New MRI Issue Brief | Leaving No One in Mountains Behind
MRI News
article written by MRI
24.10.18 | 04:10

A new Issue Brief highlighting the need to localize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for the resilience of mountain people and ecosystems was released today, 24 October, at the World Mountain Forum 2018 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. This publication was developed by the MRI and the Center for Development and Environment as part of our collaboration on the Sustainable Mountain Development for Global Change (SMD4GC) programme.

Pledging to “leave no one behind,” the United Nations 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have major potential to advance sustainable mountain development and strengthen the resilience of communities and ecosystems in mountain areas. But to realize that potential, the SDGs must be translated – or localized – to mountain areas. This will enable policymakers and implementers at the local, national, regional, and global levels to understand mountain priorities, customize actions, and measure progress towards the SDGs.

In this Issue Brief, the MRI and the Center for Development and Environment (CDE) present initial steps towards localization of the 2030 Agenda to mountain areas. To support this localization process, expert assessments were were conducted in Nepal, Uganda, Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, and Switzerland based on the following questions: What SDG targets have a high priority in terms of addressing the most critical development issues of mountain areas in their countries? Which of these priority targets help to strengthen the resilience of mountain communities and ecosystems? 

The findings highlight common development priorities in mountains, such as sustainable resource use, climate action, and strengthening people’s livelihoods and resilience. But they also reveal significant differences based on mountains’ diversity. 

Going forward, one key challenge is the lack of data specific to mountain regions that correspond to the SDG indicators. Overcoming this will require a pragmatic approach that makes the best use of available data – including proxy data – and iteratively combines it with transparent, participatory stakeholder reviews. Waiting until data availability has improved is simply not an option: Achieving the SDGs in mountain areas is too urgent.


Issue Brief Launch Pic

Pictured: Participants at the Issue Brief launch (Front Second Left: CDE’s Susanne Wymann von Dach. Back Right: MRI’s Carolina Adler)

Issue Brief Leaving No One in Mountains Behind


Wymann von Dach, S., Bracher, C., Peralvo, M., Perez, K., Adler, C., and a group of contributing authors. 2018. ‘Leaving No One in Mountains Behind: Localizing the SDGs for Resilience of Mountain People and Ecosystems.’ Issue Brief on Sustainable Mountain Development. Bern, Switzerland: Centre for Development and Environment and Mountain Research Initiative, with Bern Open Publishing (BOP).


Download the Issue Brief now.

Discover more about the MRI’s work to develop an approach for assessing sustainable mountain development using the UN Sustainable Development Goals framework here.