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.
Mountains are crucial to life. Whether we live at sea level or the highest elevations, we are connected to mountains and affected by them in more ways than we can imagine. Mountains provide most of the world’s freshwater, harbour a rich variety of plants and animals, and are home to one in ten people. Yet, each day, environmental degradation, the consequences of climate change, exploitative mining, armed conflict, poverty and hunger threaten the extraordinary web of life that the mountains support.?
This year, the theme for IMD will be “Mountains – Key to a Sustainable Future”. The focus will be on celebrating how mountains are crucial in moving the world towards sustainable economic growth in the context of poverty eradication, and on drawing attention to their generally sustainable and low-emission production models. We believe this theme will help in raising awareness on how new opportunities can bring benefits to highland and lowland communities without contributing to the degradation of mountain socio-ecosystems. In particular, within the follow-up to Rio +20 and the ongoing process on sustainable development goals, we would like to continue underlining how the goods and services deriving from mountain regions are essential for sustainable development.