Water, Food, and Energy Nexus: Why Mountains Matter - Side Event on Rio+20: 3rd Intersessional Meeting of UNCSD


Why Mountains Matter for Global Sustainability

Mountains have a special role in the water, food, and energy nexus. More than half of humanity relies on freshwater from mountains. Glaciers, ice fields, and snow packs store an immense amount of water and gradually release it to meet year-round needs for irrigation, drinking, sanitation, industrial processing, and clean energy, supporting food security. Mountains are sources of rich biodiversity providing diverse organic food and forest products and natural medicines. These services are vital for human wellbeing, both in the mountains and downstream, and especially for improving the lives of indigenous, marginalized, and poor people. Yet all are under threat from rapid changes such as globalization and climate change.

Why This Side Event

  • To explore opportunities for creating global, regional, national, and local mechanisms that can not only reduce vulnerability and poverty for close to 800 million mountain communities, but also help to ensure the globe’s future water, food, and energy security
  • To set action priorities based on sharing of most up-to-date good practices and scientific information, and local and national perspectives ƒ 
  • To share the views of country leaders, policy makers, and experts
  • To develop a common understanding among key stakeholders in sustainable mountain development to contribute positively to the Rio+20 outcome document
  • To contribute in defining a new mountain agenda embracing global and regional changes and challenges
  • Collection of feedback from the participants to take the message forward to Rio+20


Opening Remarks 

H.E. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Ambassador PR of Nepal
Dr David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD

Special Remarks 

H.E. Paul Seger, Ambassador PR of Switzerland
H.E. Cesare Maria Ragaglini, Ambassador PR of Italy
H.E. Tekeda Alemu, Ambassador PR of Ethiopia
H.E. Enrique Roman Morey, Ambassador PR of Peru
Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator, Rio+20, United Nations



Olman Serrano, Coordinator, Mountain Partnership Secretariat

Expected Outcome

  • Better awareness of the expectations and suggestions from the member countries and major groups in the revised Rio+20 outcome document
  • Sharing of actions to be taken to strengthen the nexus between water, food, and energy in the post Rio+20 scenario, including promotion of green economy in and beyond the mountains
  • Proposal of a new mountain agenda to promote sustainable development and poverty reduction

Organized by