Commitments to action

Importance of Mountains in food and agriculture

Society for Natural Resource Management and Community Development (SNRMCD), SNRMCD

In mountain areas, agriculture and food production are important economic and development drivers.

We would like to request attention to the particular reality of food systems in vulnerable ecosystems such as mountains, which do play a central role in sustainable transformation and food security at both local (food provision, rural development through food sector SME, tourism) and global level (provision of ecosystem services such as water).

Mountains contribute to sustaining the livelihoods of 1.1 billion people living in the mountains and those of a much larger number of people in the lowlands.

The role of mountains in supporting the world’s food systems by providing up to 80% of the global fresh water should be recognized. Actionable commitments should be taken to protect mountains as the “water towers of the world”, promote their adaptation to climate change, and recognize their role in ensuring food security.

Mountain peoples protect the world’s water sources and the rich biodiversity hosted in mountains. Promoting more resilient and sustainable food systems in mountains is a prerequisite to lift mountain communities out of high rates of food insecurity and malnutrition, which are on the rise and expected to increase with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sustainable land use practices, agroecological principles, traditional and indigenous agricultural knowledge and practices are essential for maintaining healthy mountain ecosystems.

The investment and promotion of specialty mountain products and certification schemes can advance equitable livelihoods. The Mountain Partnership – the only United Nations alliance devoted to promoting mountains and mountain peoples – and existing regional mechanisms, such as the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, the Alpine Convention, the Carpathian Convention and the Andean Initiative, are important alliances that can contribute to these efforts.


Civil society

Action Area(s)

Boost Nature-Based Solutions of Production



Key contact

Society for Natural Resource Management and Community Development (SNRMCD), Sejuti Sarkar De,


Mountain areas, Food production, Agriculture



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