International Mountain Day is observed on 11th December. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2003. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations organises events on this day to spread awareness among the younger generation to take the lead and request that mountains receive more attention, investments and tailored research.
Mountains are home of the 15% of the world’s population and a quarter of the world’s land animals and plants. They provide freshwater for everyday life to half of humanity. Their conservation is a key factor for sustainable development.
Unfortunately, mountains are under threat from climate change and over-exploitation. 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.
International Mountain Day 2019 Theme: Mountains Matter for Youth
International Mountain Day is a chance to highlight that for rural youth, living in the mountains can be hard. Migration from the mountains leads to abandoned agriculture, land degradation and a loss of ancient cultural traditions.
Education and training, market access, diverse employment opportunities and good public services can ensure a brighter future for young people in the mountains. This year, youth will take the lead and demand that mountains and mountain peoples become central in the national and international development agendas; receive more attention, investments and tailored research.
History of International Mountain Day:
International Mountain Day has its roots in the document “Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development”, adopted in 1992 as part of the action plan Agenda 21 of the Conference on Environment and Development.
The increasing attention to the importance of mountains led the UN declare to 2002 the UN International Year of Mountains. The first international day was celebrated for the first time the following year, 2003.