The online launching event of the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development 2022, “Mountains Matter: for people and the planet” took place on April 28, 2022.
The global high-level event officially launched the celebrations of the Year and was moderated by Jake Norton, Mountain Partnership Goodwill Ambassador, climber, photographer and filmmaker.
The event featured high-level speeches by QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General, Sadyr Japarov, President, Kyrgyz Republic, António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, just to mention a few, and ended with a speech by a young volunteer, Dilshodbegim Khusravova, Mountain Partnership Youth Goodwill Ambassador, from Aga Khan Agency for Habitat.
As you all know, the United Nations General Assembly declared the year 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development, at the proposal of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The resolution titled “International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development, 2022” invites Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, other international organisations and stakeholders, including civil society, private sector and academia, to observe the International Year to increase awareness of the importance of sustainable mountain development and the conservation and sustainable use of mountain ecosystems. It also invites the Mountain Partnership, in collaboration with all relevant organizations, to facilitate the observance of the International Year.
The year 2022 also marks the 20th anniversary from the first International Year ever devoted to mountains (International Year of Mountains 2002) as well as the 20th anniversary of the Mountain Partnership.
The International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development 2022 is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the role of mountains and mountain people for our planet and for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It is a chance to catalyse action and investments to build the resilience of mountain communities and ecosystems in the spirit of the 2030 Agenda: leave no one behind.
The Kyrgyz Republic will also promote an initiative for the adoption of a five-year action plan for the development of mountain regions at the United Nations.
Mountain areas cover 27% of the Earth’s land surface, they provide over half of the world’s population with water, they host 25% of all terrestrial biodiversity, they are home to almost 1 billion people, they account for 23% of the world’s forests and for 20% of tourism worldwide. They deserve all our attention and respect.
Mountains matter for us all, for people and the planet.