Sustainable Mountain Research and Development

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Mountains are a storehouse of biological diversity, water, energy, minerals and endangered species. As such, they are essential to the survival of the global ecosystem. Mountain ecosystems are susceptible to accelerated soil erosion, landslides and rapid loss of habitat and genetic diversity. Proper management of mountain resources and socio-economic development of the people deserves action.


● Mountain ecosystem research and development
● Sustainable mountain development as a livelihood

People's Agenda 21, Ideas for the betterment of humanity, serving the highest good of all


Mountains are highly vulnerable to human and natural ecological imbalance while also being the areas most sensitive to all climatic changes in the atmosphere.  A given mountain slope may include several climatic systems – such as tropical, subtropical, temperate and alpine – each of which represents a microcosm of a larger habitat diversity. There is, however, a lack of knowledge of mountain ecosystems. Specific information on mountain ecology, natural resource potential and socio-economic activities is essential to the sustainable development of mountain ecosystems.

Ideas for those interested in implementation

  • Create or assist existing programs at local, individual and regional levels to generate a multidisciplinary ecological knowledge base on mountain ecosystems
  • Identify hazardous areas that are most vulnerable to erosion, floods, landslides, earthquakes, snow avalanches and other natural hazards
  • Identify mountain areas threatened by air pollution from neighboring industrial and urban areas
  • Launch education and extension programs in environmentally appropriate technologies and practices that would be suitable to mountain ecosystems
  • Undertake environmental education for farmers, in particular for women, to help the rural population better understand the ecological issues regarding the sustainable development of mountain ecosystems


Nearly half of the world’s population is affected in various ways by mountain ecology and the degradation of watershed areas. Soil erosion can have a devastating impact on the vast numbers of rural people who depend on rain-fed agriculture in the mountain and hillside areas. Demonstrating integrated watershed development programs through effective participation of local people is a key to preventing further ecological imbalance. An integrated approach is instrumental for conserving, upgrading and using the natural resource base of land, water, plant, animal and human resources.

Ideas for those interested in implementation

  • Undertake measures to prevent soil erosion and demonstrate erosion-control activities in all sectors
  • Support local organizations and communities in the preparation of projects that would enhance participatory development of local people
  • Develop individual and local infrastructures that would provide incentives to farmers and local people to undertake conservation measures and to use environment-friendly technologies
  • Undertake income-generating activities in cottage and agro-processing industries, such as the cultivation and processing of medicinal and aromatic plants
  • Demonstrate local awareness and preparedness for disaster prevention and mitigation, combined with the latest available technology for early warning and forecasting

People's Agenda 21, Ideas for the betterment of humanity, serving the highest good of all

Ideas for those interested in implementation