New Publication on Mountains
Why Invest in Mountain Sustainable Development ?
"Mountains cover approximately one-quarter of the world’s surface and are home to 12 percent of the human population. By providing freshwater and other key environmental services to more than half of humanity, mountain ecosystems play a crucial role in the development of the planet and contribute significantly to the well-being of human societies. This booklet summarizes state-of-the-art information on the characteristics of and threats to mountain ecosystems, the environmental services they provide and the impacts of climate change; it explains approaches to sustainable mountain development, including natural resource management, economic opportunities, and mountain policies and governance; and it describes the way forward and provides recommendations for addressing sustainable mountain development at the global and local levels. The booklet is addressed primarily to those policy- and decisionmakers who are responsible for finding a balance between socioeconomic development and environmental conservation thrusts. It shows that sustainable mountain development plays a fundamental role in addressing current global challenges, and therefore requires and deserves a prominent place on the international agenda".
International Mountain Day 2011
International Mountain Day is an opportunity to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build partnerships that will bring positive change to the world’s mountains and highlands.
The United Nations General Assembly has designated 11 December, from 2003 onwards, as “International Mountain Day”. This decision results from the success of the UN International Year of Mountains in 2002, which increased global awareness of the importance of mountains, stimulated the establishment of national committees in 78 countries and strengthened alliances through promoting the creation of the International Partnership for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions, known as the 'Mountain Partnership (WSSD, Johannesburg, 2 September 2002). FAO was the designated lead coordinating agency for International Year of Mountains and is mandated to lead observance of International Mountain Day.
This year’s International Mountain Day theme will focus on Mountains and Forests. It aims to raise awareness about the relevance of mountain forests and the role they play within a Green Economy as well as in climate change adaptation measures.
Healthy mountain forests are crucial to the ecological health of the world. They protect watersheds that supply freshwater to more than half the world’s people. They also are the home of untold wildlife, provide food and fodder for mountain people and are important sources of timber and non-wood products. Yet in many parts of the world mountain forests are under threat as never before and deforestation in tropical mountain forests continues at an astounding rate. Protecting these forests and making sure they are carefully managed is an important step towards sustainable mountain development.