Mountain Biodiversity

Programme of Work on Mountain Biological Diversity

The Conference of the Parties adopted the programme of work on mountain biological diversity (annex to decision VII/27) at its seventh meeting.

The overall purpose of the programme of work is the significant reduction of mountain biological diversity loss by 2010 at global, regional and national levels, through the implementation of the three main objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The implementation of the programme of work aims at making a significant contribution to poverty alleviation in mountain ecosystems and in lowlands dependent on the goods and services of mountain ecosystems and thereby contribute to the objectives of the Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and the Millennium Development Goals. The programme of work focuses on addressing characteristics and problems that are specific to mountain biological diversity. These include:

  • The particularly high concentration of biological diversity hotspots in mountain regions, including high ecosystem diversity, high species richness, high number of endemic and endangered species, and high genetic diversity of crop, livestock, and their wild relatives
  • Cultural diversity, and the particularly key role of indigenous and local communities in the conservation and management of mountain biological diversity
  • The fragility of mountain ecosystems and species and their vulnerability to human and natural disturbances, in particular to land-use change and global climate change (such as the retreat of glaciers and increased areas of desertification)
  • The upland-lowland interactions that characterize mountain ecosystems, with special emphasis to the relevance of upland ecosystems for the management of food, water and soil resources.

The programme of work is intended to assist Parties in establishing national programmes of work with targeted goals, objectives, and actions, with specific actors, timeframes, inputs, and expected measurable outputs. Parties may select from, adapt, and/or add to, the goals, objectives and actions suggested in the current programme of work according to particular national and local conditions, and their level of development. Implementation of this programme of work should take into account the ecosystem approach of the CBD. In determining national programmes of work, Parties are encouraged to pay due regard to the socio-economic, cultural and environmental costs and benefits of various options. In addition, Parties are encouraged to consider the use of appropriate technologies, sources of finance, and technical cooperation, and to ensure, through appropriate actions, the means to meet the particular challenges and demands of their mountain ecosystems.

The programme of work on mountain biodiversity consists of three interlinked elements to be mutually reinforcing and cross cutting in their implementation, and specific goals and targets in each element:

  • Direct actions for conservation, sustainable use and benefit sharing:
    Includes prevention and mitigation of negative threats to mountain biological diversity; protection recovering and restoration of mountain biological diversity and promotion of sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits arising from its use.
  • Means of implementation for conservation, sustainable use and benefit sharing:
    Includes enhancing legal, policy, institutional and economic framework; respecting, preserving and maintaining knowledge, practices and innovations of indigenous and local communities in mountain regions; establishing regional and transboundary collaboration and cooperative agreements.
  • Supporting actions for conservation, sustainable use and benefit sharing:
    Includes means for identification, monitoring and assessment of mountain biological diversity; improving knowledge on and methods for assessment and monitoring; infrastructure for data and information management; improving research, scientific and technical cooperation and capacity building; increasing public education, participation and awareness; and promote the development, validation and transfer of appropriate technologies for mountain ecosystems.