At a time when mountain people are facing many challenges in their livelihood and their surroundings due to development interventions and climate change, a group of people representing various sectors discussed the ways to find out safer and more resilient livelihood.
Jointly organized by Karnali Integrated Rural Development and Research Centre (KIRDARC) Nepal and Nepalese Civil Society Mountain Initiative (NCSMI), the two days of Mountain Conference took up Rethinking Development Agenda: Advancing Resilient Livelihood of Mountain Peoples as its theme and stressed the need to carry out various activities to protect the mountain and mountain people.
Participants of the conference represented the public, civil society, local, governmental and non–governmental organizations. The conference put forward the Mountain Declaration to start a Mountain Agenda momentum in Nepal through effective engagement of civil society.
The workshop also made it clear that such programs need a coordinated approach to eventually enhance the visibility of mountain issues in the global processes.
Participants argued that enabling integration of Nepal’s mountain agenda at the global level is necessary to secure better life and livelihood for mountain people to live in greater harmony with the nature.
The conference passed a seven-point declaration after intensive discussions and interaction among the stakeholders.
The declaration says:
1. In the context of restructuring nation, we urge the government to re-define the mountain based on the local administrative unit and social structure.
2. We see an urgent need to conserve and develop the entire mountain region in view of the deteriorating and damaging physical properties: glaciers retreat, avalanches and landslides, GLOFs, soil erosion, deforestation and loss of flora and fauna.
3. Being sensitive towards mountain's cultural invasion, we ask the government to promote indigenous culture, language, knowledge, techniques and value systems by eliminating mal social practices.
4. Mountain being the home of 1.7 million people, we ask the government to explore livelihoods opportunities and alternatives prevail over the region by promoting skills, technology, enterprises and ensuring the intellectual property rights.
5. Mountain being the hub of abundant resources, we urge the government to create a facilitative environment for establishing world-class academia in the region.
6. In order to materialize the aforesaid, we urge the government to strengthen existing policies and establishing new and innovative national, regional institutions and mechanisms.
7. We are committed to implement the action plan developed by this Mountain Conference.