International Mountain Day
International Mountain Day (IMD) is dedicated to raising awareness about opportunities and challenges facing mountain regions. As well as building alliances that will bring positive change to mountain peoples and places around the world. The day os observed since 2003 to bring the world’s attention to the importance of mountains and mountain ranges.
The theme for International Mountain Day 2021 is Sustainable mountain tourism.
Mountain tourism, particularly when linked to nature and rural tourism, can promote sustainable food systems and value local products.
History of International Mountain Day
The decision for marking the day was made at the UN General Assembly resolution 57/245 in December 2002. International Mountain Day has its roots in the document “Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development” (called Chapter 13), adopted in 1992 as part of the action plan Agenda 21 of the Conference on Environment and Development.
Mountains are home to 15% of the world´s population and a quarter of the world’s land animals and plants. They provide fresh water for everyday life to half of humanity. Their conservation is a key factor for sustainable development and is part of Goal 15 of the SDGs.
Unfortunately, mountains are under threat from climate change and overexploitation. As the global climate continues to warm, mountain people — some of the world’s poorest — face even greater struggles to survive. The rising temperatures also mean that mountain glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates, affecting freshwater supplies downstream for millions of people.
This problem, therefore, is everyone’s business. Hence, we must reduce our carbon footprint and take care of this natural treasure. The aim must be to promote the importance of mountains for human life and the sustainable development of mountain areas.
Mountains cover around 22 percent of the earth’s land surface.
Mountains provide 60-80 percent of the world’s freshwater – without which sustainable development that aims to eliminate poverty and hunger would not be possible.
Mountains host 25 percent of terrestrial biodiversity and 28 percent of earth’s forests.
Mountains contribute to food and nutrition security by providing land for crops, grazing for livestock, watercourses for inland fisheries, and non-wood forest products such as berries, mushrooms, and honey.
6 of the 20 most important food crops originate in mountains (potatoes, maize, barley, sorghum, apples, tomatoes).
More than half the world’s population is subject, directly or indirectly, to its survival, the mountains.
Mountains attract 15-20 percent of global tourism.
5 Must-See Mountains
Legendary. Spiritual. Unyielding. Home to Earth’s tallest peak (Mt. Everest at 29,029 feet), the Himalayas will literally and figuratively take your breath away.
The Great Dividing Range
The Great Dividing Range is a series of plateaus and low mountain ranges in eastern Australia. It extends roughly parallel to the coasts of Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria for 2,300 miles.
The Atlas Mountains are a mountain range in the Maghreb. It separates the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert.
They form parts of France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Monaco and Liechtenstein and are the source for many of Europe’s famous rivers, including the Rhone and the Rhine.
Stretching 3,000 miles from Canada to New Mexico, the Rocky Mountain Range sends summits soaring well over 13,000 feet, and provides the backdrop for some of North America’s most impressive national parks, monuments and wilderness areas.
What you can do
Raise awareness of mountains and their importance by organizing youth forums, hands-on activities, presentations, student debates, photo and art competitions, hikes, and events targeted to specific age groups. Share your views on social media using the hashtag #Mountains, #internationalmountainday, and #MountainsMatter.
Mountain climbing associations might hold special climbing up events, institutions may hold unique events for students as well as organizations whose work might center around hills may hold unique occasions for their participants.
Happy International Mountain Day
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