Sustainable Mountain Development is the subject of
Chapter 13 of Agenda 21, which notes that mountains are an important
source of water, energy, biological diversity, key resources, such as
minerals, forest products and agricultural products, and of recreation.
Mountain environments represent major ecosystems which are essential to
the survival of the global ecosystem, but they are rapidly changing.
Many global mountain areas are experiencing environmental
degradation. At the same time, about ten percent of the world's
population depends directly on mountain resources, and a much larger
percentage draws on mountain resources, including and especially water.
On 10 November 1998, the General Assembly proclaimed the Year 2002 as
the International Year of Mountains, by adopting without a vote, a draft
resolution recommended by the Economic and Social Council.
Chapter 13 includes two programme areas to further elaborate the
problem of fragile mountain ecosystems: these are (1) generating and
strengthening knowledge about the ecology and sustainable development of
mountain ecosystems; and (2) promoting integrated watershed development
and alternative livelihood opportunities.
Sustainable mountain development was discussed at the
of the Commission on Sustainable Development and the
Session of the General Assembly. Within the framework of the
multi-year programme of work, it will next be taken up at the
CSD-20/21 sessions in 2012/2013.