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Project for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountain Regions (SARD-M)

«...Sustainable development requires a long term perspective and broad-based participation in policy formulation, decision-making and implementation at all levels.»

Johannesburg Declaration, World Summit on Sustainable Development, September 2002

Designing new policy packages for SARD in mountain regions

Following the Johannesburg Summit, the efforts made towards sustainable agriculture and rural development need to be considerably reinforced. In certain regions, notably in mountain regions, the situation will probably worsen if nothing is done to turn the tide. A prerequisite for ensuring sustainable agriculture and rural development is the design and implementation of appropriate and well-targeted policies that take into account the interactions between macro-economic, agricultural and other sectoral policy concerns at national and regional levels. The mobilization of adequate financial resources as well as the skills and appropriate tools that are often lacking is crucial for the effective implementation of these policies. With its focus on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD, Chapter 14 of Agenda 21) in one of the most important and fragile ecosystems (Mountains, Chapter 13 of Agenda 21), this project is a unique opportunity for all stakeholders around the world to identify common priorities and develop joint initiatives to achieve sustainable development in the future. It serves as a valuable starting point for implementing the overall SARD-process.

Why a project for SARD-M? Because...



Mountains cover 22% of the world's land surface while 12% of the world's population, or 720 million people, live in mountain regions. 271 million mountain people, mostly rural, are vulnerable to food insecurity and, of these, around 135 million are chronically hungry.

Improved policies and actions for sustainable agriculture and rural development are urgently needed to enhance sustainable livelihoods in the mountain regions of the developed, developing and transition

world thereby protecting their fragile ecosystems and fostering the socioeconomic, environmental and cultural linkages between upland and lowland areas. Following the 2002 International Year of Mountains and the Adelboden International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountain Regions, the SARD-M Project represents an excellent opportunity for Northern and Southern countries to tackle those challenges aided by the direct and active participation of key stakeholders.

The SARD-M Project is being formulated by FAO with the support of Switzerland and the participation of: I Governments: Chile, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Morocco, Peru, Poland, Romania, Spain; I Civil Society: Aga Khan Foundation, European Observatory of Mountain Forests, Euromontana, Istituto Nazionale Ricerca sulla Montagna, Major Groups of Women, Indigenous People, Local Authorities, Workers and NGOs, PASOLAC, University of Pavia; I International organisations: CIP, ICIMOD, IFAD, WFP.

January 2004

«...To respond to the many challenges of SARD in mountains, appropriate and coherent policies, instruments and programmes need to be developed and applied in a participatory way across all domains.»

Adelboden Declaration, June 2002


The Adelboden Declaration: develop and improve SARD policies for mountain areas


The Swiss Government, in close collaboration with FAO, organised an International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountain Regions (SARD-M) which was held in Adelboden, Switzerland, in June 2002. About 200 representatives of mountain people from 57 countries adopted the Adelboden Declaration on SARD-M by consensus. This political Declaration calls on governments, international organizations and civil society to develop and improve SARD policies and actions for mountain areas in order to enhance the livelihoods of their populations. To transform this goal into concrete action, the Declaration calls on interested countries and other partners "to invite FAO, governments and other relevant organizations to make proposals for a follow-up process in line with its recommendations" and to establish the so-called Adelboden Group. Presented at both the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in September 2002 and at the Bishkek Global Mountain Summit in October 2002, the Adelboden Declaration:


recalls the importance of Chapters 14 on SARD and 13 on Sustainable Mountain Development of Agenda 21 adopted at the Rio Conference in 1992; states that to respond to the many challenges of SARD in mountains, coherent policies, instruments and programmes need to be developed and applied in a participatory way at the local, national, regional, and global levels; calls on interested countries and other partners to support the SARD Initiative and the International Partnership on Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions being facilitated by FAO.

Designing the SARD-M Project through a participatory process

In the follow-up to the Adelboden Conference, the Swiss Government and FAO agreed, through a one-year project on SARD-M initiated in May 2003, to work together in order to: I mobilize the necessary political support for SARD, particularly in mountain regions;

develop a multi-stakeholder, four-year project proposal for SARD in mountain regions based on the principles of the Adelboden Declaration. Accordingly, a participatory process has been launched in order to formulate a four-year SARD-M Project: I in a brainstorming session held in early June 2003, about 20 experts from governments, Major Groups of civil society and FAO units discussed and agreed on preliminary orientations and activities; I an information event on the Adelboden Declaration and SARD-M was organized with several country representatives attending the FAO Council at the end of June 2003; I the Adelboden Group met for the first time in September 2003 with 58 representatives of 15 governments, 11 civil society groups and 5 international organisations, to discuss a preliminary project proposal and provide recommendations for its final formulation.


What is the Adelboden Group?

The Adelboden Group is defined in the Adelboden Declaration as "a platform for discussion of policies and policy instruments, exchange of experience, and preparation of initiatives". It will act as a Steering Committee for the guidance of the

SARD-M Project and constitute a forum for discussion on SARD policies, in particular in mountain regions. It will also contribute to reporting on progress and achievements related to SARD for which FAO, as task manager of Chapter 14 of Agenda 21, has the responsibility within the UN system. A report on SARD will be presented to FAO's Committee on Agriculture (COAG) in 2005, in conformity with

Photo credits (from left to right): FAO/11247/McDougall; FAO/17559/G. Diana; The Adelboden Group; FAO/21051/R. Faidutti; FAO/22414/R. Faidutti; FAO/19374/R. Jones; FAO/6354/F. Botts.

The four-year SARD-M Project: new policy packages for SARD in mountain regions

A four-year project proposal for SARD in mountain regions is currently being formulated. Its long-term objective aims to: "Facilitate the improved formulation, review, implementation and evaluation of SARD policies for mountain regions at national, decentralized and community levels, taking into account global, regional and trans-boundary contexts and linkages in order to enhance livelihoods in mountain regions." Three specific objectives and examples of proposed action-oriented and demand-driven activities are as follows: I Awareness raising Improve the understanding of the role and value of mountain ecosystems and the need for effective SARD mountain-specific policies, legislation and institutions at various levels and within different contexts: I identify the main livelihood systems in selected mountain


regions and assess their links with relevant food security issues and current agricultural and rural development policies; I carry out a comparative review of existing methods and tools for measuring positive and negative externalities of mountain agriculture. Capacity building Strengthen the capacity of governments and other stakeholders to promote SARD mountain-specific policies, instruments and recommendations by means of multi-stakeholder processes: I organize regional workshops aimed at identifying operational recommendations and proposals for concerted action on policies for mountain regions inspired by SARD; promote information exchange and networking actions; I develop methods and tools for the analysis of strengths and weaknesses of existing mountain policies related to SARD principles; I produce guidelines for practitioners on coordination and concerted action on SARD policies for mountain regions and


the decision of the 2001 COAG to include a standing agenda item on SARD every four years. The Group is open to all concerned stakeholders, with special attention given to a balanced representation of members in terms of diverse stakeholders' groups, geographical regions and gender.

Members and their institutions are requested to express a clear commitment to continuity in their participation in the Group. The mechanism for fostering an effective working relationship between the Adelboden Group, FAO and the Governing bodies of FAO (COAG, Council) will be developed in the coming months.

monitoring and evaluation of their implementation, effectiveness and impact; I promote quality labels for sustainable mountain products and services related to agriculture, in particular through training activities and the development of specific tools; I develop materials for leadership training courses on SARD in mountain regions; I design and assist in the implementation of a communication strategy for SARD policies in mountain areas. Support to implementation Implement SARD policies for mountain regions and related instruments by means of in-country assistance and resource mobilization at local, national and trans-boundary levels: I assist in the review, development and monitoring of SARD policies for mountain areas at national and decentralized level; I perform an advocacy role for promoting SARD policies in mountain areas and orienting further activities by partners; I organize an inter-regional workshop for discussing the main project results and lessons learned; I formulate operational recommendations for disseminating, consolidating and institutionalising project experiences.

Photo credits (from left to right): FAO/6231/Banoun-Caracciolo; FAO/20657/E. Yeves; FAO/20778/J. Spaull; FAO/9701/F. Botts; (cover page) FAO/22512/L. Lizzi; FAO/22501/B. Giorgi; FAO/13646/I. Isaac; FAO/6567/T. Fincher.

Building synergies with other SARD and mountain-related projects and initiatives

The Project for SARD in Mountain Regions is considered as a specific project under the overall umbrella of SARD (Chapter 14 of Agenda 21) and its Coordination mechanism. It has direct links with other projects and initiatives related to Sustainable Mountain Development (Chapter 13 of Agenda 21). It will therefore cooperate with and participate in the activities of related projects such as the SARD-Initiative, the SARDEvolution of Farming Systems Project, the International Partnership on Sustainable Mountain Development, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources

for Food and Agriculture (article 6) and others. It also participates in the International Alliance against Hunger established at the "World Food Summit: five years later" in June 2002.

Resources required for project implementation

The SARD-M Project requires: I the direct involvement and contribution of central and decentralized governments, international organizations, major groups and other associations of the civil society, other projects and networks; I a small unit with full-time staff supplemented by national and international consultants as necessary.

The multi-donor nature of this innovative initiative is expected to mobilize a significant number of diversified partners. Potential partners and donors can decide to be either involved in the overall implementation of the project or in specific activities at local, national, regional or global level, contributing with human, in-kind, technical and/or financial resources. The estimated budget for implementing the SARD-M Project is around US$ 1,2 million per year.

SARD (Chapter 14) Coordination Mechanism Coordination / Monitoring / Evaluation

To be updated on SARD and the SARD-M Project you can visit the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security website at: and FAO's official site on SARD at: http:// For more information and details on the Adelboden Conference on SARD-M and to find the full text of the Adelboden Declaration, you can visit the official site of the Conference at: For more information you can contact the SARD-M Project Formulation Team: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Sustainable Development Department, Rural Development Division, Rural Institutions and Participation Service, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 000100 Rome, Italy Tel.: (+39) 06 570 53335 or 55905; Fax: (+39) 06 570 53250 E-mail: [email protected]

SARD Initiative SARD Farming Systems Evolution SARD in Mountain Regions

Synergies Joint Actions

Sustainable Mountain Development (Chapter 13) and Mountain Partnership

Other SARD FAO projects

Other SARD projects

Implementation Partners

SARD-Mountain... implementation

A limited number of priorities identified in common each year






The Adelboden Group will identify priority topics and activities in line with its fundamental objective aimed at facilitating the formulation and implementation of policies. Their number will be limited each year to ensure efficiency. The programming of activities will ensure a balance between the topics dealt with, countries or mountains concerned and the partners involved in both developed and developing countries. For each topic identified, outputs should increase the awareness of stakeholders and decision makers, strengthen capacities as well as the successful application of results in the field. Partners prioritize some orientations such as the quality of mountain products, the roles of agriculture in mountain regions and analysis of its positive impacts, matters of governance (in particular decentralization and participation of civil society) and the enhancement of the value of traditional knowledge. The Adelboden Group will meet in June of 2004 to review the first proposals formulated with potential partners.

Sharing experiences and exchanges for a common interest





The Project strongly commits itself to a collective learning process, sharing experiences, capitalization of previous work and common construction. Synergies between projects and programmes, either achieved or under implementation, will be a driving force ­ often through workshops ­ to avoid duplication and enrich activities and outputs. Surveys will be undertaken to either fill the gaps identified or pioneer a new field. Each partner will be in a position to: I create new contacts and collaborations; I exchange with stakeholders from other sectors of activity, institutions or regions; I face daily problems from a different point of view; I refine or complete analyses; I share points of view and widen audience.

"Tailor-made" partnerships




Each partner ­ from the civil society, Government, regional or international organization ­ will define his own participation in the programme of activities according to his objectives and areas of competences as well as the human and financial means at his disposal. Everyone will be invited to participate in the definition of the programme orientations and priorities. There will be a wide range of collaboration strategies: I participation in the exchange of information on results achieved or work in progress; I carrying out specific activities, such as production of manuals and practical guidelines; I organization of sessions in order to exchange experience or provide training; I students' training or reports; I staff secondment; I financial contribution to the project. In 2004, the identification of potential fields of collaboration will begin by reviewing all the activities undertaken in the framework of the objective of the SARD-M Project: "designing new policy packages for SARD in mountain region".

A framework for multilateral intervention




The Project and its team will be hosted by the Sustainable Development Department at FAO. Based at FAO Headquarters, the Project will be in a better position to contribute to all activities that FAO dedicates to SARD. In addition, this location allows easy collaboration with the Partnership in Mountain Regions, whose Secretariat is also hosted by FAO, as well as with other United Nations agencies or international organizations. The Project will be financed through a multi-donor trust fund, which is the best procedure for multiple partnerships. A convention will be formalized individually with each partner.

A global as well as a regional approach




This approach of the mountain regions, on a world scale, will be extended to marginal areas which face similar problems (e.g. northern areas). The projects based on regional studies will be supported by a partner organization which will ensure coordination in each region. A region could cover different entities: a massif such as the Himalaya, a geographical and historical unity such as the Mediterranean basin. Partnerships at decentralized levels will be pursued.

Photo credits (from left to right): FAO/20771/J. Spaull; FAO/13738/J. Isaac; FAO/14673/A.J.D. Barker; FAO/21108/R. Faidutti; (cover page) FAO/22995/ I. Balderi; FAO/20653/E. Yeves; FAO/23399/A. Mihich; FAO/10840/F. Botts.


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