broaden knowledge about natural resources and the way they  are  used  in  the  Andes  and  provide  spaces  for  reflection  and  consultation  among  Andean  communities,  civil  society, local governments, and national and regional policymakers.    

CONDESAN is renowned for its ability to generate regional views and to position, on the public agenda, the main  challenges  in  environmental  management  that  cut  across  political  and  administrative  boundaries.  It  is  also  recognized  for  its  contribution  to  the  political  changes  in  territorial  planning  (Cajamarca),  the  water  rights  laws  (Bolivia),  the  conservation  of  camelids  (Peru),  the  conservation  of  Paramo  (Colombia,  Ecuador,  Peru),  among  others.   

InfoAndina, has over 15 years of experience and currently it is recognized by international organizations as leader  in  the  management  of  information  on  sustainable  development  in  the  Andes.  It  has  an  infrastructure  of  information technology that supports various regional and global initiatives (   

4. Which were major obstacles encountered or unexpected supports received?   

Retraction  of  financing  from  international  cooperation  for  some  countries  in  the  region  because  the  international  financial  crisis  and  progress  in  macro  economic  indicators  of  some  countries  in  the  region.  This  involves  greater  efforts  to  obtain  resources,  increased  fragmentation  of  projects  and  more  administrative  burden.   

Increased political polarization in the region for economic models, this polarization can also be found at the  subnational level and cause social conflicts and demands of local populations.  The speed at which information flows exceeds the rate at which it can be processed and disseminated by  conventional means, but on the other hand the costs of infrastructure and connectivity necessary to take  advantage the new media make it difficult to use.    

5.  How  has  the  institutions  developed  (e.g.  changes  in  scope,  magnitude  of  funding,  number  of  members,  geographical coverage, etc.)?   

CONDESAN  has  evolved  as  a  regional  organization  focusing  on  issues  concerning  sustainable  development  and  environmental  management  in  the  Andes.  So  it  has  participated  in  national,  regional  and  global  projects,  in  Andean countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru y Venezuela.   

CONDESAN  works  in  7  regional  initiatives  (,  with  the  participation  about  100  organizations  of  Andean  region,  like  universities,  research  institutes,  social  organizations  not  governmental, public institutions, foundations and international donors. Therefore, CONDESAN has promoted a  networking as well as a multidisciplinary work and the interest in achieving of quality and efficiency in managing  of  these  projects  and  initiatives,  have  led  to  form  a  diverse  team  of  nearly  40  people  in  a  gender  ratio  of  53%  women and 47% male.   

CODESAN  also  keeps  a  strong  link  with  global  and  regional  projects  and  programs  that  are  related  issues  for  sustainable development of the Andes: Mountain Partnership, Challenge Program on Water and Food, Mountain  Forum, Global Water Partnership, Permanent Research Seminar Agrarian, AGRORED, FAO‐AIMS, among others.   

6. What are future challenges, opportunities, and plans?   

The combined effects of the increasing number of investment projects that consider natural capital as a strategic  asset,  global  environmental  change,  the  expansion  of  large‐scale  extractive  industries,  and  the  evolution  of  political,  economic,  and  social  integration  processes  on  multiple  scales,  will  generate  unequally  distributed  restrictions and opportunities for the different human communities living in the Andean region.   

It  is  imperative  to  analyze  the  relations  between  social  and  environmental  systems  in  order  to  have  a  better  understanding  of  the  degree  of  vulnerability  of  rural  Andean  populations.  At  the  same  time,  it  is  necessary  to  maintain a critical approach regarding the significant differences existing among the inhabitants of rural areas.   

Extractive activities and their negotiation systems are becoming more and more distant to control of people living  in the Andes. This forces to pay attention to the generation of relevant information that facilitates the creation of  dialogue  spaces  between  public  and  private  productive  sectors,  local  and  national  governments  and  local  populations.   

However, there is growing interest in issues related to the environment which is encouraging a strengthening of  government  ministries  and  agencies  specializing  in  the  area.  The  same  is  from  the  private  sector  where  more  companies are taking direct action for the environment.   

On  the  other  hand,  through  the  development  and  availability  of  Technology  Information  and  Communications,  facilitates the creation of virtual networks for development. Similarly, there will be an increase in these networks  that  could  build  and  enrich  a  growing  flow  of  information  and  transfer  of  skills  involved  in  subnational  governments.   

Cooperation  for  development  is  looking  again  the  connection  between  research  and  development  as  a  key  to  improving  the  impact  of  the  intervention.  It  is  expected  to  stagnate  available  resources  of  international  cooperation but the growth of available resources within their own governments to research and development  actions. There is a tendency for development grants not only to direct actions to eliminate poverty but also to the  consolidation of collective action settings with more integrals interventions and longer term.   

In this context, CONDESAN aspires to be recognized as the most effective Andean platform articulating the efforts  of  multiple  actors  at  different  levels.  It  offers  alternatives  to  the  Andean  people  in  order  to  integrate  their  development strategies into the environment so they can benefit from the economic opportunities arising from  the preservation of biodiversity, secure their food, understand the processes of environmental and sociopolitical  change, and participate in the design of adaptation strategies that enable them to improve their well‐being.   

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