The importance of regional cooperation in mountain regions as a tool to achieve Sustainable Mountain Development has been acknowledged in the Rio+20 outcome document. The outcome for mountains builds the basis for future action in the field of regional cooperation: strengthening of existing regimes such as the Alpine and Carpathian Conventions as well as the exploration of new arrangements and agreements, where appropriate. This achievement is the result of a common effort of the global mountain community promoted jointly by the two Conventions.
At the initiative of the Government of Peru,the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, CONDESAN and others, a Mountain Pavilion on sustainable mountain development (SMD) has been organized at Rio+20. It aimed to secure the political support for concrete SMD activities and programs at Rio+20 and beyond as well as to connect mountain stakeholders worldwide for information sharing, knowledge exchange and improving common SMD actions in the future. UNEP and the Carpathian Convention Secretariat have successfully participated in the Mountain Pavilion as coordinator of the theme “Investment in mountains”.
Among the highlights of the Rio+20 Conference is the HIgh-level Conference on " Regional cooperation: From Rio to Rio and Beyond" which took place after the official opening ceremony of the Pavilion on 20 June. By making reference to the Rio+20 outcome document, the event underscored the importance of regional cooperation for sustainable development in mountain regions. It was opened by HE Mr Peter Ziga, Minister of the Environment of the Slovak Republic (current presidency of the Carpathian Convention) and Mr. Wolfgang Waldner, State Secretary of the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, followed by an intensive discussion among important actors in the field of regional cooperation in mountains regions (including Mr Harald Egerer, Head of UNEP Vienna - Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention and Mr Marco Onida, Secretary General of the Alpine Convention).
Mountains under review: human alteration of landscapes, 16 June, 11.00 am. - 01.00 pm.
Investment in Mountains: Opportunities and Challenges, 17 June, 01.00 pm. - 03.00 pm.
Regional cooperation in mountains: From Rio to Rio and beyond, 20 June, 02.00 pm. - 03.00 pm.
Monitoring in Mountains - How can research feed policy for sustainable development, 16 June, 01.00 - 03.00 pm.
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Mountain connectivity - conservation across large scale landscapes, 17 June, 3.00 - 5.00 pm.