The 2016 World Mountain Forum in Mbale (Uganda)

The 2016 World Mountain Forum (WMF)  took place from 17-20 October 2016, in Mbale,

Mountains of Uganda
(c) Hugues Thiébault

Uganda[1]. The theme of the year was ‘Mountains for our Future.’ It was organized by the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) and Uganda’s Ministry of Water and Environment. The Forum was preceded by an Africa Mountains Event, which highlighted key issues affecting mountain ecosystems and communities in Africa, notably poverty, climate change, food insecurity and land degradation.

The WMF 2016 was attended by 250 participants[2]. The sessions were on four themes: mountains and climate change; mountain communities and livelihoods; mountain ecosystem services; and sustainable mountain agriculture[3].

The Forum resulted in a “Mbale Call[4] for Scaling Up Action”, themed ‘Don’t leave the mountains behind,’ calling for the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and requesting specific attention to mountain regions.

According to the Call, upstream and downstream links should be strengthened, especially with regards to mountain ecosystem services; and the inclusion of mountains in international processes and negotiations should be promoted. It supports a dedicated chapter on mountains in the forthcoming Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Four publications were issued during the Forum: ‘Uganda Sustainable Mountain Development Strategy,’ published by Uganda’s Ministry of Water and Environment; ‘Sustainable Mountain Development in East Africa in a Changing Climate,’ published by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), GRID-Arendal, ARCOS and East African Community (EAC); ‘Climate Change Adaptation Strategies – An Upstream-Downstream Perspective,’ published by Sustainable Mountain Development for Global Change (SMD4GC); and ‘Towards an Integrated Approach to Nutrition Security in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region,’ published by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

The next World Mountain Forum will take place in 2018, in Central Asia.