RIO DE JANEIRO: Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has stressed that the current global challenges of protecting and conserving environmental goods and services, improving livelihood opportunities with greener growth and resilience in mountains should be a priority agenda at the local, national, regional and international levels.
Such a need is more acute among the mountainous countries because of their fragility, high level of poverty, and disproportionate impacts of natural and human induced disasters.
Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai said this while addressing a high-level meeting of the Mountain countries (Mountains and Rio+20) co-organised by Nepal, Peru and Switzerland on Thursday.
‘Poverty in mountains is at a much higher level than in any other regions around the world, so adaptation and sustainable natural resource management will be an important means of promoting sustainable livelihood in the mountains’, said the Prime Minister.
Presenting the fact that more than 12 per cent of the world population directly depends on the mountains for livelihood and over half of the global population for fresh water, the Prime Minister further said the conservation and promotion of mountain ecosystems is to shape the common future of the whole of humanity.
‘Research, learning and exchange of information and the best practices to promote interface among traditional knowledge, science and policy, capacity building, technical expertise and innovation are critical for sustainable mountain development’, Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai further explained, calling for enhanced level of collaboration and networking among specialised regional and international institutions.
In his address to the representatives of mountainous countries across the globe, he asserted mountains have to be an important and integral part in setting the stage for a new development agenda beyond 2015, as well as for defining sustainable development goals.
The Prime Minister also pledged to regularly follow-up the outcome of the Rio+20 on mountain issues and effectively implement plans and programmes in the days ahead.
He said the event would help share the best practices and lessons learned among ourselves in the context of sustainable development and garner necessary support for the mountain countries from the international community in a more coherent manner.
As a chair of the event, Minister for Environment Dr. Keshav Man Shakya expressed the commitment to work together with others to promote mountain agenda at all international forums.
‘Human beings and mountains are inextricably linked and therefore they need to be looked at in an integrated manner, which requires coordinated efforts from all sides’, he further said.