International Conference on Green Economy and Sustainable Mountain Development: Opportunities and Challenges in View of Rio+20
5 Sep 2011 - 7 Sep 2011Sustainable Mountain Development and the Green Economy
A green economy could play a significant role in sustainable development of the mountains. Incentive-based mechanisms such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) and market-based mechanisms such as green certification and labelling for mountain niche products, green marketing, bio-prospecting, and ecotourism development create opportunities and challenges for mountain ecosystem services and for mountain people. However, these approaches are still in rudimentary stages and much needs to be achieved before the mountain people can benefit from the opportunities in a significant way. The green economy concept recognizes the value of ecosystems and their services and therefore its promotion provides a good opportunity for accelerating and expanding the benefits to mountain people for the vital ecosystem services they provide to the regional and global environment and economy. But to reap the potential benefits, appropriate policy and institutional mechanisms need to be put in place. Global and national environmental policy efforts, including Rio+20, can help in establishing suitable mechanisms for rewarding mountain communities to ensure a sustained flow of ecosystem services.
While mountains provide vital ecosystem services to the world, many mountain ecosystem services have no defined markets and prices. Their value in the local, national, and global economy and environmental protection is not properly recognized in national policy decisions and resource allocation.
Mountain people are among the poorest in the world, particularly in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region. The major contributing factors to poverty in mountain regions are a fragile environment and the inaccessibility and marginalization of the mountain people. More Information