- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Submission Document: Download
- Additional Document:
Please find the submission for UNCSD Rio+20 Summit on behalf of CEE Himalaya:
With the ?Humanity? touching the 7 billion mark, we are now forced to consider the carrying capacity of our planet and how judiciously we are using our resources. Mountains, the water towers of earth and repository of natural resources cover about one fourth of planet?s terrestrial landmass accommodating approximately 10 per cent of the world's population. More than half of the world's people depend directly or indirectly on mountains. The demand for goods and services from mountains is growing exponentially while the ability of mountain systems to provide essential goods and services is increasingly under threat from climate change, globalization, a chronic lack of investment and ongoing land degradation.
CEE Himalaya, the Himalayan Initiative of Centre for Environment Education (CEE), India was established in 2002 to coincide with the International Year of Mountains. It promotes environmental awareness on fragile mountain ecosystems and builds capacities towards sustainable development. CEE?s primary objective is to develop and implement innovative programmes towards improving the quality of environment and the life. CEE undertakes demonstration projects in education, communication and development that endorse attitudes, strategies and technologies that are environmentally sustainable. CEE works in partnership with local governmental, non-governmental and community based organisations utilizing their complementary strength and avoiding duplication of efforts. Youth, women and students are the important target groups.
As a member of Mountain Partnership CEE recognizes that despite the progress that has been made in promoting sustainable development of mountain regions, national and international development agendas still treat mountains, if at all, as marginal environments. Due to lack of appropriate development mountain communities are still marginalized and poverty rates are higher than in non-mountain areas.
Development of mountain areas is important for mountain people as well as for people downstream. There is lack of knowledge about the mountain systems in developing countries, which is a bottleneck for making development plans. Current understanding about socio-economics, institutional and biodiversity in mountain areas is still very limited. There are large gaps in knowledge about climate change, deforestation and exploitative agricultural, mining and tourism practices, development of non-agricultural opportunities, pollution, population growth, gender-related issues, armed conflict, the unique aspects of space and micro environmental variations and their implications on development, biodiversity, mountain genetic resources, landslides and soil erosion. Far greater efforts are needed to understand them.
CEE appeals for enhancing the global political commitment that translates into increased investments tailored to mountain regions to provide direct benefits for poor mountain communities and indirectly humanity as a whole. Hence, sustainable mountain development, notably through integrated and socially inclusive policies, as well as low carbon technologies, should have a prominent place in the Rio 2012 agenda and in particular in its final declaration. To achieve these ends strong and united advocacy for mountain issues with tangible results in future UNCSD negotiations is essential.