December 11 is International Mountain Day 2015 @FAOForestry @FAOnews #MountainsMatter

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Mountain = Large landform that stretches above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak.


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International Mountain Day

December 11 is International Mountain Day which celebrates sustainable mountain development.
@FAOForestry @FAOnews #MountainsMatter
Spanish: Día Internacional de la Montaña

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Promoting mountain products is the theme chosen for this year’s celebration of International Mountain Day. Globalization offers opportunities for mountain producers to market their high quality mountain products, such as coffee, cocoa, honey, herbs, spices and handicrafts at the national, regional and international levels. Though mountain agriculture cannot compete with the prices and volumes of lowland production, it can concentrate on high value, high quality products to boost local economies.

Tourism-related services such as skiing , climbing, cultural heritage or nature trails that allow visitors to discover unique biodiversity are also some of the offerings provided by mountains and mountain communities. If sustainably managed, tourism can provide an opportunity for development in mountain regions.

International Mountain Day 2015 provides an occasion to highlight how mountain communities are protecting biodiversity by producing a large variety of typical products and providing crucial goods and services to all of us.

Talking points

Covering around 22 percent of the earth's land surface, mountains play a critical role in moving the world towards sustainable economic growth. Mountains not only provide sustenance and wellbeing to 915 million mountain people around the world, but indirectly benefit billions more living downstream. Mountains provide freshwater, energy and food - resources that will be increasingly scarce in coming decades. Mountain products Mountain products and services have great potential to improve livelihoods and boost local economies. Worldwide demand is on the rise for quality, high-value foods and beverages produced in mountain areas, such as coffee, honey, herbs and spices, as well as handicrafts, cosmetics and medicines. To fully tap the potential of mountain products, small producers would benefit from targeted support in adequate value chains and marketing strategy, which would allow them to obtain fair compensation for their specific quality products as well as provide added value to the customers. Mountains and water 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. Fresh water from mountains is fundamental for achieving global food security, as it is used by farmers to irrigate crops in many lowland agricultural regions. Some of the world's largest cities, including New York, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Tokyo and Melbourne, are dependent on freshwater from mountains. Mountains and energy Mountains have a key role to play in providing renewable energy, especially through hydropower, solar power, wind power and biogas. Hydropower currently provides around a fifth of all electricity worldwide, and some countries rely almost exclusively on mountains regions for hydropower generation. Mountains in regions with a dry or tropical climate hold particular potential for the generation of solar energy. Mountains and food Mountains contribute to food and nutrition security by providing land for crops, grazing for livestock, water courses for inland fisheries, and non-wood forest products such as berries, mushrooms and honey. Mountain farming has been a model for sustainable development for centuries and is inherently "green" thanks to its small-scall character and low-carbon footprint Of the 20 plant species that supply 80 percent of the world's food, six originated and have been diversified in mountains: maize, potatoes, barley, sorghum, quinoa, tomatoes and apples. Mountain family farming Mountain Farming is largely family farming as mountain areas, with their dispersed patches of usable land at different elevations and slope conditions, are more efficiently managed by small scale farming. Most of the production of mountain farming is for family consumption, playing a key role in ensuring household food security. The production and marketing of high value mountain products can boost local mountain economies. Mountain livelihoods tend to be highly diversified and this has proven to be a key to resilience. Some family members may work in agriculture (farming, forestry, aquaculture or animal husbandry), be employed on a regular or seasonal basis or even abroad.



The 2014 theme for IMD is Mountain Farming. Here we have an opportunity to raise awareness about how mountain agriculture, which is predominantly family farming, has been a model for sustainable development for centuries.

International Mountain Day 2014 provides an occasion to highlight how family farming in mountain regions is undergoing rapid transformation due to population growth, economic globalization, urbanization and the migration of men and youth to urban areas.

At the same time, these changes can provide opportunities for local development. People who reside in mountain areas can diversify their income by engaging activities such as tourism, high value mountain products and handicrafts. An enabling policy environment that includes tailored investments could improve farmers’ access to resources and increase their capacity to generate income.

The theme links to the International Year of Family Farming 2014 proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, as well as the forthcoming International Programme on Research and Training on Sustainable Management of Mountain Areas (IPROMO) course on mountain family farming, and the FAO/MP publication ‘Mountain Farming is Family Farming’.

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FLICKR - World Mountains - The focus of this group will be mountains around the world. Show us places you've visited. Bonus points for photos that have a caption! We're looking for mountain landscapes, conservation, best practices in tourism, festivals and fairs, signage and you (!) enjoying a mountain landscape.

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Elsewhere on the Web
Aconcagua Mountain
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
Mountain Institute
Mountain Partnership
Mountains: Vital for human survival - People and the Planet
Mountain Voices
Dark Mountain Project

Mountain Forum

Mountain Forum
Community-Based Mountain Tourism: Practices for Linking Conservation with Enterprise
Understanding and Managing Amenity-led Migration in Mountain Regions Latin America
Environmental Impacts of Mountain Biking

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2013's theme for IMD was "Mountains - Key to a Sustainable Future". The event celebrated 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.

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Mountains and Forests
2012's International Mountain Day theme focuses on Mountains and Forests. 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 are also home to 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.

The International Day 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.

Commitment and will to advance this cause were strengthened during the International Year of Mountains in 2002, and mountains have gained an increasingly high profile on agendas at all levels.

The Year also led to the adoption of resolution 57/245, in which the General Assembly designated December 11 as International Mountain Day, and encouraged the international community to organize events at all levels on that day to highlight the importance of sustainable mountain development.

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May your mountains rise above the clouds - Edward Abbey @BlackSheepInn

International Mountain Day is December 11

World Mountains on Flickr 12.2012

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