Background Note: The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on last 16th December 2021, proclaiming 2022 the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development (IYSMD), 20 years after the last International Year of Mountains in 2002. This resolution on the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development in 2022, is supported by 94 countries. It invites all UN Member States, international and regional organisations, and any other relevant stakeholders to act and raise awareness of the importance of sustainable mountain development. The resolution indicates that mountain countries/regions constitute diverse ecosystems, providing habitat for unique species of flora and fauna. The problems they face due to climate change, therefore, are specific and require context-based adaptation and mitigation measures. The resolution acknowledges that mountain regions, especially in developing countries, are experiencing several developmental challenges. The important challenges include increase in poverty, food insecurity, social exclusion, environmental degradation, and exposure to the risk of disasters. Besides, access to basic services; safe and affordable drinking water, basic sanitation, and sustainable modern energy services are limited. The resolution invites the International Partnership for Sustainable Development in Mountain Region in collaboration with other relevant organizations, to facilitate the observance of the International Year. The designation of 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development recognizes the need for preserving the global ecosystem and encourages further work on mountain development.
The UN proclaimed the year 2022 also as the “International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture” (IYAFA). The IYAFA 2022 is an opportunity to highlight the importance of small-scale artisanal fisheries and aquaculture in our food systems, livelihoods, culture, and environment. Small-scale fishers, fish farmers, and fish workers hold enormous potential to promote transformative changes in how, by whom, and for whom fish and fishery products are produced, processed, and distributed – with positive ripple effects felt throughout the global food system. IYAFA 2022 aims to raise awareness of the role of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture, strengthen science-policy interaction, empower stakeholders to act, and build new and strengthen existing partnerships.
In the last three decades, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation has been closely working in the hilly regions of Eastern and Western Ghats of India and Coastal regions in partnership with tribal and rural communities. The work of the Foundation in these regions covers; Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Resources Management; Technologies for enhancing livelihoods; Food and Nutritional Security; Gender and Equitable Development; Climate Change; Information, Education, and Communication for empowering youth. Along with the Foundation Day event this year, MSSRF has planned to celebrate 2022 as the year of sustainable mountain development and Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture.
The Minister for Environment – Climate Change and Youth Welfare and Sports Development, Government of Tamil Nadu is inaugurating the International Conference on Sustainable Development in Hill and Coastal Ecosystems on August 7, 2022. Technical sessions will be held between August 7 and 9, 2022, where working papers will be presented and discussed under identified themes related to mountains and hilly environments and coastal regions. This conference will have the cooperation and coordination of UN Missions in India, International NGOs, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, WorldFish, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, National Biodiversity Authority, Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers’ Rights Authority, Central and State Governments of India, NGO networks and Farmers’ Networks.
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