13 May 2015
Mountain Week is about to take off !!!
Mountains at EXPO Milan 2015
The “Mountain Week” will take place inside and outside the main EXPO area, mostly from 4th to 11th June 2015, but will continue until the closure of EXPO. Born in 2013 on the initiative of the Italian Ministry for the Environment, acting as in-turn Presidency of the Alpine Convention 2013/2014, it is held in collaboration with the Alpine Convention and the Carpathian Convention – the two international Treaties dedicated to the protection and sustainable development of mountain areas – the FAO-Mountain Partnership, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP Vienna) and with the scientific support of EURAC Research and technical and organizational assistance of Earth Day Italy and other partners.
The “Mountain Week” is a programme of events (conferences, exhibitions, meetings, etc.) dedicated to sustainable development, agriculture, mountains products around the world, promoted by mountainous countries and international organizations that have adhered to the initiative. Those events will take place both within the pavillions of the exhibiting countries and in other areas of the city of Milan, but also in mountain areas.
“The Mountain Week will be a unique opportunity to network events dedicated not only to the Alps but to all territories of mountain area – said the Under-Secretary for the Environment, Mrs. Barbara Degani – we are very satisfied with the numerouos adhesions that we are receiving not only from international institutions and governments, but also by several local authorities in the Italian Alps. In June at EXPO the logo of the “Mountain Week” will be visible in many pavillions and will be offered to the public a wide programme of events, useful to understand and deepen the important issue of Mountain Agriculture”.
Why a focus on mountains?
According to FAO, mountains occupy 22% of Earth’s surface and host 14% of world population. They provide 70% of global water resources and a high share of energy from renewable sources.. It is home to about 50% of animal and plant species and terrestrialareas of the world’s richest biodiversity.
Why mountains at EXPO?
They play a vital role in nutrition and food security, thanks to cultivations such as corn, potatoes, barley, tomatoes, beans and apples. Other cultivations have found in mountains suitable climate conditions, such as wheat, rye, wine grape, oat and rice. In the Andes, farmers know more than 200 different varieties of potatoes while in Nepal about 2,000 kinds of rice are cultivated. Numerous are as well the farm animals (shheps, goats, lamas, alpacas, etc.) both native species or diversified ones in mountain areas. Two of theworld’s most famous drinks, coffee and tea, originate from the mountains of Ethiopia and Himalaya.
Sustainable development for mountains: a challenge?
However, mountains are vulnerable areas where live some of the poorest populations and at risk of malnutrition of the world, driven by migration and often ignored by political decisions. Mountain ecosystems are extremely fragile and subject to the effects of climate change and natural disasters: the consequences of earthquakes, landslides, floods can be dramatic as demonstrated by therecent happenings in Nepal, in the heart of Himalaya.
The economic development of mountains and the well-being of those who live there depends also from the global market, being the perfect outcome for high quality products (coffee, cocoa, honey, herbs, spices, but also handcrafts). Strengthen supply chains and link them to the global market, through local and regional initiatives for cooperation between producers, can reduce barriers to market access as well as the number of intermediaries, increasing the profit for mountain producers, revitalizing the economy of these territories.
How to participate
The Mountain Week is open to the participation of citizens, institutions, companies and the third sector: public and private bodies can propose initiatives independently organized inside and outside the EXPO area, in order to be included in the programme of the events of the Mountain Week. Use the green button on the right side of this page to submit your event!
To enter the schedule of the “Mountain Week”, the proposals should be:
• in line with the theme of EXPO 2015 “Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life “;
• related to territories, products, or cultural, social, economic, identity aspects typical of mountain areas;
• concretely implementat sustainable development principles in mountain areas;
• preferably organized in the period 4 to 11 June 2015, or during the six months of EXPO or at least during 2015;
• organized in the EXPO exhibition site, or in the metropolitan area of Milan, or in mountain areas;
Based on an evaluation of appropriateness of the contents, the proposed initiatives will be included in the programme of the events and the promotional campaigns and allowed to use the logo “Mountain Week”.
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