Sustainable mountain development in East Africa in a changing climate

Mountains directly contribute to the lives of much of the world’s population through the provision of freshwater or irrigation for agriculture; they are the source of rivers, along which human settlements are able to flourish. While acting as the lifeblood for many communities, these fragile landscapes are under threat from changes to our climate, the effects of which are accentuated at high altitudes. A range of ecosystems such as mountain forests, grasslands and lakes are affected, with pollution from mining and agriculture further weakening their ability to cope with changes in rainfall and temperature. Mountain populations dependent on these ecosystems are vulnerable - especially when isolated from markets, services and decision-making institutions. Adaptation to climate change therefore requires a tailored approach if mountain regions are to be sustainably managed. This report complements the Africa Mountain Atlas, a UNEP publication that describes changes to Africa’s mountain ecosystems and the impact of these changes on livelihoods. It examines climate change action in countries within the region of East Africa that have fragile mountainous ecosystems. The core objective of this report is to foster dialogue and promote a regional understanding of mountain ecosystems with a specific focus on climate change and adaptation, as well as fostering further interregional exchange of experiences and best practice at the global level.

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