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Join us for the Global Meeting Public Side Events

In addition to members' plenary sessions, the meeting will feature daily side-events on topics related to engagement of the private sector, strengthening the Mountain Partnership’s relationships with mountain athletes and sport industry, and sustainable mountain development, including climate change, ecotourism, renewable energy, disaster mitigation and water conservation. Purchase tickets now and take advantage of early bird pricing.

Public Talks on Tues, Sept 27: "Challenges Facing Today's Mountain Communities"

Watch Side Event Online

Mountain Outdoor and Sports for Nature — Challenges and Opportunities

Time: 15.00-16.00 (3:00-4:00pm); Doors open 14.45 (2:45pm)
Theme: Outdoor Industry/UIAA
Moderator: Conor Hall, Director Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation (OREC)
  • Rebecca Gillis, State & Local Government Affairs Manager, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA)
  • Phil Powers, President of the Mountain Guides, representing UIAA and AAC
  • Gloria Schoch, Senior Director of Global Impact and VF Foundation, VF
  • Doreen Robinson, Head of Biodiversity and Land at UNEP
  • Tanya Bascombe, General Manager, European Outdoor Conservation Assiocation (EOCA)
  • Steve Skadron, Vice President and Campus Dean of CMC Aspen and Carbondale 
Location: McNulty/Doerr-Hosier

Outdoor recreation including sports is an important contributor to economic growth and job creation in Colorado and the United States as well as other mountain countries. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the outdoor recreation economy in the US generated $689 billion in consumer spending and 4.3 million jobs in 2020 and contributed significantly to economic sustainability. However, the impacts of growing mountain recreation and sports on nature in mountain regions needs to be also adequately addressed. This session will show how partnerships among governments, the outdoor and sports sector including industries and communities in mountain regions can contribute to sustainable pathways consistent with climate change, biodiversity and land management goals, looking also at available success stories.

  • Showcases the importance of mountain sports/outdoor recreation sector including industry and its positive economic impacts, especially, through the Colorado lens.
  • Shows the diversity of partners in the mountain sports / outdoor recreation sector including industry and the various players at the private and government levels.
  • Highlights how mountain regions can lean into partnership with mountain sports/outdoor recreation in sustainable ways that support climate action, nature action, and land management, looking at available success stories.
Watch Side Event Online

Tackling the Climate Crisis at Altitude by Fostering a Community of Practice

Time: 16.10-17.10 (4:10-5:10pm)
Theme: Climate Crisis and Adaptation
Moderator: Alex Mackey, Project Manager, Zoï Environment Network
  • Carolina Adler, Executive Director, Mountain Research Initiative
  • Matthias Jurek, Programme Management Office, UNEP
  • María Arguello, Executive Director, CONDESAN
  • Basanta Shrestha, Director of Strategic Cooperation, ICIMOD
  • Sam Kanyamibwa, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, ARCOS
Location: McNulty/Doerr-Hosier

Join the discussion on how we can increase adaptive capacity to climate change in the Andes, East Africa, South Caucasus, Hindu Kush Himalaya and beyond! The Adaptation at Altitude (A@A) programme invites participants to exchange on how an improved data and information landscape, tested adaptation solutions, regional collaboration, and interregional exchange are all contributing to more climate-resilient sustainable mountain development. 

Mountains exhibit some of the clearest indications of climate change: rising temperatures, melting glaciers and changing precipitation patterns are disrupting water flows, affecting ecosystems, worsening natural hazards, and threatening livelihoods and communities within mountains and downstream. The recent IPCC cross-chapter paper on mountains (Adler et al. 2022) reports that adverse impacts of climate change in mountain areas have accelerated in recent decades. The efforts of mountain range actors and the global mountain community to effectively step up to the new climate challenges in and around mountains need to be strengthened across different levels.  The Adaptation at Altitude (A@A) programme seeks to increase the resilience and adaptive capacity of mountain communities and ecosystems to climate change by: 

  • Improving the knowledge of appropriate climate change adaptation strategies in mountains, including by gathering and promoting mountain adaptation solutions 
  • Transferring that knowledge through science–policy platforms to inform decision- making in national, regional, and global policy processes 

The programme further fosters interregional exchange and peer-to-peer learning within and between mountain areas (especially in the target regions Andes, East Africa, South Caucasus and Hindu Kush Himalaya) and respective regional governance structures.  

Watch Side Event Online (Coming Soon)

Strengthening the Andean Mountain Initiative Governance for Resilient Societies in the Region

Time: 17.20-18.20 (5:20-6:20pm)
Theme: Sustainable land management and biodiversity
Moderator: Karen Price, CONDESAN (Consortium for sustainable development of the Andean ecoregion)
  • Carlos Montoya, Environment Direction, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Perú
  • Beatriz Fuentealba, National Research Institute on Glaciers and Mountain Ecosystems, Perú
  • Adrián Díaz, General Direction of Environment and Ocean Affairs. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chile
  • Ansgar Fellendorf, Climate change and mountain governance expert, UNEP
  • Mariano Goicoechea, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship, Argentina
Location: Kauffman Room/Doerr-Hosier

This session will focus on governance and experiences from the Andean Region. It will examine the interconnections between climate change, risk and water management for sustainable mountain development. 

The Andean Mountain Initiative is a platform made up of the seven countries that share a common territory, the Andes mountain range. Facing common challenges requires the strengthening of governance aimed at improving planning processes and facilitating decision-making. Closing information gaps, scaling up good practices, mobilizing resources are experiences developed by the IAM through the Community of Practice, the Socio-indicators Platform and the Development of Proposals. We will share the importance of the Andean mountains for the region, share the work of the Andean Mountain Initiative, promote interregional exchange and further strengthen the governance process with the seven Andean countries.

Watch Side Event Online

How Higher Education Fosters Climate Action and Sustainability for Mountains and is Training the Next Generation

Time: 17.20-18.20 (5:20-6:20pm)
Theme: Education
Moderator: Julia Klein, Professor, Colorado State University, Dept. of Ecosystem Science & Sustainability and Director, Mountain Sentinels
  • Rachel Forbes, Associate Professor of the Practice of Social Work and the Western Colorado MSW Program Director at the Graduate School of Social Work
  • John Hausdoerffer, Dean, Clark School of Environment & Sustainability (SES), Western Colorado University
  • Kim Langmaid, Associate Professor, Sustainability Studies, Colorado Mountain College and Mayor of Vail
  • Cody Sanford, Former CSU student and YEAH Fellow, Co-founder and content creator of the Livable Future Podcast
Location: McNulty Room/Doerr-Hosier

This session will highlight how institutions of higher education in the state of Colorado, including the state’s premiere land grant institution – Colorado State University – are working to address critical climate change and sustainability challenges in mountains in the US and abroad. From addressing wildfires across the west, catalyzing the transition towards the New Energy Economy, conserving endangered mountain species, and assessing and advocating for the value of mountain environments and wild spaces, we will highlight how universities are teaming up with other sectors of society to promote sustainable mountain development within the state of Colorado, the US, and across mountains worldwide. We will also highlight how youth engagement and youth-led initiatives within and beyond the academic setting are training the next generation of future citizens, leaders, and problem-solvers. 

Public Talks on Weds, Sept 28: "Finding Long Term Climate Solutions Locally"

Watch Side Event Online (Coming Soon)

Sustainable Land Management and Biodiversity Conservation for Community Based Adaptation: generating Sustainable Socio-Economic Opportunities for Mountain Communities

Time: 13:50-14.50 (1:50-2:50pm); Doors open 13.45 (1:45pm)
Theme: Sustainable Land Management
Organizers: UNESCO-MAB & IUCN
  • Adriana Vidal, Senior Policy Advisor, Climate Change, IUCN
  • Maria Rosa Cardenas, Associate Programme Specialist Man and the Biosphere Programme, UNESCO
  • Dr Steve du Toit, Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve, South Africa
  • Juan Carlos Castro, El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, Mexico (TBC)
  • Maureen Anino, Assistant Commissioner, Ministry of Water and Environment Uganda (TBC)
  • Sindhu Prasad Dhungana, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Forests and Environment, Nepal (TBC)
Location: Kauffman Room/Doerr-Hosier

The side event will focus on different approaches and experiences to land management in mountains for ensuring the recovery and maintenance of key ecosystem services and the sustainable management and use of biodiversity, including agro-biodiversity, aiming to enhance the adaptive capacity and reduce the vulnerability of mountain communities to climate change.

Watch Side Event Online

Braiding Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science: Experiences and Solutions for Sustainable Mountain Development

Time: 13.50-14.50 (1:50-2:50pm)
Theme: Indigenous People
Organizers: Canadian Mountain Network, CSU Mountain Sentinels
Moderator: Julia Klein, Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science & Sustainability at Colorado State University
  • Elder Mary Jane Johnson, Lhu’ààn Mân Ku Dań Elder who worked for Parks Canada and Kluane First Nation
  • Lawrence Ignace, Canadian Mountain Network, Anishinaabe from Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation within Treaty 3 Northwestern Ontario
  • Katie L. Kamelamela, Mountain Sentinels Fellow, Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests, Hawaii
  • Tiffany Pyette, Mountain Sentinels Fellow, two-spirit writer, poet, visual artist and Appalachian mountain community organizer
  • Catherine Tucker, Professor of Anthropology and Associate Director, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida
Location: McNulty Room/Doerr-Hosier

In this session, panelists from the Canadian Mountain Network and the Mountain Sentinels Collaborative Network will share experiences and insights in working towards sustainable mountain development through authentic partnerships between local/Indigenous people and western scientists. They will share examples of braiding knowledges and demonstrate why addressing critical mountain sustainability challenges - such as climate change, disasters, and food insecurity – requires this new approach.

Watch Side Event Online (Coming Soon)

Knowledge Generation and Management and Strategic Partnerships for Sustainable Mountain Development in South America

Time: 14.55-15.55 (2:55-3:55pm)
Theme: Sustainable mountain development in South America (CSOs) CONDESAN
Moderator: Ana Benitez, CONDESAN (Consortium for sustainable development of the Andean ecoregion)
  • Francisco Román,  CONDESAN
  • Sebastián Malizia, Proyungas
  • Marisa Young, Fundación Agreste
  • Luis Felipe César, Fundación Crescente Fértil
  • Sonia Salas, REDAR, Rural Agrobusiness network of Perú
  • Hugo Mantilla-Meluk, High Mountain Research Center (CEAM) / University of Quindío 
Location: Kauffman Room/Doerr-Hosier

This session will focus on diverse organizations working on sustainable mountain development across South America. It will explore how strategic partnerships are key to maintaining and protecting the diverse mountain landscapes across the region, integrating local and comprehensive approaches. By sharing examples of successful cross-dialogue between institutions and actors, the session seeks to promote and strengthen synergies and enhance collaborative conversations with new voices and visions, whilst promoting ancestral methodology and environmental management.

Watch Side Event Online

Keeping our Mountains Waste-Free

Time: 15.10-16.10 (3:10-4:10pm)
Theme: Waste in Mountains
Organizer: UNEP
Moderator: Ansgar Fellendorf, Climate Change and Mountain Expert, UNEP
  • Björn Alfthan, Principal Expert, GRID-Arendal
  • Jost Dittkrist, Programme Manager, BRS Secretariat
  • Carolina Adler, President of Mountain Protection Commission, UIAA and Executive Director, MRI
  • Angela Hawse, Board Member, IFMGA
  • Cathy Hall, Solid Waste Manager, Pitkin County
Location: McNulty Room/Doerr-Hosier

Waste — especially plastic waste — is an omnipresent concern in mountains. Virtually all outdoor enthusiasts have encountered pollution. This side event paints the global picture and challenges to waste management in mountains. It also shares success stories and possible actions for waste-free mountains. Join for a lively debate on recent policies and share your input how the Mountain Partnership and the upcoming Five Year Action Plan can help keeping our mountains clean!

  • Identify specific challenges for waste management in mountain regions
  • Develop a common understanding of the actions that can be taken to keep mountains waste-free
  • Highlight the key roles that different stakeholders have in supporting these actions, including municipal and national government authorities, the private sector (e.g. hotels), the outdoor mountain recreation communities, the scientific research community, and the general public (e.g. tourists).
Watch Side Event Online

Community: Talk Globally, Act Locally

Time: 16.00-17.00 (4:00-5:00pm)
Organizers: City of Aspen Climate Action Office
Moderator: Dallas Blaney, CEO, CORE
  • Greg Poschman, Commissioner, Pitkin County
  • Torre, Mayor, City of Aspen
  • Bill Madsen, Mayor, Town of Snowmass Village
  • Bill Kane, Mayor, Town of Basalt
  • Kim Langmaid, Mayor, Town of Vail
  • Matt Scherr, Commissioner, Eagle County
Location: McNulty Room/Doerr-Hosier

This session will highlight the steps local communities are taking to address climate change and sustainability and the role of collaboration to reach climate goals. Discussion and debate will provide a forum to connect with each other and international mountain communities. The panel will feature elected officials from the local area, including Mayors and County Commissioners, sharing their thoughts and insights on the pressing and complex realities of reaching carbon reduction goals and mountain sustainability. This session will also provide a forum to connect with each other and international mountain communities.

Local governments play a key role in climate action and mountain sustainability solutions.
Collaboration will scale solutions and improve outcomes

Public Talk on Thurs, Sept 29:  Aspen Institute Hurst Lecture Series

Watch Side Event Online

Building Alliances for Resilient Mountains: Changing the Way We Think About Climate Change

Time: 10:30-11:45am (doors open: 10:45am)
Location: McNulty Room Room/Doerr-Hosier Center
Presented by: Aspen Institute Hurst Lecture Series in collaboration with the United Nations Mountain Partnership Global Meeting
Moderator: Elliot Gerson, Aspen Institute Executive Vice President 
  • RMI (formerly Rocky Mountain Institute) Chief Program and Strategy Officer Jon Creyts
  • Lynne Kiesling, University of Colorado Denver Institute for Regulatory Law & Economics Research Professor and Co-Director
  • Nikki Pitre, Aspen Institute Center for Native American Youth Executive Director
  • Zenia Tata, XPRIZE Chief Impact Officer

Featuring RMI (formerly Rocky Mountain Institute) Chief Program and Strategy Officer Jon Creyts; University of Colorado Denver Institute for Regulatory Law & Economics Research Professor and Co-Director Lynne Kiesling; Aspen Institute Center for Native American Youth Executive Director Nikki Pitre; and XPRIZE Chief Impact Officer Zenia Tata, in conversation with Aspen Institute Executive Vice President Elliot Gerson. The effects of climate change are playing out in extreme weather events and prolonged drought and disproportionately impact the most vulnerable communities around the world. From the development of moonshot technologies to harnessing catalysts such as finance and technology to decarbonize industries, how do we implement solutions while fostering climate justice? 

Aspen understands that hosting the UN Mountain Partnership Conference will not only further the preservation and sustainable development of mountains, but it will also bring international government, nonprofit and private sector agencies to the Colorado Rockies, promoting tourism and all our State has to offer to a global audience.  —Aspen Mayor Torre

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