published on 11 December 2019 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 – 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. Protection of mountains is also included in one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Life on land – Goal 15). 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 2019 edition is “Mountains matter for Youth”, underlining the importance of future generations for the protection of mountains and their resources. In fact they will be the future leaders, the custodians of mountain regions and of their natural resources, which are being threatened by climate change. “This year we focus on the importance of protecting mountain ecosystems for future generations,” states FAO, which coordinates the world event. “In fact they play a vital role in guiding the world towards sustainable economic growth.” As FAO highlights, the 2019 edition is a great opportunity for young people to take the lead and request that mountains and mountain peoples become central in national and international development agendas. To understand the importance of these habitats, it is enough to think that mountain regions are home to over a billion people and half the human population depends on their natural resources – meaning water, food and clean energy.

Find more details from eniscuola:
Man and the mountain

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