Studying sustainable development of mountain ecosystems Enhancing scientific research on mountain ecosystems Strengthening technology exchange related to highland ecology
The fundamental characteristic of mountain ecosystems throughout the world, is its extreme internal variability and complexity, with a multiplicity of highly localized microecosystems, providing the habitats for many unique crop varieties, range pastures and animal species. This diversity of genetic resources, now threatened by a combination of pressures, is clearly one of the key factors in the long term sustainability of mountain agriculture on marginal lands, often situated in the most difficult and intractable environments.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends generating and strengthening knowledge about the ecology and sustainable development of mountain ecosystems. It also recommends encouraging regional, national and international networking of people's initiatives and the activities of international, regional and local non-governmental organizations working, for example, on mountain development, such as the UN University (UNU), the Woodland Mountain Institutes (WMI), the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the International Mountain Society (IMS), the African Mountain Association and the Andean Mountain Association, besides supporting those organizations in exchange of information and experience.
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