Mountain Biodiversity Day


One voice to protect Mountains, Wildlife and People in times of global change

13 January 2021
Interactive online event
9 AM – 5:30 PM (CET)

With their rich biodiversity and vital ecosystems, mountains play a key role for the well-being of people worldwide and for the protection of biodiversity on a global scale. However, these precious environments are strongly exposed to climate change, pollution and land use changes that threaten their flora and fauna as well as local mountain communities. Effective tools and mechanisms are needed to protect mountain biodiversity. Mountain regions can offer multiple approaches for adaptation and sustainable responses to climate change that strengthen the resilience of wildlife and people. The Alpine and Carpathian Convention, as the two mountain conventions, can provide valuable insights into interregional coordination and can give incentives to join forces in protecting precious mountain environments.  

The one-day event offers a platform for discussions between experts and representatives from mountain regions all over the world, working in the field of biodiversity, with a strong focus on mountains. The main goal is to share experiences, identify shared challenges and showcase best-practice examples and solutions from various regional perspectives. As an outcome of the event, a Joint message on the importance of protecting global mountain biodiversity will be developed to be then taken forward to major global events such as the IUCN World Conservation Congress

Join the event to make the Mountain Voice even louder!

Please see the ovierview of the event hereDetailed programme see below. 



The Mountain Biodiversity Day is hosted by the outgoing French Presidency of the Alpine Convention in cooperation with the French Presidency of the EU-Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP). The event is jointly coordinated by the Alpine Network of Protected Areas (ALPARC), the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention and the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention as well as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).




hosted by: outgoing French Presidency of the Alpine Convention in cooperation with the French Presidency of EUSALP 

organized by: outgoing French Presidency of the Alpine Convention, UNEP, Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention and ALPARC

Wednesday, 13th January 2021

Welcome & Introduction (9:00 – 9:20 CET)

  • Technical and logistical information 
  • Outgoing French Presidency of the Alpine Convention and Presidency of the Carpathian Convention 

Francesco Gaeta (Director of European and International Affairs/ Ministry of the Environment)

Bożena Haczek (Head of Unit, Department of Nature Conservation, Ministry of Climate and Environment of Poland)

  • Representative of the United Nations Environment Programme tbc

Moderation by Matthias Jurek & Musonda Mumba (United Nations Environment Programme)

Keynotes (9:20-9:40 CET)

  • Keynote: Perspectives from the United Nations Environment Programme on the global agenda for the protection of mountain biodiversity (Bruno Pozzi, Director Europe Office, United Nations Environment Programme)

  • Keynote: Mountain biological diversity, ecosystem services and mountain people in times of climate change: a perspective from the Eastern Himalayas (Dr. Nakul Chettri, Regional Programme Manager, Transboundary Landscape, ICIMOD)

Session 1: Mountains are rich – Biodiversity and local cultures (09:40 – 10:30 CET)

Word cloud with the audience

  • Video: “Capturing the Ghost” – Protection of snow leopards in Central Asia under UNEP’s Vanishing Treasures programme 
  • Indirect and direct drivers of change of mountain biodiversity and ecosystem service supply (Prof. Dr. Markus Fischer, Chair of Scientific Steering Committee, Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment)
  • Increasing socio-ecological resilience of mountains (Prof. Dr. Adrienne Grêt-Regamey, Mountain Research Initiative Co-Principal Investigator, ETH Zurich)  
  • The Hindu Kush Himalaya: A repository of biocultural diversity and global biodiversity hotspots (Srijana Joshi Rijal, Ecosystem Specialist, ICIMOD)

Coffee break I (10:30-10:45 CET)

Session 2: Mountains are exposed – Threats to biodiversity and mountain communities (10:45 – 11:35 CET)

Word cloud with the audience

  • Video on glacier loss on Kilimanjaro and with ice climber and UNEP Mountain Hero Will Gadd 

  • Central Asian mountains: Climate change, endangered mountain species and human-wildlife conflict (Mirzo N. Mirzoev, Conservationist Association of Nature Conservation Organizations of Tajikistan)

  • Andes: Threats of agrobiodiversity loss, climate action and food for health (Stef de Haan, Scientist Andean Food Systems & lead Andean Initiative, International Potato Center)

  • East Africa/Virunga: Conservation of mountain gorillas (under the perspective of land-use change, intensive agriculture, spreading of zoonotic diseases)

    Pauliina Upla (Associate Programme Officer UN Environment Programme) & Dr. James Byamukama (Program Coordinator, Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration)

Session 3: Mountains offer opportunities - Means for conservation (11:35 – 12:00 CET)

Interview sessions together with the audience: Approaches, solutions and best practices to increase resilience towards threats in mountains (climate change, habitat loss etc.)
  • Interview 1: Tiger conservation, water scarcity and community-based action 

Wildlife conservation and ecosystem-based adaptation in times of climate change under UNEP’s Vanishing Treasures programme in the Himalayas, Bhutan (Dr. Tshering Tempa, Director of the Bhutan Tiger Center under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests)

  • Interview 2: Landscape connectivity and protected areas 

Insights from projects on connectivity and Protected Areas management/ Centralparks and ConnectGREEN (Cristian Remus Papp, WWF & Isidoro De Bortoli, EURAC)

Coffee break II (12:00 – 12:15 CET)

Post-2020 SEGMENT

(12:15 – 13:00 CET) Elevating mountains: Joint message for the Post-2020 process of the Convention on Biological Diversity

 Moderation: Musonda Mumba, Matthias Jurek and Chris Walzer


  • Stéphanie Croguennec (Head of Department for Climate change and sustainable development, Ministry of the Ecological Transition, France, outgoing French Presidency of the Alpine Convention
  • Gabriel Quijandría Acosta (Minister of Environment, Ministry of the Environment of Peru, CBD national focal point) 
  • Bożena Haczek (Head of Unit, Ministry of Climate and Environment of Poland, CBD and Carpathian Convention national focal point, Polish Presidency of the Carpathian Convention) 
  • Michaela Künzl (Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment, EUSALP AG7 leader – Green Infrastructure ) 
  • Paolo Angelini (Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea of Italy, Chair of Alpine Biodiversity Board ) 
  • Gabriele Obermayr (Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology of Austria, CBD national focal point ) 
  • Francis Meri Sabino Ogwal (National Environment Management Authority of Uganda,  Co-Chair OEWG on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework) tbc
  • Raise awareness for mountain ecosystem restoration
  • Highlight common challenges and opportunities
  • Join forces to accelerate action
  • Message for the Post-2020 process and main biodiversity-related events 

LUNCH BREAK (13:00-14:00 CET)


hosted by: outgoing French Presidency of the Alpine Convention in cooperation with the French Presidency of EUSALP

organized by: outgoing French Presidency of the Alpine Convention

Welcome and introduction (14-14.30 CET)

  • Outgoing French Presidency of the Alpine Convention (Directorate of European and International Affairs, French Ministry of the Environment)

Stéphanie Croguennec (Head of Department for Climate Change and sustainable development, Ministry of the Environment, France) 

  • French Presidency of EUSALP

Christiane Barret (General delegate of the French EUSALP Presidency) 

  • Alpine Convention / Permanent Secretariat

Alenka Smerkolj (Secretary General of the Alpine Convention)

Thematic opening (14:30 – 15:00 CET)

  • Key-note speech and moderation of thematic sessions – Alpine biodiversity and actual threats

Prof. Dr. Chris Walzer (Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology; University of Veterinary Medecine Vienna / Executive Director of Health at the Wildlife Conservation Society, New York / USA)

  • Management of biodiversity in daily practical work

Dr. Massimo Bocca (Director Mont Avic Nature Park, Aosta / I)

  • Video clip illustrating the cooperation between the Alps and the Carpathians in terms of ecological connectivity 

Session 4: Alpine biodiversity, species and threats in times of global change (15:00 – 15:45 CET)

  • Alpine habitats and species – an outstanding but threatened world. Impacts of global change, adaptation strategies, wildlife management 

Dr. Francesca Cagnacci (Edmund March Fondation, Trento / I)

  • Long term ecological research in the European Alps to uncover effects of Global change (especially climate change and biological invasions)

Prof. Dr. Ingolf Kühn (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Halle / D)

Questions /Discussion 

Coffee break III (15:45 – 16:00 CET) 

Session 5: Alpine biodiversity – for the whole Alpine territory (16:00 – 16:45 CET)

  • Ecological connectivity in the Alps – a strategy to strengthen biodiversity for the whole Alpine space?

Dr. Ruedi Haller (Swiss National Park, Zernez / CH)

  • The use of forests as nature-based solution to better integrate protection of biodiversity, natural risks management and climate change mitigation in the Alps  

Cédric Conteau (National Agency for the cohesion of territories) & Sandrine Descotes-Genon (Region Auvergne Rhône-Alpes) & Cécile Cadet Direction Coopération Euro-Méditerranéenne (Region Sud Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur) / F

Questions /Discussion 

Session 6: Strategies to protect Alpine biodiversity – an intergenerational challenge (16:45 – 17:15 CET)

  • Podium Discussion: Which key elements for international cooperation to ensure biodiversity protection for generations to come? 


Bérangère Abba (State Secretary for Biodiversity, Ministry of the Ecological Transition, F) 

Alenka Smerkolj (Secretary General of the Alpine Convention, SI/Int)  

Harald Egerer (Secretary General of the Carpathian Convention, A / Int) 

Gudrun Bruckner (Young Professionals, Action Group 7, EUSALP, A) 

Rachel Lühti (Young Professionals, Action Group 7, EUSALP, CH) 

Paolo Angelini (Head of Alpine Biodiversity Board, Ministry of the Environment, I) 

Representatives Alpine Convention, Carpathian Convention and EUSALP, Young professionals on biodiversity and ecological connectivity 


 Bérangère Abba (State Secretary of Biodiversity, France)

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