Mountain Forum ( www.mtnforum.org) is a global network of individuals and organizations concerned with the well-being of mountain peoples, their environments, and their cultures. For a little over a decade, it has been providing both electronic and physical platforms for information sharing, mutual support, and advocacy to promote sustainable mountain development at all levels as envisioned in Chapter 13 of Agenda 21. It has played an instrumental role in helping to shape the ever-evolving regional and global mountain agendas in various fora, particularly during the International Year of Mountains 2002, by mobilizing membership inputs to bear on the deliberations. With 2629 individuals from 120 countries and 328 organizations from 60 countries as of May 2007, Mountain Forum is putting in place new tools for more targeted, efficient, and value-added service delivery and networking.
Contributions to the Mountain Agenda
Resolution on sustainable mountain development for the UN General Assembly: The General Assembly of the United Nations negotiates every second year a resolution focused on sustainable mountain development. The next such opportunity will be during fall 2007, and Mountain Forum is currently helping to shape the draft resolution to be tabled at the UN General Assembly by the Swiss government on that occasion. See www.mtnforum.org/rs/mfnews.cfm?newsid=7
Women of the Mountains International Conference and Declaration, 8–9 March 2007: With the participation of the United Nations and the World Bank, Utah Valley State College (UVSC) and the Kyrgyz National Centre for Development of Mountain Regions established a conference to address issues critical to women and children in mountainous nations, which are often impoverished and underdeveloped. Mountain Forum—represented at the conference by the North American Mountain Forum node manager—is currently providing input for the finalization of The Orem Declaration of Mountain Women. See www.womenofthemountains.org
Mountain to Mountain Cooperation—Sustainable Use of Biodiversity, Including Genetic Resources, in the Himal–Andes, 12–30 June 2006: This e-conference was initiated by the Mountain Partnership and managed by the Mountain Forum Secretariat and its partners. A synthesis is available at: www.mtnforum.org/rs/econfreports/himalandes_biodiversity_econf_june_2006.pdf
Mountain Forum—The Next Ten Years, 20–31 March 2006: In 2006, Mountain Forum celebrated its 10th anniversary. The purpose of the e-consultation organized to mark the occasion was to take stock of Mountain Forum's past work and seek membership input to improve its resources, services, and impacts in the coming years. A synthesis is available at: www.mtnforum.org/rs/ec/ty/bp/10years_synthesis.doc
New web site
Mountain Forum now has a revamped web site with more integrated content. The web site brings right to the surface all of its hitherto half-hidden resources and services. Some of the new features include the following sections: News, Members of the Week, Theme of the Month, Latest Additions to the Online Library, Upcoming Events, and a better organized Online Library. The Membership database has been completely updated. Now members can enjoy a personal web page for themselves; anyone can search Mountain Forum members by various pre-defined parameters and view their profile pages online or contact individuals or organizational members for networking purposes.
The January 2007 issue of the Mountain Forum Bulletin featuring the International Mountain Day 2006 theme of “Managing Biodiversity for Better Lives” is available online. See http://www.mtnforum.org/rs/bulletins/mf-bulletin-2007-01.pdf
The Mountain Forum Secretariat (MFS) and Asia–Pacific Mountain Network (APMN) organized an Open House for Mountain Forum members on 18 January 2007 at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICI-MOD) in Kathmandu, Nepal. Dr Nakul Chhetri, Community Biodiversity Specialist at ICIMOD, spoke on “Biodiversity conservation beyond boundaries: A landscape approach through partnership,” and Dr Siddartha Bajracharya, Member Secretary, National Trust for Nature Conservation talked about “Community-based biodiversity conservation in Annapurna Conservation Area,” in the main hall filled with Mountain Forum members. The participants were also familiarized with Mountain Forum resources and services and had the chance to interact with each other and with the MFS and APMN staff.
MRD readers as well as contributors are always welcome to make full use of our open-access Mountain Forum Online Library as well as contribute to it. Details can be found at: www.mtnforum.org/rs/ol.cfm