The 2020 issue of the Youth and the Mountains journal is composed of research papers by undergraduate students from various academic fields at Utah Valley University (UVU) on the implementation of Sustainable Mountain Development (SMD) in Utah and globally.
The first section includes copies of UN official documents recognizing students’ efforts to advocate SMD during 2020. They include the report A/74/209 of the UN Secretary General on Sustainable Mountain Development that was issued on 22 July 2019 which highlighted Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at UVU, involvement at the sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62), held at United Nations Headquarters in March 2018. A copy of the written statement sponsored by the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, an NGO in general consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and distributed as an official document at CSW64 during March 2020. The third item is the Outcome Document of the 68th United Nations Civil Conference Society, hosted in Salt Lake City UT during August 26-28, 2019, which includes language about mountain communities in its preamble as a result of students’ efforts.
The second section features student research examining aspects of SMD within the state of Utah, and the western part of the United States. These papers examine topics such as a comparative evaluation of state constitutions in the western part of the United States; the omission of mining rights in Utah; land management of state parks by the Department of Natural Resources; and the oversight of Utah’s natural resources among others.
The final section focuses on the student research of the implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in mountainous states such as Norway and Kyrgyzstan. Two papers assess current status and challenges in implementing sustainable development for indigenous people and communities in Lebanon and the Tarahumara people in Chihuahua, Mexico. The last paper explores challenges of reconciliation and peacebuilding in mountainous Georgia with its breakaway territories such as South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
UVU faculty members provided students with the opportunity to work on this volume through a student-engaged learning (SEL) model, when they gained professional skills of peer-reviewing while editing content as a group with faculty serving them as mentors.
Dallas Karren, Editor-In-Chief of the Journal