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Food security in mountains


A current analysis of hunger in mountainous areas

About 39 percent of the mountain population in developing countries, or 329 million people, is estimated to be vulnerable to food insecurity: that means one of every three mountain dwellers says a recent FAO/Mountain Partnership Secretariat study. When only rural areas are considered, this figure increases to one out of every two. During the period 2000-2012 despite food insecurity had decreased at global level, it has increased in mountain areas.

These alarming statistics give voice to the plight of mountain peoples. They send a clear message to policy-makers on the importance of including mountains in their development agendas that should focus on alleviating the harsh living conditions of mountain communities and reducing the outmigration from mountain areas.

The study revealed a 30 percent increase in the number of mountain people vulnerable to food insecurity from 2000 to 2012, while the mountain population increased by only 16 percent.

The FAO 2015 Mountain Vulnerability Model

The model estimates the availability of calories in rural mountain regions, considering the production rate of agricultural areas as an average of the yields of six main mountain crops (beans, cassava, maize, potatoes, rice and wheat). It also includes information on food quality by estimating the availability of proteins from beef meat, cow milk, sheep meat, sheep milk, goat meat, goat milk, pig meat, chicken meat and eggs. People having access to less than 1 370 kcal and 14 g of animal protein per day are considered to be at risk of food insecurity as those thresholds are taken as survival requirements in the event that other foods are not available. 

Household surveys: another tool to measure hunger

Household surveys allow for a more integrated assessment of vulnerability to food insecurity as they encompass a wide range of factors like water quality, sanitation facilities and road networks, in addition to crop and livestock availability. Thanks to the information on the vital statistics of the sample, it is possible to estimate the vulnerability to food insecurity by gender, age, education and much more. Household surveys allow also the precise localization of vulnerability hot spots, which, in turn, can facilitate the targeting of policy interventions.

United Nations General Assembly Resolution: Sustainable Mountain Development (2016)

United Nations General Assembly Resolution: Sustainable Mountain Development (2016)

publication

Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Sustainable mountain development at 71st Session. A/71/463/Add.10

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Online mountain assessment tool launched

Online mountain assessment tool launched

peak to peak

Issue 100 – Month 1 – Year 2017

The January issue of Peak to Peak presents the launch of a new online tool that facilitates international and cross-disciplinary collaboration on the assessment, conservation and sustainable use of mountain biodiversity. The newsletter continues with a call to highlight...

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ICIMOD celebrates Himalayan cultures

ICIMOD celebrates Himalayan cultures

news

For many, mountains evoke powerful emotions with their breathtaking landscapes that inspire wonder. Mountains cover nearly 22 percent of the world’s land surface and are home to 13 percent of the global population. They serve as water towers to the world, providing for the freshwater needs of more than half...

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Social innovation project in mountain areas

Social innovation project in mountain areas

news

A new four-year project founded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovative programme and coordinated by the James Hutton Institute was launched in April 2016. “Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas” (SIMRA) seeks to advance understanding of social innovation and innovative governance in agriculture, forestry and rural development,...

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FAO launches Mountain Cultures Photo Contest

FAO launches Mountain Cultures Photo Contest

peak to peak

Issue 99 – Month 12 – Year 2016

The December issue of Peak to Peak announces the launch of the Mountain Cultures Photo Contest in celebration of International Mountain Day 2016, “Mountain Cultures: celebrating diversity and strengthening identity”. The newsletter continues with stories about 20 families living in...

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Climate change impacts in mountains – COP22

Climate change impacts in mountains – COP22

news

As the implementation of the Paris Agreement was being discussed in Marrakech, Morocco, mountain governments, institutions and NGOs reviewed the needs and mechanisms for addressing the impacts of climate change in mountains globally. Organized within the framework of the Mountain Partnership, the official side event “The impact of climate change...

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