Mountains, Parliaments, and the Global Goal on Adaptation: Preparing for COP28

Why are mountain areas important for adaptation and how can they be integrated in the negotiations at COP28? This International Mountain Day webinar will bring together parliamentarians and stakeholders to reflect on and discuss the latest adaptation needs and challenges in mountain areas. Register and learn more!
Multiple Authors
Photo by v2osk on Unsplash


Following the success of International Mountain Day webinars in 20202021, and 2022the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Adaptation at Altitude programme presented another joint event ahead of the 2023 Conference of the Parties (COP 28) with the theme of reaching adaptation goals in the mountains. Climate change is bringing considerable challenges to mountain ecosystems and their downstream communities, and this will require substantial actions to prepare for adaptation needs in the future.

The Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), established under the 2015 Paris Agreement, seeks to address climate change impacts and enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities and ecosystems. The GGA is gaining momentum as international efforts intensify. At COP 26, a two-year work program was launched to translate the GGA into actions. During COP 27, a framework for achieving GGA objectives was agreed upon, with detailed discussions on the framework planned for workshops leading up to COP 28, where it is intended to be ratified.

There is no doubt that the GGA is a critical part of global climate action, aiming to strengthen the ability of societies and ecosystems to withstand the challenges posed by a changing climate. However, there is a concerning disparity between the growing risks associated with climate change global efforts to support adaptation with international adaptation finance to developing countries falling 5-10 times below estimated needs, and the gap continues to widen.

Mountains have been defined as a thematic area of importance under the GGA due to their sensitivity to climate change impacts, which will affect natural hazards, food security, and water resources, along with other sectors. Mountains are often home to highly vulnerable communities that face infrastructural challenges due to rugged conditions, which will be further exacerbated by climate change.

Parliamentarians, through their core functions, play a crucial role in addressing the vulnerabilities of mountain ecosystems and communities in the face of climate change. As they engage in national adaptation planning and prepare for the forthcoming COP28, it is imperative that they proactively investigate and advocate for potential solutions tailored to the unique needs of mountain ecosystems and communities. These solutions address disparities, enhance resilience, and emphasize the significance of mountains in the context of climate change adaptation and broader environmental objectives. 

Watch the full webinar to learn more!


This webinar will provide parliamentarians and other stakeholders with an overview of the importance of mountain areas for adaptation and how this can be integrated in the negotiations at COP 28. The event aims to:

  • Inform parliamentarians and other stakeholders of the adaptation needs and challenges in mountain areas, according to the latest science.
  • Highlight adaptation solutions across key sectors that are relevant to mountain adaptation
  • Launch the new issue brief “Responding to climate change in the mountains: opportunities for Parliamentarians to act”.
  • Promote dialogue between parliamentarians, experts and other stakeholders on the Global Goal on Adaptation and how to bring relevant key themes to COP28.


Speakers for this event included:

  • Laura Turley, Senior Science-Policy Manager, Geneva Water Hub
  • Emilie Beauchamp, Lead for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning for Climate Change Adaptation, International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Graciela Camaño, Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina
  • Sandra Codina, Vice-President of the Parliament of Andorra
  • Kesang Chuki Dorjee, Member the National Council of Bhutan

With moderation done by:

  • Kareen Jabre, Director, Division of Programmes, Inter-Parliamentary Union
  • Christian Bréthaut, Assistant Professor, University of Geneva

Key Messages

  • The Global Goal on Adaptation seeks to enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities and ecosystems by providing a framework to measure adaptation to climate change. Mountains are key areas for adaptation and will encompass many vital areas for seeing progress on adaptation due to their sensitivity to climate change.
  • MPs have a key role in adaptation and ensuring that the voices of those affected by climate change are heard, and their needs are being addressed.
  • Climate change impacts in mountains are being observed by communities around the world – rapid temperature warming, precipitation changes, destabilization of slopes, economic impacts, downstream impacts, loss of life, and increased migration being a few.
  • It is the role of MPs to ensure that their adaptation priorities are well represented in the GGA at the COP28 negotiations, and to contextualize, operationalize, and inform this new framework to deliver effective and equitable adaptation.
  • Action for adaptation in mountains and glacier preservation can be taken by introducing laws and ensuring legislators work not only at the national level, but also at the regional level, as mountains cross borders.
  • In Andorra, the government has worked to ensure that many mountain areas are declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in order to protect them. This, accompanied by the introduction of stricter legislation, is helping to make progress on sustainable development in mountains.
  • The government of Bhutan has been bold in its efforts, declaring its citizens as a trustee of the country’s natural resources in its constitution, ensuring 70% of its forested areas remain intact, and becoming carbon negative. This is in response to major environmental challenges such as glacial lake outburst floods as an effort to protect the country.
  • It is necessary that the latest scientific information reach decision makers, and there has been an increased effort to improve the science-policy interface in order to do so.
  • There is great importance for parliamentarians to work on cooperation and building alliances, whether between sectors or in state institutions or with neighbouring countries
  • It is crucial to build capacity to measure adaptation and update or create legislation that aligns with the needs and priorities of countries.

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