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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Mountain Partnership?

The Mountain Partnership is a Type 2 outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD, 2002), acting as an umbrella alliance for promoting specific regional and thematic activities.

The Mountain Partnership is bringing countries, groups and organizations together to work towards a common goal: to improve the lives of mountain people and protect mountain environments around the world.

It does this by tapping the wealth and diversity of resources, knowledge (including traditional knowledge), information and expertise of its members to stimulate concrete action on the ground that will bring positive change in mountain areas.

The Mountain Partnership aims to function as a broker for joint activities, facilitating contacts between countries and institutions and creating conditions for technical cooperation and resource mobilization at the national, regional and global levels.

The Mountain Partnership also forges linkages with existing multilateral instruments relevant to mountains such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) , the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) , the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) , the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) and mountain-related regional instruments such as the Alpine Convention and the Carpathian Convention.

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How is the Mountain Partnership different?

Since mountains came to the forefront of global concerns at the Earth Summit in 1992, there have been growing networks and partnerships for mountains between mountain people, governments, donor agencies, implementing agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups, the private sector, scientists and many others.

But the Mountain Partnership is a stronger alliance of stakeholders than has previously existed to deal with sustainable development in mountain regions.

It is stronger because it builds on the strong commitment towards mountain issues that has grown since the Earth Summit in 1992, it builds on the awareness raising and action generated during the International Year of Mountains (2002) and it maximizes the use of relevant existing networks, groups and institutions working in mountain and mountain-related issues around the world.

The Mountain Partnership promotes the implentation of Chapter 13 of Agenda 21 (Earth Summit, 1992) and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the negotiated outcome document of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD, 2002) , taking into account the growing involvement of global actors such as civil society, the private sector, NGOs and scientists in development efforts.

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Who can join the Mountain Partnership?

The Partnership is open to membership from all sectors and includes not only governments, but also inter-governmental organizations and representatives of major groups (NGOs, research institutes, civil society groups) and the private sector , whose objectives and activities are consistent with the vision and mission of the Mountain Partnership, and who fulfil the criteria for membership.

The Partnership will only be effective if close collaboration is established between all these different groups, each of which has an important role to play.

Individuals cannot become members of the Mountain Partnership.

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What are the criteria for membership?

Criteria for membership of the Mountain Partnership include: endorsement of the general principles, values and objectives of the Mountain Partnership; active involvement in sustainable mountain development; being a formal entity, with a proven level of stability in terms of funding and organizational capacity; capacity to fulfil the membership roles and responsibilities, as defined by the Mountain Partnership in "Organization, membership and governance".

As the Mountain Partnership is a global network, it is also essential that members have access to the information and communication technologies required (e.g. computer, e-mail and Internet access) so as to participate effectively in Mountain Partnership activities, as well as access to resources within their group/organization to act as an active Partnership member.

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How do I join the Mountain Partnership?

Those interested in joining the Mountain Partnership, should send a message to info@mountainpartnership.org, indicating the activities of their country /group / organization in mountain development, their interests in joining the Partnership and intended contribution/s, as well as the name and e-mail address of a designated focal point and alternate/s.

In the interests of transparency and the full participation of all members, the Mountain Partnership Secretariat shares these membership applications with existing members for their information and review.

Once requests have been approved by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, new members are sent a questionnaire. Upon receipt of the completed questionnaire, an official welcome letter is sent by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat.

For more information, visit http://www.mountainpartnership.org/join-us/en/

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What are members expected to do?

Members are expected to initiate and/or participate in collaborative activities with other members.

Members are also welcome to share information, knowledge, expertise and experiences through various channels. This could include providing links to the Mountain Partnership Web site/s; contributing success stories, case studies, good practices, and/or lessons learned to the Mountain Partnership database/s; and participating in virtual discussions and electronic conferences.

Members can also play an active advocacy role for mountain and mountain-related issues within their countries and sphere of influence, including identifying and, whenever possible, mobilizing funds to promote investments in mountain areas.

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What role do countries play in the Mountain Partnership?

Country members play a key role as catalysts for action on the ground. These members are well-placed to understand local needs and priorities, support community development and act as a bridge between local communities, central governments, regional institutions and international agencies.

It is important to remember that 78 national committees were established to observe the International Year of Mountains (2OO2). Most of these committees still exist and are transforming the messages of the Year into concrete and lasting action at the country level. Many committees have evolved into more permanent bodies and have initiated national strategies for mountain development.

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Does the Mountain Partnership provide a substitute for actions and commitments by governments?

The Mountain Partnership does not substitute action and commitments by governments towards achieving sustainable mountain development.

The Mountain Partnership is meant to add value and to enhance the efforts of governments by establishing closer and more effective links between governments and with other IGO and civil society groups working toward similar objectives in mountain areas.

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Governments, inter-governmental organizations and major groups are all key actors working together and building on the comparative advantage that each brings to the Mountain Partnership.

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What is the difference between a regular and a leading member?

A regular member brings their relevant expertise, knowledge, skills and activities (completed, on-going and planned).

A Mountain Partnership member can volunteer to be a leading member. A leading member will have the task of building, developing and moving the Partnership initiative forward.

A leading member can coordinate communications and networking within a given focus area, propose work plans, identify activities, assign tasks, represent members at meetings and act as a liaison with the Mountain Partnership Secretariat.

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What is the Mountain Partnership Secretariat?

The Mountain Partnership is supported by a Secretariat, hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and financed through contributions from the governments of Italy and Switzerland.

The Mountain Partnership is multi-stakeholder in composition.

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What does the Mountain Partnership Secretariat do?

The Secretariat supports the Mountain Partnership by acting as a networking and liaison point for members: it connects people and activities in mountain development to ensure greater participation, coherence and impact.

It does this by delivering key services: communication and information, knowledge management and brokerage. These services ensure that members have the knowledge and information necessary to participate effectively in the Mountain Partnership: communicating together, sharing knowledge, advocating for change and undertaking collaborative action on the ground.

The Secretariat also helps members by facilitating theprocess of building Partnership Initiatives, if requested. But the Secretariat neither co-ordinates the actions of members nor assigns specific tasks and responsibilities to them.

The Secretariat is responsible for regular reporting on the status and activities of the Mountain Partnership to the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), and other relevant bodies, as appropriate.

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Does the Mountain Partnership Secretariat provide funds for members' activities within the Partnership Initiatives?

The Mountain Partnership Secretariat does not fund the activities of members. The main responsibility for accessing funds (e.g. preparing and presenting funding proposals) and fund raising will lie with members themselves. The Secretariat will not manage or distribute funds that are externally raised and intended to support specific activities and Initiatives of members.

But the Secretariat recognizes that the need to identify financial resources to support activities is crucial. It provides members with information about the availability of funds for mountain activities from all possible sources on an on-going basis.

An on-line database of funding sources for members is available. The database was developed as a component of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) Sourcebook on Funding for Sustainable Forest Management. 

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