On behalf of the Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at Utah Valley University (UVU) we would like to congratulate Dr. Rusty Butler, Main representative of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS) for making a statement during the 2017 ECOSOC Integration Segment on May 8-10, 2017 at the United Nations. The theme of this year’s Segment was “Making eradication of poverty an integral objective of all policies: what will it take?” RANS as a NGO with General Consultative Status under ECOSOC spoke on behalf of the Mountain Partnership (MP) about challenges of poverty among the mountain communities.
RANS recommends joint actions of all relevant stakeholders and stresses the importance of innovative solutions and entrepreneurship for the diversification of livelihoods for local mountain communities to end poverty and hunger; mechanisms to compensate mountain people for the benefits of their actions, services, and resources provided to the lowlands; promotes the high value mountain products to help improve mountain incomes by tapping into the current demand for high quality, traditional, organic and sustainable produce. The statement also emphasizes the role of tourism in mountains, if developed sustainably, to bring benefits to the communities as well.
It is already the third statement at the United Nations made by Dr. Rusty Butler, and he again highlighted “… the important role which academic institutions [and Utah Valley University in particular] might play in eradicating poverty and promoting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” Although he stressed that “since 2007, the curricular and extracurricular programs [at UVU] encourage traditional and non-traditional students to promote the Sustainable Mountain Development (SMD) agenda through student experiential learning,” it is important for us to remember that it happened thanks to efforts of Dr. Butler who contributed to that process as a Vice President for International Affairs and Diplomacy at UVU during 1992-2016, among other faculty at UVU.
UIMF members appreciate his leadership in new capacity as main representative of RANS at the UN, which provides UVU students with great opportunities to promote the SMD UN agenda at the United Nations.
Yanko Dzhukev, VP of Global Affairs and Outreach, UIMF