Mountain biodiversity tops Montreal meet agenda

the entire gamut of activities that threaten ecosystems in the mountain regions dominated discussions at the meeting of the scientific advisory body to the Convention on Biological Diversity (cbd): from habitat fragmentation, poaching and wildlife trade in the Himalayan belt to grazing pressure, encroachment and fuelwood demand in the Western Ghats.

The eighth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (sbstta) was held from March 10-14, 2003, in Montreal, Canada. Based on its assessments, enabled by reports submitted by member countries, the sbstta proposed a work programme with specific goals and actions.

Significantly, mountains cover a quarter of the world's terrestrial area and house about 12 per cent of the world's population. The people of these regions are inextricably linked with, and dependent on, their resources either directly or indirectly. "Many species that have become extinct in lowlands due to human activities are surviving in mountain regions,' points out Klaus T