Food security in mountains

 

About 40 percent of the mountain population in developing and transition countries, or nearly 300 million people, are estimated to be vulnerable to food insecurity. Of these, nearly 90 percent live in rural areas and almost half of those are likely to be chronically hungry.  

In virtually all of the mountain areas across the world, crop-based farming systems are important components of local livelihoods. These include the maize-bean system in the upland areas of Central Mexico and Central America, the perennial crops-based system in the Ethiopian and Eastern African highlands, and the rice-wheat (highland mixed) system across the entire Himalaya range. 

Harsh climates and the difficult, often inaccessible terrain combined with political and social marginality make mountain people vulnerable to food shortages. Traditional mountain diets are often limited to staple foods and characterised by low dietary diversity which leads to low levels of micronutrients.  Lack of access to basic health services increases the risk of illness already exacerbated by malnutrition. Infant mortality and maternal mortality rate in mountains are also higher than in the lowlands. For many households, permanent or seasonal, often male, migration in search of complimentary income has become an integral part of the livelihood system. 

While mountains provide freshwater, agrobiodiversity and livestock that can contribute to food security, for millions of mountain people, hunger and the threat of hunger is a daily reality. It is important to understand that hunger and malnutrition are not merely a symptom of poverty in mountain communities – they contribute to perpetuate poverty. Policies must foster equitable growth, employment, social protection, infrastructure and investments to ensure that both poverty and hunger in mountains are eradicated. 

Transnational Working Table 1

Transnational Working Table 1

event

The first of two workshops on the results of projects in mountainous European countries and on the development of the Alps will allow participants to share knowledge and experiences on Alpine Space Projects. The meeting will also discuss WikiAlps, an encyclopaedia-like online platform, and its potential use in policy design...

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Multimedia on policy recommendations for SMD in the Andes

Multimedia on policy recommendations for SMD in the Andes

news

During the Regional Workshop Post-Rio +20 "Sustainable Mountain Development: Building the future we need" held on November 12-14 in Lima, Peru, the Consortium for Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion (CONDESAN) launched a multimedia which containing key information and policy recommendations for sustainable mountain development in the Andes.

The...

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Eighth Session of the UNECA Committee on Food Security and Sustainable Development (CFSSD-8)

Eighth Session of the UNECA Committee on Food Security and Sustainable Development (CFSSD-8)

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The UN Economic Commission for Africa's Food Security and Sustainable Development programme aims to strengthen the capacity of Member States to design and implement policies and programmes to reinforce linkages between food security, population, environment and human settlements so as to achieve sustainable development. This meeting is also scheduled to...

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Producción orgánica de cultivos andinos (FAO)

publication
Este manual es el producto de la sistematización de los saberes ancestrales que aún se practican en el área de la Unión de Organizaciones Campesinas del Norte de Cotopaxi (Ecuador) y de la revisión de otros valiosos trabajos realizados en los Andes ecuatorianos, donde la FAO, contando con...
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2nd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change: “Hunger for Action”

2nd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change: “Hunger for Action”

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The second Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, will be held from 3 to 7 September 2012 in Hanoi, Viet Nam. The Conference is co-organized by the Governments of Viet Nam and the Netherlands, in collaboration with other partners, including the World Bank and the Food and...

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The retreating Himalayas: disaster in slow motion

The retreating Himalayas: disaster in slow motion

news

If the unprecedented rate of glacial retreat in the South Asian region is not checked, countries in the area are likely to turn highly food-insecure. Pakistan’s latest Climate Change Policy clearly indicates that freshwater resources in Pakistan are dependent on snow and glacial melting and monsoon rains; all of which...

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