International Year of Mountains 2002 – “We are all Mountain People”
2002 is International Year of Mountains – a United Nations designation reserved for subjects of priority concern to all or the majority of countries. This is partly to concur with the tenth anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit; a “Rio Plus Ten” summit is planned to take place in Johannesburg in September 2002 and among its objectives is an assessment of progress towards meeting Agenda 21 targets, including Chapter 13 the “Mountain Agenda”. IYM activities all around the world will feed both directly and indirectly into this process.
The broad aims of International Year of Mountains are:
- to ensure the present and future well-being of mountain communities by promoting conservation and sustainable development in mountain areas;
- to increase awareness and knowledge of mountain ecosystems and their overriding importance in providing a number of strategic goods and services essential to the well-being of both rural and urban, highland and lowland people, particularly water supply and food security;
- to promote and defend the cultural heritage of mountain communities and societies;
- to pay attention to frequent conflicts in mountain areas and to promote peace-making in those regions.
About 35 countries' governments have established national committees to take forward IYM. The UK government has
declined to do so, but in Scotland a partnership of NGOs (including NEMT), with support from SNH and UHI Millennium
Institute, are contributing financially or in kind to use the opportunity presented by IYM to raise the profile of sustainable
mountain development in Scotland.
The project proposal for IYM in Scotland outlines a four-pronged approach to IYM:
- raise public awareness of Scotland's mountains in both ecological and human terms
- celebrate their special values and promote debate, including sustainable land use.
- increase awareness among public agencies and government departments and thus promote change towards more sustainable use.
- promote links between (NCOs), government agencies and the private sector in order to facilitate more 'joined up thinking' and action in relation to sustainable mountain use and development.
A programme of mountain-themed events for 2002 is currently being finalised, ranging from conferences and research to concerts, exhibitions, lectures, guided walks and practical conservation work. The latest draft of the year’s programme, along with background and many more details about the project, can be found on the “Events” page of the IYM Scotland website.
For further information, or if you want to participate or comment, please contact:
Co-ordinator, International Year of Mountains
Centre for Mountain Studies
Perth College UHI Millennium Institute
Perth PH1 2NX
Tel 01738 877 885
Fax 01738 631 364
Website for IYM in Scotland: www.iym.org.uk
United Nations IY website: www.mountains2002.org
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