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UNIS/OUS/051
27 October 2010

Finding the Best Way to Protect Mountains

High-level Side Event at the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Tenth Meeting (CBD COP10) in Nagoya, Japan

NAGOYA/VIENNA, 27 October (UN Information Service) - The protection of fragile mountain environments is being discussed at a Mountain Partnership high-level side event to be held during the Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP10) in Nagoya, Japan (from 18 to 29 October).

Among the participants are the Executive Director of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Ahmed Djoghlaf and the Austrian Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Nikolaus Berlakovich along with other high-level representatives from around the world. In his statement Minister Berlakovich addresses the need to define and implement mountain-to-mountain cooperation programmes for improving the exchange of information and best practices between mountain regions.

Mountain environments are essential to the survival of the global ecosystem. But mountains are also very fragile and are, now more than ever, experiencing environmental degradation from soil erosion, landslides, loss of habitats and species, and genetic diversity. In addition, they are particularly vulnerable to pressing changes such as global warming. Regional cooperation in mountainous areas has proved to be the right approach to protect mountains as storehouses of biological diversity and endangered species.

The Alpine and Carpathian Conventions together with the Convention on Biological Diversity and other partners are bringing together high-level representatives of states, Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) and other relevant institutions and alliances worldwide to explore the best way to protect the biodiversity of mountain environments by highlighting activities in different mountain regions of the world. The ongoing cooperation in the Alpine region, the Balkans and Dinaric, the Carpathian region, the Andes, the Himalayas, the mountains of Africa and other mountain regions can be a source of inspiration for cooperation between mountain regions on a wider scale.

Examples include the promotion of regional mountain agreements following the model of the Alpine Convention and the Carpathian Convention, cooperation between mountain regions to establish Green Infrastructure and the promotion of Green Economy, the use of space based applications for mountain observation, or the promotion of mountain partnerships between different regions of the world.

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Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians: Signed in 2003 by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic and Ukraine. Entered into force in 2006. Protocol on Biodiversity in force since 2010. Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (ISCC) is hosted by Austria and provided by UNEP in Vienna. More information to be found at www.carpathianconvention.org or www.unep.at

Memorandum of Cooperation between the Carpathian Convention, the Alpine Convention and the CBD: Signed in 2008 at CBD COP9 in Bonn. Besides cooperation targeting their respective regions, the MoC also calls on the three Secretariats to engage in joint projects to support developing countries and countries with economies in transition in the implementation of the Programme of work on Mountain Biodiversity of the CBD, and calls also on UNEP as the Environmental Reference Centre of the Mountain Partnership to support this process.

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For more information, please contact:

Veronika Hopfgartner
UNEP Vienna - ISCC
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5620
Email: veronika.hopfgartner@unvienna.org