We have talked long enough about climate change- now is the time for action and mountains are set to be Europe’s pioneers in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
From 3 to 5 October 2016, around 260 mountain actors (researchers, farmers, environmentalists, elected representatives from local and regional authorities, representatives of chambers of commerce and development agencies) met in Bragança, Portugal during the X European Mountain Convention organised by Euromontana.
Juan Andres Gutierrez, President of Euromontana stated at the end of the Convention ‘Mountains are a sentinel for climate change which Europe risks neglecting at its peril. Mountain actors are among the first to detect the creeping impact of climate change. They have decided at Braganca to cooperate in taking action from the bottom up, by the communities and businesses already affected and call upon the European institutions to take their responsibilities and support them in this vital role’.
This X European Mountain Convention presented a state-of-the-art of the situation in mountain areas and how experience and technical knowledge have been used to provide solutions to adapt to and mitigate climate change. The focus was on solutions not only at the policy level, but also at the practitioners’ level.
Following two days of exchanges of good practices and debates, the representatives of Euromontana hammered out a declaration identifying their prime role and mapping out the action needed to seize this opportunity before it is lost.
They defined transversal recommendations and concrete actions for agriculture and forestry, sustainable energy and water, biodiversity and protected areas, sustainable tourism, accessibility through transport and Information and Communications Technologies and the innovative management of natural hazards.
Euromontana also committed to contribute with its activities to develop a clean, competitive, resilient and low carbon economy for live mountains in Europe through the stimulation of multidisciplinary scientific research, the development of EU projects, the dissemination of options for adaptation to climate change and good practices in different European territories; the development of a platform for dialogue and advice on adaptation to climate change in mountain areas and support for local efforts of its members.
Euromontana also committed to develop proposals to better integrate the mountain dimension in the national contributions of the countries following the Paris Agreement and to adopt daily behaviours to fight against climate change through exemplary good practices concerning the consumption of local products, use of adapted mobility and recycling. Euromontana will mobilise all the members of its wide network in the different European mountain ranges to implement these actions.