Sustainable Mountain Development 1992, 2012, and Beyond: Rio+20 Assessment Report for the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region , SDC and Mountain Partnership Consortium members
by: International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

The report includes learning from 10 case studies on sustainable development programmes in forestry, watershed management, agriculture, clean energy, ecotourism, biodiversity, and community development. The studies suggest that biogas and micro-hydro for clean energy, community-based approaches for managing natural resources, ecotourism for equitable income distribution, organic agriculture, and watershed management for enhancing and sustaining productivity of ecosystem goods and services, are some of the best practices that can help attain sustainable development goals. The report also brings together the insights and expectations of hundreds of stakeholders on the green economy and institutional framework ? the two themes of the Rio+20 conference. The overall message is that these concepts were defined somewhere else and passed down to stakeholders and therefore lack clarity from a mountain perspective, and need elaboration and contextualization to match mountain specificities ? fragility, marginality, inaccessibility on the negative side and high adaptiveness and richness of niche ecosystem products and services on the positive side. It also echoes agreement on the need to look beyond Rio+20 and come up with actionable programmes and concrete proposals for embarking on the green growth and good environmental governance pathways focusing on participatory ecosystem management, integrated water resources, livelihood-based biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction as key themes. This would require investment by national and global agencies in creating green jobs through green projects, and policy reforms to incentivize agriculture, natural resources and enterprise development sectors facilitated by enabling policies, knowledge sharing, regional cooperation, environmental governance, and substantial and dependable support from the global community. To sum up, the HKH report calls for: ? adapting and developing good environmental governance systems for the HKH mountains taking into account their unique characteristics as `water towers? and `biodiversity hotspots? for addressing poverty reduction and enhancing human well being; ? reducing vulnerabilities and risk of HKH region and linking adaptation and resilience-building plans to sustainable development strategies by creating massive green jobs and developing green infrastructures such as managed forests and watersheds; ? empowering and assisting mountain communities to gain fair access to, and benefits from ecosystem goods and services they have been safeguarding as the primary stakeholders through mechanisms such as payment for ecosystem services; ? creating enabling institutional conditions and policy incentives to promote investment through public-private ventures with appropriate funding mechanisms and technological support for enhancing peoples? wellbeing and reducing disparities; ? strengthening national and regional institutions to facilitate upstream-downstream exchanges, trans-boundary cooperation, capacity building, and generating and disseminating knowledge, technical expertise and information for promoting SMD; and ? consolidating all new and existing funding mechanisms related to climate change, biodiversity, and MDGs for adequately funding SMD interventions in vulnerable and least developed mountain countries and regions.

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