DENVER -- The Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC), a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), has been accepted as a member of the United Nations Global Mountain Partnership.
The Mountain Partnership is a voluntary alliance of government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses committed to working together with the common goal of achieving sustainable mountain development around the world. On December 16, 2021, the State of Colorado became the first US state to join the Mountain Partnership. As the country’s most important and progressive mountain state, Colorado again leads the nation in supporting climate action and sustainable mountain development.
“Colorado continues to be a leader in not only the economic development of our mountain communities but also the care and stewardship of the finite resources that our mountain communities rely on for their future prosperity,” said Nathan Fey, OREC Director. “From the Confluence of States to the Mountain Partnership, we are joining with other industry leaders to ensure best practices in the management and use of our natural areas.”
Some of the key challenges discussed and addressed through the mountain partnership are deforestation, wealth inequality, mining and tourism overuse, unsustainable farming practices, erosion, biodiversity loss and the effects of climate change.
Local communities often possess the knowledge and best practices in managing and enhancing their mountain ecosystems, but are often not at the table for these important discussions. By tapping the wealth and diversity of knowledge of local communities and the expertise of the Mountain Partnership global membership, the Mountain Partnership stimulates concrete initiatives at all levels to address threats, improve quality of life and sustain healthy environments in the world’s mountain regions.
The Mountain Partnership focuses on advocacy, cooperation, sustainability and knowledge sharing which complement the four core pillars of the OREC Office - Economic Development, Conservation and Stewardship, Education and Workforce Training, and Public Health and Wellness.
The Mountain Partnership is supported by a Secretariat that is hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome. In welcoming Colorado to the partnership, the secretary noted they are confident that Colorado will contribute significantly to realizing the objectives of the organization. Membership is for four years, after which it may be renewed. The Colorado membership expires in December 2025.
The Mountain Partnership has named 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development.