05.05.2014 - Natural Sciences Sector

Mountains as the water towers of the world: A call for action on the SDGs

This policy brief was issued by the Mountain Partnership in April 2014 and calls for mountains to be recognized in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It highlights mountains as resource providers to a significant proportion of the global population, particularly as the ‘water towers’ of the world.

The role and significance of mountains, particularly to the global community, and the impacts of climate change that threaten these vulnerable ecosystems have also been emphasized in the Rio+20 Summit outcome document “The Future We Want” that includes a specific chapter on "mountains", thus recognizing its specific role.

UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) contributes to improving resilience to global change, particularly climate change, through improved understanding of vulnerabilities, opportunities and potentials for adaptation, and the development of strategies and policies based on scientific evidence-based knowledge in major mountain regions of Africa, Asia, Europe and Americas.

The publication of the policy brief is a product of a widespread cooperation of UNESCO-IHP together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS), the Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Bern (CDE), and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and many other partners from around the globe.

Download the policy brief (pdf, 1.8 MB)

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