Mountains matter

Mountains matter

The high mountain regions are home to 1 billion people, are the source of freshwater to at least 1.9 billion people and are crucial for regulating the global climate system. Preservation of mountain ecosystem functions is therefore essential to global water, food and energy security.

In view of the importance of mountains to the rest of the world, International Mountain Day is commemorated on 11 December with the underlying theme of Mountains Matter. There is urgency of more ambitious climate action to protect mountain ecosystems and the cryosphere.

Mountains matter not just to local communities and ecosystems but to heavily populated countries such as India and China and small island developing states.

Mountain glaciers are a source of freshwater for most big rivers in the world.

A High Mountain Summit in October 2019 (WMO) issued a Call for Action in the face of rapid melting of the Earth’s frozen peaks and the consequences for food, water and human security, as well as for ecosystems, the environment and economies.

In the face of climate change, the action must be informed by science, local knowledge and based on transdisciplinary approaches to integrated observations and predictions.