Promoting Sustainable Mountain Development for Global Change (SMD4GC)

Project completed

Mountains are key contexts for sustainable development due to the provision of indispensable goods and services. Still, they are among the most disadvantaged regions in the world. As a mountain country, Switzerland has an intrinsic interest and a proven track record in Sustainable Mountain Development (SMD). With the new SMD4GC programme, SDC will continue its support to SMD to increase the resilience of the mountain population, which is increasingly vulnerable due to the ongoing global changes.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Climate change and environment
Agriculture & food security
Environmental policy
Biosphere protection
Disaster risk reduction DRR
Agricultural development
01.11.2013 - 31.12.2018
CHF  6’328’000

Mountain regions are key contexts for sustainable global development because

  1. mountains provide critical and indispensable goods and services to a significant proportion of humankind
  2. mountains are among the most disadvantaged regions in a global perspective: they are among the regions with the highest poverty rates, and among those most vulnerable to global (climate) change and related risks.

Global changes including climate change are heavily affecting mountain regions, which exacerbates already existing challenges and increases the pressure on mountain people and resources. This enforces unsustainable land management practices and land abandonment, which in turn might i.a. imperil the provision of key mountain services.


SMD4GC essentially contributes to SMD under uncertain changes in climatic, environmental and socio-economic conditions, focusing on poverty and risk reduction.

Target groups

SMD4GC’s beneficiaries are on the one hand decision makers at different levels, which will be enabled to design and implement relevant SMD policies. On the other hand, mountain stakeholders and communities will become capable to implement SMD related activities to increase their livelihood options and reduce poverty and their vulnerabilities to global change risks.

Medium-term outcomes


  • Launch of (policy) instruments for SMD at different levels by local, national and international stakeholders and decision makers
  • Implementation of knowledge-based SMD activities


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign academic and research organisation
International or foreign NGO
Other International Organization
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Consorcio para el Desarrollo sostenible de la Ecorregión Andina
  • International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
  • Other Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Research Organisation of South East
  • University of Zurich
  • Unversität Bern

Other partners
  • ARCOS (Albertine Rift Conservation Society)
  • CDE (Centre for Development and Environment)
  • FDDM (Fondation pour le développement durable des régions de montagne)
  •  UCA (University of Central Asia)
  •  UZH (University of Zurich)
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    6’328’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    5’880’396
Project phases

Phase 1 01.11.2013 - 31.12.2018   (Completed)