University of Central Asia celebrates 10th anniversary of the International Year of Mountains on International Mountain Day

Date: 29 January 2013
Other languages: Русский язык |

The University of Central Asia (UCA) supported the ‘market place for sustainable mountain development good practices,’ organised by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) Central Asia Hub, celebrating International Mountain Day 2012, which also marked the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Mountains.

Mountain Partnership members from Central Asia, Altai and Dagestan participated in the Bishkek event on 11 December 2012, with support from the MPS Central Asia Hub, which is hosted at the Mountain Societies Research Centre (MSRC) of UCA, in partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation Country Office, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in the Kyrgyz Republic. The event was organised to celebrate this important milestone in the mountain movement in the country and to raise awareness on importance of mountains to life on the earth.

‘Market place’ visitors learn more about innovative mountain projects

“The Mountain Societies Research Centre is pleased to be a part of this event, which highlights best practices in sustainable mountain development in a dynamic and interactive ‘market place’ setting. MSRC is committed to informing the policy and practice of sustainable mountain development through evidence-based research.  Our partnership with Mountain Partnership demonstrates the unique synergy between academic research and the practical application of sustainable practices in mountain communities” said Dr Horst Weyerhaeuser, Director, Mountain Societies Research Centre.

The ‘market place’ event demonstrated the increasing and effective role of civil society in addressing the challenges facing mountain communities in Central Asia.  Various booths highlighted the diverse and innovative work and products of MP members and AKDN.  AKF’s innovative kindergartens that operate in yurts during the annual migration by herders to high altitude summer pastures or jailoos were showcased in a mini yurt at the event. 

“The jailoo kindergartens demonstrate a key element of AKDN programming: finding locally developed and culturally sensitive solutions for each unique context”
said Karl Goeppert, Aga Khan Foundation, Kyrgyzstan, Chief Executive Officer in his remarks.

Joint initiatives by the MPS and MSRC in 2012 were highlighted.  New publications in both Russian and English were available, including the special issue of the journal Mountain Research and Development on Central Asian Mountain Societies in Transition, guest-edited by MSRC researchers, and the report on Sustainable Mountain Development in Central Asia: From Rio 1992 to Rio 2012 and Beyond report, developed by MPS, MSRC and the Zoi Network with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. 

UCA’s Mountain Societies Research Centre (MSRC) was launched in 2011 as the first of several planned centres within University of Central Asia. MSRC generates and promotes the application of sound research on sustainable mountain development in Central Asia. MSRC is also the host of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat's Decentralized Hub for Central Asia. For more information, visit:

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