The UN has published the report "Sustainable Development in Mountain Areas", focused on the vulnerability of mountain ecosystems to natural disasters, climate events and unsustainable use of resources. The report contains recommendations to accelerate progress on the sustainable development of mountain areas - an urgent need to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to the report, "mountain ecosystems are highly vulnerable to the increasing adverse effects of climate change, extreme weather events, deforestation, land degradation and natural disasters, which they are slowly recovering from. The retreat and melting of mountain glaciers around the world is affecting the water cycle, with increasing environmental and livelihood effects in the uplands and lowlands.
The OPCC, a POCTEFA project run by the CTP, and its report "Climate change in the Pyrenees: Impacts, Vulnerabilities and Adaptation" is mentioned in point 67 in the report. The OPCC is thus rewarded for its work in disseminating and communicating the data collected, proving that it is generating a great interest beyond the limits of the Pyrenean massif.
In March 2019, the OPCC coordinator was invited to participate in the event "Coping with Climate Change in the Pyrenees Region" held at the United Nations headquarters in New York. This day was an initiative of the Permanent Representation of Andorra to the UN, in collaboration with the Permanent Representations of Spain and France.
To increase resilience to climate change and to disasters, and to protect biodiversity, the recommendations of this report are the following:
a) Develop and implement measures to enhance the adaptive capacity and resilience of mountain communities and reduce exposure to climate risks by producing and using more information on climate and disaster risk, establishing risk maps and platforms, improving early warning systems and applying the risk-based approach in all development planning;
b) Develop assessments of the impacts of climate change and the vulnerability of crops, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry, as well as those who depend on these sectors for their livelihoods;
c) Promote ecosystem-based adaptation, in accordance with the guidelines adopted by the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2018, and the intelligent conservation of wildlife as effective tools to reduce impacts on communities and species;
d) Increase investment and strengthen coordination at local, regional and cross-border levels for concerted action to maintain global warming at 1.5 ° C by 2100;
e) Strengthen institutions to promote adaptation to climate change by strengthening the capacity of local staff to promote landscape-based approaches and climate-friendly agriculture.
We hope that this report will feed into the next UN Climate Change Action Summit convened by António Guterres, to be held on 23 September 2019 in New York in order to increase ambitions and accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
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