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Why Greening the Mountain Sector is a Priority
13/ 12/ 2011

Why Greening the Mountain Sector is a PriorityGeneva, 9 December 2011- Glaciers in the four biggest mountain ranges in the world (Andes, Himalayas, Alps and Rockies) are melting at unprecedented rates. New forms of collaboration between governments, the private sector and local communities are urgently needed to meet this challenge and to promote the sustainable development of mountain ecosystems...

World-renowned mountaineers, the UN Environment Programme, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and mountain organisations and residents from around the world are gathering for The World Mountain Forum, which opens today in Verbier, Switzerland

The event takes place six months ahead of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20), where the Green Economy, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, will be a central pillar.

Because of their importance to poverty eradication, environmental sustainability and economic growth, mountain ecosystems have a special role in the transition to a low carbon, resource-efficient Green Economy.

With the support of the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, the World Mountain Forum in collaboration with UNEP, the Fondation pour le Développement Durable des Régions de Montagne (FDDM), the BOTZA Association, the private sector and the Commune de Bagnes, will also launch a new public private partnership initiative that will support sustainable mountain development efforts around the world. Famous mountaineers, like David Breashears, will be present. He has summited Everest five times and has devoted the last four years to recording losses and changes to the Himalayan glaciers, which are inaccessible to all but the most skilled climbers.

Media are invited to attend the World Mountain Forum which will take place in Verbier from 9 to 11 December 2011.

A workshop on Friday 6 December will explore cutting- edge clean technology solutions in the areas of renewable energy, sustainable aquaculture, water desalinisation. On Sunday 11 December the Forum will use live streaming to connect conservation experts, local governments, the private sector, UN and government officials in the Himalaya, Andes, Canadian Rockies and Alpine Arc to discuss new approaches in mountain conservation.

For more information, please contact:

Isabelle Valentiny, Information Officer for UNEP in Europe - +41 79 251 82 36

Or Samantha Bolton +41 79 239 2366

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