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About World Mountain Forum 2018

Mountains are home to 13% of the global population and cover one fifth of the Earth's land surface. Mountains provide essential environmental services to society. Acting as global ‘water towers’, they provide freshwater for populations around the world. 40% of the world’s population relies on mountain water for drinking, irrigation and hydropower. Mountains are unique biodiversity hotspots, including habitats for endangered wildlife species endemic to mountain areas. This biodiversity forms the basis of many of the ecosystem services that humans rely on, including many of the world’s major food crops. Mountain areas are particularly sensitive to the effects of global change, jeopardizing many of the critical goods and services they provide. Climate change in particular poses a major threat to mountain areas. Rapidly melting glaciers and reduced snow cover are increasingly altering river flow regimes; threatening water availability for irrigation agriculture downstream, affecting hydropower production. There is a high probability that changes in temperature and precipitation patterns are increasing the risks of floods, mass movements and other natural hazards that can manifest as disasters. More frequent and intense drought periods will potentially increase the stress on mountain social-ecological systems which are linked with unique cultural and traditional practices and mountain people’s vulnerability to food security.  

WMF 2018 aims at building on past achievements and successes and sets to develop scenarios for a thriving mountain future. The government of Kyrgyzstan is privileged to host this prestigious event and looks forward to welcoming its participants in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.


Expected Outcomes

  • Learning opportunity; keynote presentations and ‘flash-talks’ will provide information on the latest sustainable mountain development issues across the world

  • Knowledge exchange; the format of the forum will encourage exchange of experiences, best practices and expertise among global stakeholders

  • Forged relationships; by way of expanding professional networks, formed partnerships and regional alliances

  • Solutions; by way of gained new knowledge, shared understanding and contacts, participants will develop sound solutions to issues highlighted during WMF 2018

  • Contribution to the development of scenarios towards a thriving mountain future

Core Themes

The Forum is structured around four core thematic issues, which are:

  • T-1: Climate Change Affecting Water and Energy in Mountain Areas

  • T-2: Poverty, Food Systems and Agrobiodiversity 

  • T-3: Resilience and Transformation in Mountain Communities and Ecosystems

  • T-4: Investing in Mountains - Securing the Future

The four core themes will be addressed around three foci: 1) current trends and dynamics (Day 1); pathways to sustainable transformation (Day 2, morning); and partnerships to sustain and support sustainable mountain development (Day 2, afternoon).

Day three of the Forum is reserved for synthesis and compilation of key messages and an outlook of prospects for future action.


We welcome your contribution and participation in WMF 2018! In addition to attending the Forum and being part of the dialogue, a call is now open for contributions as posters and related 7 minute ‘flash talks' that address the four core thematic issues to be highlighted at the Forum. Please go to this link to register your attendance by July 29, 11:59 (GMT +6). Please refer to the specific content and suggested themes, as well as guiding questions that each core thematic issue seeks to address, and shape your contribution accordingly. See here to access the abstract proposal portal.

Authors will be notified about acceptance to the conference by August 15, 2018.

The Forum will also facilitate specific side events before, during and after the conference - please refer to the detailed programme for more information.