LCN Attends the First African Mountain Regional Forum that takes place in Tanzania
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On 22 - 25 October 2014, Thato Konstabole, the Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resource Commission Coordinator for LCN, attended the first African Mountains Regional Forum. The meeting was convined by the Albertine Rift Conservation Society and the African Partnership Champions Committee in partnership with the East African Community, the UN Environment Programme, the Austrian Development Cooperation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

The forum was held in Arusha, Tanzania and attracted participants from governments, civil society, research institutions, the private sector and other key decision makers from across Africa.

Delegates at the African Mountains Regional Forum which was held in Arusha, Tanzania on 22 - 25 October 2014

African mountains provide indispensable goods and services for the communities living in and around them, as well as for various downstream users. Mountains also harbour a unique biodiversity, provide non-timber forest products: water, food and energy security at local, national, and regional levels. However, pressure from human activities and climate change are leading to rapid mountain biodiversity loss, land degradation and natural disasters which jeopardize their ability to balance people's needs.

The primary objective of the forum was to enhance collaboration and promote sustainable mountain development in Africa. Topics were divided into 5 themes and comprised of a series of presentations which were made by experts and practitioners from across Africa. Issues addressed included:

        1. Bio diversity and Eco system Services
        2. Water Energy and Food security challenges in Africa
        3. African mountains and Climate Change
        4. Community Livelihoods and Development
        5. African Mountains and Regional and Development Agenda

The delegation from Lesotho was made up of LCN, the Department of Environment of the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Culture, Ministry of Forestry and Land Reclamation, the Department of Range Resource Management and the Ministry of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs. They made a comprehensive presentation which detailed 'Climate change adaptation measures in rangeland management: removal of invasive shrubs in Lesotho'.

At the end of the 4 day gathering, the key outcome was adoption of the Arusha Outcomes which participants hoped will raise the profile of the African sustainable mountain development agenda. Members of the forum agreed that they would return to their own countries and lobby for the inclusion of mountain development in their respective sub national, national, regional and international development agenda's.

The team from Lesotho plan to meet at the beginning of November to formulate a course of action and to identify how best to engage a range of stakeholders from all areas of the country who will work together to take the mountain agenda and related activities forward.

LCN (AENRC) has committed to engage it's member NGOs who operate in the mountains and include them in this new network of mountain partners. If you feel that you have the skills and knowledge to contribute to this network please contact Mr Thato Konstabole at
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