Mountains and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Mountains and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” — Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (1987)

Sustainability is the foundation for today’s leading framework for international cooperation – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Achieving several of the SDGs will require an improved understanding of mountain systems.

For example, Target 15.4 calls for, “the conservation of mountain ecosystems in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development.”

Mountain systems also figure prominently in, or are critical to, targets supporting the protection, conservation, and restoration of water-related ecosystems (6.6 and 15.1), sustainable tourism (8.9), climate-related hazards (13.1), sustainable forest management (15.2), restoration of degraded land (15.3), halting biodiversity loss (15.5), and the integration of ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning (15.9).

Canada’s recently released SDG strategy and the 2019-22 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy do not emphasize the critical role of mountain in sustainable development. Canada’s SDG Data Hub also lacks information on several key targets and indicators.

Given the global significance of Canada’s iconic mountain regions, the Canadian Mountain Network is committed to supporting Canadian leadership in the implementation of mountain-related SDGs. To that end, CMN has funded Dr. Pamela Shaw and the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute to develop a report and symposium for UN International Mountain Day 2020 (December 11th) that identifies, celebrates, and reports back on CMN’s work related to advancing the UN Global Agenda. Shaw is also the Principal Investigator on the CMN-funded research project The View from 2117: Human Actions, Consequences, and Perspectives on Mountain Regions.

Mountains Around the World (Source: Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment)

Learn more and get involved through the links below:

UN Sustainable Development Goals website – Mountain connections

Government of Canada Sustainable Development Strategy

International Institute for Sustainable Development – Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Hub

Government of Canada Funding for Projects Related to UN Sustainable Development Goals