The MRI at the UNFCCC Expert Dialogue on Mountains and Climate Change
MRI News
article written by MRI
24.06.24 | 04:06

In fulfilling our role and functions to support thematic advocacy and facilitate science-policy-society interactions on key mountain issues, the MRI Coordination Office actively contributed on behalf of the network to two pivotal events in Bonn, Germany from 3–5 June 2024: the Adaptation at Altitude (A@A)’s Phase Two kick-off meeting, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Expert Dialogue on Mountains and Climate Change.

Phase Two Kick-off of Adaptation at Altitude (A@A)

In the lead-up to the UNFCCC Expert Dialogue on Mountains and Climate Change, the MRI participated in its flagship activity Adaptation at Altitude (A@A)’s Phase Two kick-off meeting. This meeting brought together A@A partners to exchange updates, plan activities/outputs, and strategise for the future. 

Key highlights of the meeting included: 

  • Mapping Opportunities: Partner organisations shared recent achievements and planned future events through an interactive mapping exercise. 
  • SDC Update: The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) shared the programme’s approach and achievements documented in an online citizens’ report, plus highlighted Switzerland’s new International Cooperation Strategy 2025–28. 
  • Collaborative Outputs: Group discussions focused on collaborative and joint outputs. 
  • Strategic Discussions: Topics included engagements in International Year of Glacier Preservation 2025 (IYGP2025), UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP)s, and the UN-declared Five Years of Action for the Development of Mountain Regions 2023-2027
Adaptation at Altitude (A@A) partners at the UNFCCC Expert Dialogue on Mountains and Climate Change (photo by A@A).

UNFCCC Expert Dialogue on Mountains and Climate Change 

Following the Phase Two Kick-off meeting, A@A partners engaged in the UNFCCC Expert Dialogue on Mountains and Climate Change through presentations, discussions, and engagement with attendees, sharing knowledge and information about climate change impacts, particularly in transboundary, regional contexts and sharing resources for adaptation in mountains

Key adaptation priorities for mountain regions presented by the A@A consortium at the UNFCCC Expert Dialogue on Mountains and Climate Change (photo by A@A).

MRI’s Executive Director, Dr Carolina Adler co-moderated segments of this Expert Dialogue and presented the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sixth assessment findings at the UNFCCC Expert Dialogue on Mountains and Climate Change, alongside the IPCC’s Working Group I Co-Chair for the IPCC’s seventh assessment, Robert Vautard.

The experts discussed impacts, research gaps, and how to accelerate action to enhance the resilience of mountain ecosystems.  

Speakers reflected on, among others: 

  • the importance of mountain regions in the global water cycle and the increasing dependence of lowland populations on mountain water runoff; 
  • impacts such as glacier loss, reduction of snow cover, and flood events; 
  • data and research gaps, such as on mountain observatories, mountain medicinal plants and invasive alien species; 
  • the use of citizen science, for example to map springs and water availability, locally; 
  • Indigenous Peoples’ intricate relationship with mountain ecosystems in terms of cultural and spiritual practice, as well as diets; and 
  • the importance of transboundary collaboration to accelerate adaptation efforts. 

Additionally, discussions on the new collective quantified goal on climate finance (NCQG) aimed to streamline input for meaningful engagement in Bonn and beyond.  

“For the MRI, the Expert Dialogue was a great opportunity to engage with and listen to the priorities of Parties, experts from science and practice, and community leaders alike, on the types of climate action levers that could be mobilized to support climate-resilient development in mountains. More specifically, for us it was important to reflect on the multiple interventions made calling for more relevant, inclusive, and coordinated scientific efforts that respond to the pressing knowledge needs expressed in this Dialogue. The MRI of course stands ready to lend that support.” 

Dr Carolina Adler, MRI Executive Director

Impressions from the UNFCCC Expert Dialogue on Mountains and Climate Change, featuring MRI Executive Director Carolina Adler (photo by Lea Thorlund and the UNFCCC Secretariat).

Further Reading and Resources

Cover image by Lea Thorlund & UNFCCC Secretariat