Indigenous peoples

 

The involvement of indigenous and traditional mountain communities is a prerequisite for sustainable mountain development. The culture of indigenous and traditional mountain communities is predominantly agrarian, shaped by harsh climates and rough terrain as well as the seasonal rhythms of planting, harvesting and transhumance.

For these peoples, land, water and forests are not simply natural resources to be exploited. As their ancestors before them, these communities understand that their well-being, their sense of identity and their children’s future depend on the careful stewardship of the environment. This ‘intangible heritage’ also enriches the global community, providing inspiration and insights for realizing a more sustainable relationship between humankind and the environment.

Mountain people cultivate a wide variety of crops that are adapted to a range of different elevations, slope conditions and microclimates. Moreover, indigenous and traditional mountain farmers have explicitly designed their agricultural systems to protect the soil from erosion, conserve water resources and reduce the risks of disasters triggered by natural hazards.

Therefore, traditional mountain communities serve as custodians of traditional knowledge on how to farm in difficult mountainous conditions and of important reservoirs of agricultural biodiversity. It is important to recognize in indigenous mountain communities that men and women have different areas of knowledge, experience and responsibility that contribute to preserving biodiversity. 

The nutritional value of local foods is not determined simply by the different types of local crops, but by the way herbs and spices, the oils, meat, vegetables and condiments are combined and cooked (almost exclusively by women). This traditional cuisine, along with the knowledge and skills required to prepare it, represents another vital aspect of the intangible cultural heritage of mountain peoples. Unfortunately indigenous mountain food systems are at risk. Indigenous foods, stigmatized as ‘foods of the poor’, are often abandoned in favour of modern foods that are more convenient to cook but often contain high levels of sugar and fat and have relatively low nutritional value. This phenomenon compounds the problem of the relatively high rates of iodine and vitamin A micronutrient deficiencies found in impoverished mountain communities.

With climate change scenarios strongly suggesting that extreme weather events are likely to become more common and more intense in mountain areas, it is necessary integrate indigenous agricultural systems and their historical perspectives on climate variability as key-tools in climate change adaptation strategies.

New network for mountain indigenous peoples

New network for mountain indigenous peoples

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An International Network of Mountain Indigenous Peoples is being formed to exchange knowledge, technologies and innovations – including seeds - to achieve food sovereignty and climate change adaptation in mountain environments. The group will also advocate for changes in policies and institutions to protect the rights of indigenous mountain peoples...

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Himalayan Glaciers Will Shrink Despite Steady Climate

Himalayan Glaciers Will Shrink Despite Steady Climate

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Some glaciers of the Himalayas will continue shrinking for many years to come, even if temperatures hold steady, a Brigham Young University geology professor, Summer Rupert, has predicted. Rupper’s most conservative findings indicate that even if climate remained steady, almost 10 percent of Bhutan’s glaciers will vanish within the next...

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Запуск Проекта «Тотемное Ожерелье»

Запуск Проекта «Тотемное Ожерелье»

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Российская НКО «Фонд устойчивого развития Алтая» (FSDA) совместно с американской НКО «Программа Содействия Алтаю» (AAP)  приступили к реализации проекта «Тотемное Ожерелье» в июне 2012 года в рамках  реализации Российско-американской программы по сотрудничеству институтов гражданского общества (РАПСИГО) при финансовой поддержке Агентства США по международному развитию (АМР США) через Фонд «Евразия». Более...

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  Totem Necklace Project Launched

Totem Necklace Project Launched

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Russian NGO “Foundation for Sustainable Development of Altai” (FSDA) jointly with American NGO “Altai Assistance Project Inc.” (AAP) launched the Totem Necklace Project in June 2012 in the frame of the US-Russia Civil Society Partnership Program (CSPP) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Eurasia Foundation....

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Equator Prize Award Ceremony

Equator Prize Award Ceremony

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The Equator Prize is awarded biannually to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize spotlights 25 local initiatives by honouring them on an international stage. The event,...

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World Environment Day: EvK2CNR disseminates climate education in the schools of Nepal

World Environment Day: EvK2CNR disseminates climate education in the schools of Nepal

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What does the word "climate" mean? What are climate change and global warming? How do these things affect our lives, animals, plants and mountains? These are simple, but important questions that school children from the Khumbu Valley in Nepal, will face in the occasion of World Environment Day established by...

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