Johannesburg must conclude with the adoption of three texts:
- a political declaration of the Heads of State,
- a partnership development project,
- a Summit implementation plan.
The WMPA, which brings together mountain communities, NGOs and researchers, believes that the notion of “equitable development” and that of “sustainable development” should be put on the same level, in the vocabulary as in the proposals of these three documents.
The debates within the association clearly show that the concept of sustainable development can only be understood and accepted by the countries of the South if it is closely associated with the notion of equitable development and put on the same level. The simultaneous display of the two objectives at the same level of priority appears to be a necessity if we wish to win the support of the countries of the South. Development cannot be sustainable if it is not based first and foremost on equity, which must be understood in a broad sense as the capacity given to populations to have the means to control their development.
Consequently, Johannesburg must fully integrate Monterrey and give it a concrete content. In other words, the two processes, the one that aims to make development less unequal by allocating new and significant human and financial resources to the poorest countries (Monterrey) and the one that aims to define the most respectful development modalities for the planet (Johannesburg) cannot be dissociated because one cannot be achieved without the other.
The WMPA therefore proposes an integrated approach to equitable and sustainable development for mountains. This approach has a general value insofar as the mountain is in a situation comparable to that of the developing countries in relation to the industrialised countries. Situated in territories that are highly disadvantaged with regard to the conditions required for conventional development, subject to significant domination effects with regard to the decisions that concern them, largely dispossessed of the development of strategic resources, often marginalized by the dominant culture, subject to unfavourable trade-offs due to urban pressure, comparable to those that inevitably direct flows to developed countries, too often confined in their activities by a reductive conception of the international division of labor, mountain populations consider that the implementation of an equitable and sustainable development policy must aim to enable them to meet these challenges and to give them back control of their destiny.
The WMPA therefore proposes that the political declaration of Johannesburg should place the search for equity and sustainability on the same level.
The draft implementation plan for the Summit contains an article 40 which deals with mountains. The WMPA has proposed to the Heads of State a new drafting of Article 40 that better defines the respective responsibilities of the States, the international community and the populations, in the realisation of a jointly agreed mountain project, with clear objectives and obligations of result.
The WMPA has undertaken a cooperative effort between mountain communities in the North and South to achieve these objectives through solidarity between mountain populations. It wishes to propose this inter-territorial partnership approach as a type II initiative.