Covering around 27 percent of the Earth’s land surface, mountains play a critical role in moving the world towards sustainable economic growth. They not only provide sustenance and wellbeing to 720 million inhabitants 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. However, mountains also have a high incidence of poverty and are extremely vulnerable to climate change, deforestation, land degradation and natural disasters. In fact, 1 out of 3 mountain people in developing countries is vulnerable to food insecurity and faces poverty and isolation. The challenge is to identify new and sustainable opportunities that can bring benefits to both highland and lowland communities and help to eradicate poverty without contributing to the degradation of fragile mountain ecosystems.
International Mountain Day provides an occasion to highlight the variety and richness of mountain cultures, promote the vast array of mountain identities and ensure that indigenous rights and traditions are recognized. Celebrated every 11th December, the goal of the day is to build alliances that will bring positive change to mountain peoples and environments around the world.
The 2018 theme is: #MountainsMatter The International Mountain Day 2018 will be an occasion to create a large social movement that can bring mountain issues on the tables of politicians. Through a global campaign, a social media strategy and events around the world, we plan to tell the world that the current neglect of mountains and mountain peoples must stop. We therefore ask everyone to use the hashtag #MountainsMatter in all their communications specifying why mountains matter for them.