On the 4th – 8th June 2018, the second Mountain Futures Conference took place in China’s Yunnan province, against the backdrop of the famous Hani rice terraces in Honghe and the rapidly growing city of Kunming. Building on the success of the first Mountain Futures Conference in 2016, the event gave participants the opportunity to shape the future of the Mountain Futures Initiative and to share knowledge and ideas with a range of researchers and representatives from mountain regions around the world. The Initiative seeks to foster local innovations for resilient livelihoods in mountain regions worldwide; it aims to identify, develop, and scale up mountain-based solutions to global problems.
Prior the conference, a 2 days field trip was organized to Honghe county to visit the Hani Rice Terraces and some demonstration sites of relevant technologies, and to participate to the Cornerstone Ceremony for the Honghe Innovation Centre for Mountain Futures.
The Open Science Conference was then organized in Kunming around 3 main themes:
ECOSYSTEM RHYTHMS: UNDERSTANDING CHANGE
Due to elevation gradients, mountain ecosystems are governed by unique ecological rhythms; we need to update our scientific understanding of how these ecological cycles are affected by climate change and other global processes. Events in this theme will examine how researchers and mountain communities can together collect such data and combine it with indigenous knowledge systems in ways that support resilient mountain livelihoods.
LAND SYSTEMS: MANAGING COMPLEXITY
Effective management of complex land systems in mountains requires synthesizing insights and knowledge on patterns of land system changes. Events in this theme will explore how such knowledge can be utilized to produce tools and methods that enable policy-makers and communities to plan for and adapt to global change.
ENHANCING LIVELIHOODS: ROLE OF GENDER AND LOCAL INSTITUTIONS
Capturing innovation for change also requires addressing the social, ecological, and economic factors which promote sustainable livelihoods for mountain communities. Events in this theme will focus on how to grow new models of mountain development which are participatory, equitable and just – yet also capable of attracting private-sector investment and having large-scale impacts on the ground.
ALiSEA regional coordinator joined the conference as part of a broader Lao delegation. It aims at presenting the achievements done in the framework of the Lao Uplands Initiative (https://laouplandsforum.org/). Meanwhile, it was also a great opportunity to promote ALiSEA network, to reach out to potential new members from the region and from mainland China and to disseminate / showcase the results of some ALiSEA small grant initiatives addressing mountainous communities.
Thus, we have widely disseminated the following materials:
- From ADC in Vietnam: The handbook “Promoting Indigenous Knowledge and Good Agricultural Practices in Climate Change Adaptation” in English and Vietnamese and 2 success stories
- From MIID in Myanmar: 2 case studies “Addressing the Challenges of Upland Farming in Southern Shan State for Climate Resilience” & “Supporting Sustainable Livelihoods and Reclaiming Degraded Land by enhancing agroforestry in Southern Shan State”
- From SPERI in Laos: 2 reports and 1 poster about “Promoting agroecology farming for self-reliant livelihood of local upland farmers through documenting the case of native eco-vegetables of the Hmong community of Long Lan village, Luang Prabang district, Luang Prabang province”
- From MIPAD in Cambodia: 2 case studies in Dak Dam Commune, O’Reang District, Mondolkiri province “Forestry smart agriculture and livelihoods” & “The transition of forest based medicinal plants to garden based medicinal plants”
- The different short movies produced in the framework of the Luang Prabang Film Festival as well as those produced in the framework of the Small Grant Facility: 5 short films from TOA (Journey of Hope) and 1 short film from ARMI (Integrated farming)
Lastly, in regards to the conference, we have presented 2 posters on behalf of ALiSEA and in line with some of the work we have been doing over the past years:
- Bringing Agroecology to the Market: Innovative Market Approaches and Institutional Settings to accompany the agroecological transition in Lao Uplands
- Making the case for sustainable agriculture: Changing the negative narrative towards agriculture through innovative approach to attract the youth in Lao PDR and Cambodia
The poster addressing AE & Market access was awarded with a price as one of the best posters in the session Livelihood dynamics.
More information about the Mountain Futures Initiative: http://mountainfutures.org/