Mountain Communities and Socio-Ecological Systems

As a source of a multitude of services and resources, African mountains can greatly contribute to a sustainable future of the continent. However, a variety of diverging pressures and conflicting interests continue to degrade socio-ecological systems in African mountains. Mountain people in Africa are among the most impoverished, and they are highly vulnerable to external forces from globalisation and natural disasters. On the other hand, these communities have gained traditional knowledge, cultural values, languages and experience, and can offer solutions to climate adaptation and how to deal with the condition associated with living in harsh environments. In order to create the enabling environment to promote sustainable development in Africa, there is a need to invest in sustainable and innovative local solutions and build resilient socio-ecological systems that learn, adjust and use multiple forms of knowledge, experience and technologies to cope with the challenges that mountains face. The key topics that will be discussed this forum under this theme include: Poverty alleviation in African mountains through social protection, food security, employment, infrastructure and investment, empowerment, equity and inclusiveness in socio-ecological capital, building sustainable community institutions and ownership toward sustainable mountain development agenda, innovative solutions to sustain mountain community livelihoods in a changing climate.

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