Traditional mountain landscapes: crucial for meeting biodiversity and climate targets
Traditional mountain landscapes governed by Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) conserve unique wildlife and agrobiodiversity, and strongly support climate change adaptation and mitigation by protecting ecosystem services, including grasslands that store almost 50% more carbon than forests.
But mountain biodiversity and the Indigenous and traditional peoples that sustain it are highly vulnerable to climate change and are increasingly threatened by rising temperatures, unsustainable development, poverty and food insecurity.
In the 2022 International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development and in the run-up to the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15), this briefing explores the importance of traditional mountain landscapes in achieving the CBD’s post-2020 targets, the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement. IPLC-governed area-based conservation measures in mountains — such as Biocultural Heritage Territories that use precolonial conservation concepts — have a critical role to play in delivering these global commitments.