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CMN attends the 6th Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership


Canadian Mountain Network


Oct 14, 2022


Oct 14, 2022


Our team attended the Sixth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership: Mountains Matter: Ideas to Action Building Alliances for Resilient Mountains from September 27-29, 2022 in Aspen, Colorado.

The Mountain Partnership is the United Nations’ only voluntary alliance of partners dedicated to mountain peoples and environments, with over 450 members from 96 countries, including national and local governments, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, private sector businesses, and nonprofits. The Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership is held every four years to set the organization’s agenda and high-level advocacy goals. This was the first year the meeting was held in North America! 

The Canadian Mountain Network (CMN) Board Vice Chair, Lawrence Ignace, who is Anishinaabe from Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation within Treaty 3 in Northwestern Ontario, and Gùdia - Mary Jane Johnson - from our Indigenous Circle of Advisors, who is a Lhu’ààn Mân Ku Dań Elder, along with Communications Coordinator Kimberley Harbour, attended this meeting to learn from our global community, as well as share our values, approaches and ideas.

Canadian Mountain Network team in Aspen at the Mountain Partnership Meeting

Left to Right: Gùdia - Mary Jane Johnson, Kimberley Harbour, Lawrence Ignace

The conference took place over three days, where delegates from around the globe attended plenary sessions and workshops to hear about issues that are affecting mountain communities, peoples, biodiversity and cultures. In addition to discussing how communities have been affected by climate change, speakers also reported on many innovative technologies and commitments that groups, organizations and governments are undertaking to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Attendees and speakers all agreed that drastic actions must be taken now to save our ecosystems and associated biodiversity, cultures and peoples.

In line with CMN's core values of braiding Indigenous knowledge and Western science, the meeting emphasized how communities and governments are increasingly acknowledging the importance of Indigenous knowledge to reach climate change and conservation objectives. 

In addition to hearing from global mountain community members, CMN Vice Chair Lawrence Ignace spoke on the UN FAO panel during Day 2 titled, Science and Knowledge for Policy. During this panel discussion, Lawrence spoke about this connection with CMN and the work we are doing to combine multiple ways of knowing to further mountain research. 

On the afternoon of Day 2, alongside our partners at Mountain Sentinels, we co-hosted a side event titled, Braiding Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science: Experiences and Solutions for Sustainable Mountain Development. CMN board members Gùdia - Mary Jane Johnson - and Lawrence Ignace, with Fellows from Mountain Sentinels, all spoke about the importance of raising Indigenous voices and ways of knowing in research and climate action. Indigenous people have been Land Guardians for centuries all over the world, and it is essential that Indigenous Peoples are at the forefront of climate action, mountain research and the conservation of lands, biodiversity and wildlife.  

Watch the recordings here:

Canadian Mountain Network

Canadian Mountain Network & Mountain Sentinels speaking at the side event

Canadian Mountain Network at Mountain Partnership

In addition to speaking on panels and listening to others, CMN hosted a booth where we had the opportunity to talk with attendees from around the world, where we built connections, discussed CMN’s progress to date and shared our future direction. If you attended and did not get a copy of our Annual Report or would like to see what we had on display, please see the links below:

Annual Report 2020-2021

Our Future - Braiding Knowledges Canada 

The meeting closed with the introduction of the Aspen Declaration. This declaration acts as a guideline to all partners of the Mountain Partnership to promote the sustainable development of mountain communities. 

Please read this excerpt from the Aspen Declaration:

Recognizing successful, locally-driven experiences of transformative change; identifying new and sustainable livelihood opportunities; acknowledging Indigenous People and Local Communities’ (IPLC) rights; adopting new and supporting existing practices that combat land degradation, drought and desertification and that assist mountain ecosystem restoration; and promoting climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity conservation, disaster risk reduction, and resilient agrifood systems are urgent requirements for achieving the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

For further information, click here.

Thank you to everyone who attended, listened in, and brought their perspectives and ideas at this meeting. We look forward to continuing to build global relationships and working together to better our mountain communities. As members of the Mountain Partnership, CMN has worked with different initiatives in the past, and this meeting allowed us to connect with our many global relationships in person. 

We are thankful for the opportunity to build our past work and continue to be involved in the Mountain Partnership, who are advocating for mountain systems, peoples and wildlife, as well as continuing our work of braiding Indigenous knowledge with Western science. Reconciliation through research is one of CMNs core values, and we will continue to share this message with the global community through our continued connections with the Mountain Partnership team. 

Our team left the meeting feeling hopeful and determined to bring these ideas to action.

Canadian Mountain Network

Photos of the CMN team at the booth and side events

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