Meanwhile, as a: follow-up, we may have to be content with en exchange between, mountain: subsistence farmers (withoutthe"feel-good therapists" who Dixit so detests). The Himalayan farmer can teach the Andean how tp malke potato pancakes,.and trieAndean former can teach his : counterpart how to feeze-dry potatoes! They can compare yak and alpaca breeding techniques, discuss coping strategies to deal with high : altitude environments and l&wland brothers, and can even educate the rest of the world by ■■■■■.: explaining the difference between 'lama' and'llama't■■■■■
A Governmental NGO Meeting
Regarding the conference organised by the Mountain Institute in Lima ("Mou ntaiin Meeting by the Beach"), it is true that-the meeting started off on a somewhat disturbing note when the proceedings were taken over by a group of facilitators, Iii fact, feelings against the facilitators ran so high that one participant refused to distribute her card because it stated she was a "facilitator" back homel The "facilitator jokes" that emerged at Lima promise to endure.
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But whereas this was irritation at the superficial level, unfortunately^ more fundamental differences started surfacing among the delegates. Though this was primarily a gathering of NC5P representatives, some of the splitsthat emerged were reminiscent of global gatherings of national governments. While there were of course -exceptions, there was a broad divide between the perceptions of those representing Southern NGOs and those from the North. As usual, many of the Scandinavians and East European delegates were
whofor ideological or personal reasons sidled albngwith-theNorth, :■•/■:■'.
Strong sentimentSj strongly expressed, that mountain agendas must be built from:the bottom up, from villagesito nations; and from nations to regions and to the world, were suirrmarily dismissed by the organisers. It was argued that national regional meetings have already taken place and this was was a global meeting. When the representative from IOMpD pointed out that the Asian regional meeting, which was hosted by them, had actually been a nteeting of governments and that the NGO viewpoint had not been repre-sentedj^ her: intervention was brushed aside. The demand that the reaimmeiidaiions of those regional meetings, if they had taken place, also be made available to the participants also fell ondeaf ears:
Based on the somewhat inappropriate resource papers produced by a few 'experts', the meeting brought out a set of such general recommehdations for the global Mountain Agenda that, amazingly, not one of the over 40 points attracted any significant dissent or debate. The language was sweeping; enough to accommodate all shades of thought, regardless of the diversity of opinion that existed among the participants:
Certainly, the recommendations that emerged from Lima contained very little that was new. They also captured little of the rich experience of the participants, essentially because the useful experience was all local while the recommendations were global. Indeed, in the various working groups there had been interesting discussions of down-to-earth case studies, but these were lost in the irrational process that was adopted of synthesising recommendations into bullet points. It was an indictment when one participant got up to say that the recommendations sounded almost identical to the ones that emerged from intergovernmental meetings.
Having said all this, one cannot disregard the fact that the exceptional group of people who gathered at Lima, even with all the constraints, could not but help move the Mountain Agenda forward. Strong, informal bonding took place, and addresses and fax numbers were eagerly exchanged. Despite the superficial and nan-so-superficial irritants, the Lima conference
represented a unique meeting of mountain people : who were, at the end of the day, committed to : focussing their formidable energies at moving the Mountain Agenda.