Vulnerability to food insecurity is related to a complex system of environmental, social and economic factors, which include, among others, land degradation, climate change, natural hazards, and insufficient access to infrastructure and services. These factors add to the already high exposure of mountain people to multiple risks and reduce their ability to cope with food shortages and other shocks. The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions adopted by countries to respond to it have amplified the existing vulnerabilities of mountain communities. Mountain livelihoods – which rely mostly on agriculture, tourism and remittances – have been particularly affected by the global lockdowns. The prolonged recession that is unfolding will require special attention to ensure that the most vulnerable among mountain people, particularly women and youth, are not pushed into poverty and further deprivation.
LDN in mountain regions
Protecting mountain ecosystems, promoting sustainable use of natural resources and ensuring food security are all global priorities. SDG 15 aims to advance actions that ensure sound and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems by controlling land degradation and maintaining a healthy vegetation cover.
In 2018, the Global Mechanism and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) engaged in a study to evaluate the actual and potential impacts of the underlying causes or stressors of vulnerability in mountain regions.
This ongoing collaboration aims to inform the international and national stakeholders about the risks associated with the increasing frequency and intensity of natural hazards. Combined with the lack of services and infrastructure in mountain areas, they increased food insecurity, threaten livelihoods and the environment. Pinpointing areas where the combined effects of these stressors are particularly intense should help governments to set priorities and develop policies to control land degradation, preserve mountain ecosystems, improve infrastructures and services, and build the resilience of communities.