Protection thanks to applied research
Climate change is causing glaciers to recede. The resulting snowmelt raises the water level in unstable glacial lakes, which could eventually overflow and flood low-lying areas. Nepal’s largest glacial lake, Tsho Rolpa, has been equipped with sensors that will set off alarm sirensdownstream the instant an outburst flood occurs.
Reintroduction of community forests
The Nepal-Swiss forestry project aims to achieve sustainable improvements in the living conditions of forest users and disadvantaged families in four of Nepal’s poorest districts.
Nepal-Swiss forestry project
Mountains: Strengthening mountain populations and protecting their living environment
The first Rio Earth Summit in 1992 saw mountains, as the most vulnerable of all ecosystems and an issue of global importance, placed on Agenda 21. At that time, Switzerland was strongly committed to the sustainable management of mountain regions at the global level. Today, the SDC is still taking a leading role in this field and has brought on board a number of different international partners.
Mountain regions are home to one fifth of the world's population, and they act as water towers for half of humanity. The diverse ecosystems of mountains are extremely delicate. Climate change, migration, growing tourism and industrial exploitation are threatening many regions and endangering the livelihoods of millions of people, both mountain dwellers and populations living on the lowlands. But mountain populations are particularly affected because they are directly dependent on the resources of their natural environment.
Local, national and global mechanisms are needed to provide adequate compensation to mountain people for their contribution to the protection of ecosystems. At the Earth Summit in Johannesburg in 2002, Switzerland, as a mountainous country, established a partnership with other mountainous countries, which currently includes 50 states and more than 150 organisations. The key role played by mountainous regions and mountain populations is garnering increasing recognition, particularly within the framework of the UN conventions on climate change, desertification and biodiversity.
A pavilion dedicated to mountains
In collaboration with the Peruvian government, the SDC set up a pavilion in Rio dedicated to mountains. From 13 to 24 June 2012, this space was the venue for several events and showed to raise public awareness of the role of mountains in development. It was inaugurated by the President of Peru, Ollanta Humala. In addition to the SDC, several other Swiss actors from this field were present at the pavilion to present their perspectives and provide information, including the Canton of Valais, the Foundation for sustainable development in mountain regions (FDDM), the municipality of Bagnes, the Federal Office for Spatial Development (OSD) and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOE).
The SDC has been active for many years in mountainous countries, for example in Nepal, where it has been involved in the construction of more than 5,000 bridges and in the reforestation of many mountain areas. Currently, the SDC is assisting mountain regions to adapt to climate change and to prevent natural hazards. It is also developing new income opportunities in particular through mountain farming.
Informaciones complementarias y documentación
- Mountains, a priority for a planet under pressure and for Switzerland: Factsheet Rio+20
Bajar (PDF, 1336 KB) : [en]
- Un seul monde
Disponible seulement en Suisse
No. 1/2012 : Économie verte / Himalaya : exode vers les villes
Bajar (PDF, 1509 KB) : [de] [fr] [it]
- Why mountains matter in global sustainable development
Bajar (PDF, 803 KB) : [en]
- Why mountains matter: Key Messages
Bajar (PDF, 1539 KB) : [en]
- Why the Hindu Kush Himalaya matter
Why the Hindu Kush Himalaya matter
Bajar (PDF, 820 KB) : [en]
- Why the Andes matter
Why the Andes matter
Bajar (PDF, 884 KB) : [en]
- Why mountains matter for Meso America
Bajar (PDF, 777 KB) : [en]
- Why mountains matter for North America
Bajar (PDF, 700 KB) : [en]
- Why mountains of the Middle East and North Africa matter
Bajar (PDF, 644 KB) : [en]
- Why the Alps matter
Why the Alps matter
Bajar (PDF, 580 KB) : [en]
- Why mountains matter for Africa
Bajar (PDF, 973 KB) : [en]
- Why mountains matter for Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe
Bajar (PDF, 909 KB) : [en]
- Why the Central Asien mountains matter
Bajar (PDF, 1062 KB) : [en]
- Why the mountains of the Southeast Asia and Pacific region matter
Bajar (PDF, 652 KB) : [en]
- Rio+20: Mountain Partnership