published on 11 December 2018 in earth
International Mountain Day
“(…) Mountains are an important source of water, energy and biodiversity. Furthermore, they are a source of such key resources as minerals, forest products and agricultural products and of recreation. As a major ecosystem representing the complex and interrelated ecology of our planet, mountain environments are essential to the survival of the global ecosystem”
(Agenda21, Rio de Janeiro, 1992, Chapter 13, Sustainable Mountain Development)
Today, 11 December, is International Mountain Day (International Mountain Day – IMD), set up by the United Nations General Assembly in 2002 (with the first day held in 2003) to underline the importance of mountain areas in the world, also in relation to sustainable development and protection of the environment. The aim of the day is to attract the widest possible attention to mountain issues and make them one of the top international priorities ensuring the best possible quality of life and sustainable development in favour of millions of people who live in mountain areas. Indeed, mountains cover around a quarter of the Earth’s surface and are inhabited by 12% of the world’s population. They are some of the areas of our planet most threatened by deforestation, overexploitation of the territory, high migration rates, mining and tourist activities.
The theme chosen for the 2018 edition is #MountainsMatter, to underline the importance of mountain ecosystems and our dependence on them. Mountains, in fact, provide between 60 and 80% of all fresh water at global level, but climate changes are drastically reducing the surface of glaciers, threatening water supplies. Moreover, mountains are precious allies in the prevention of natural disasters and food resources since they contain extensive agricultural biodiversity. It must also be remembered that mountains, due to their great naturalistic and cultural diversity, are a fundamental resource for tourism – and therefore an economic asset. Due to challenging environmental conditions, mountains have been partially spared the great anthropic impact and the huge transformations to meet human needs that on the contrary have occurred on the plains. This is why ancient indigenous communities who keep valuable knowledge and traditions alive have found refuge in the mountains, alongside numerous animal and plant species. Indeed, mountains contain around a quarter of terrestrial biological biodiversity, including unique and threatened species, like mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) and snow leopards (Panthera uncia).
For further details from eniscuola:
Man and the mountain