December 15, 2011—Aspen, CO—Preparations for the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June 2012 are well underway. But unlike other parts of the world, North America’s mountainous regions have not yet mobilized to provide input; so we risk not having our issues and our views included in materials presented at the Summit. These materials will help inform and guide important policy decisions dealing with sustainable development over the next decades. Therefore, AIMF and the Telluride Institute (TI) have joined forces to help coordinate a report that describes some of what has been going on in North America for the past 20 years.
It’s been almost 20 years since the World Summit on Sustainable Development was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. That conference put mountains on the global environmental and development map by introducing a specific chapter—Chapter 13—on mountains as fragile ecosystems in Agenda 21. Since the adoption of Chapter 13, many initiatives have taken place at the local, regional, national, and global levels to promote sustainable mountain development. On June 20-22, 2012, world leaders and policy makers; international and national NGOs and foundations; and other public sector and private organizations will reconvene in Rio for the Rio+20 Earth Summit to secure renewed global commitment for sustainable development; assess the progress and gaps in implementing the commitments made in 1992; and address new and emerging challenges.
Unlike other parts of the world, North America’s mountainous regions have not yet mobilized to provide information for Rio+20—information that will help inform and guide important policy decisions dealing with sustainable development over the next decades. By not providing any input, North America’s mountains risk not having their issues and views voiced at the Summit. Therefore, AIMF and the Telluride Institute have joined forces to help coordinate a report that describes some of what has been going on in North America for the past 20 years.
We have put out a data call and hope to obtain submissions from organizations working in the following mountain ranges:
- Alaska Range
- Appalachian Mountains
- Cascade Mountains
- Pacific Coast Range (US and Canada)
- Rocky Mountains (US and Canada)
- Sierra Nevada Mountains
- Sierra Madre Mountains
The report will have three distinct sections:
(1) a descriptive overview of mountains in North America
(2) a discussion of three thematic issues
a. physical characteristics; such as soils, glaciers, water, energy exploration, mining extraction
b. biological/ecosystem issues; such as conservation/protected areas, encroachment/wildland urban interface, climate change, biodiversity, habitat
c. human/mountain interactions; such as poverty/wealth discrepancies, recreation/ecotourism, mountain events, agriculture, education, health/sustainability of human communities
(3) brief descriptions of institutional/organizational initiatives focused on sustainable mountain development over the last 20 years; summarizing the experiences, achievements, and lessons learned.
Rebecca Wallace of AIMF is the project director for this effort. If you want to submit information for the report, you can contact her prior to December 15, 2011 at: