UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres calls on mountain countries to take bold action on climate change mitigation and adaption

Mountains and climate change


Human activities are profoundly affecting the world’s climate, and mountains are a sensitive indicator of that effect.
Because of their altitude, slope and orientation to the sun, mountain ecosystems are easily disrupted by variations in climate. Many scientists believe that the changes occurring in mountain ecosystems may provide an early glimpse of what could come to pass in lowland environments.

As the world heats up, mountain glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates, while rare plants and animals struggle to survive over ever diminishing areas, and mountain peoples, already among the world’s poorest citizens, face even greater hardships.

Changes in the volume of mountain glaciers and in their seasonal melting patterns have an impact on water resources in many parts of the world. Changes in water availability due to climate change are taking place at a time when pressure on water resources for irrigation and food production, industrialization and urbanization is increasing.

Understanding how climate change affects mountains is vital as governments and international organizations develop strategies to reverse current global warming trends, elaborating treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.  In addition, local community empowerment can be an essential step towards building climate change resilience in mountains.




Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership

Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership

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The Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership (MP) will take place 21-22 October in Mbale, Uganda. This Global Meeting, three years after the last one, which took place in Erzurum, Turkey, will provide members with an opportunity to discuss delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals, which include three mountain-related targets,...

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Alpine Summer School

Alpine Summer School

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The Italian-French summer school, "Fundamental processes in geophysical fluid dynamics and the climate system," is organized each year by the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC) - CNR (Turin, Italy) and by the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (France). This year the ten-day course is dedicated to understanding...

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Dialogue between Science and Policy: Opportunities for Discussion and Analysis

Dialogue between Science and Policy: Opportunities for Discussion and Analysis

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Several Andean organizations are working on mountain ecosystems, allowing for closer collaboration and cooperation. OIKOS and CONDESAN are a clear example of partners working together.

In a changing climate, informing and raising awareness about the role of mountains as sources of life, biodiversity and culture; their importance...

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Submissions for UN report on mountains

Submissions for UN report on mountains

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The Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) is currently compiling summaries of the most important results of mountain development activities since July 2013 for the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Report on Sustainable Mountain Development.

Now requested every three years, the MPS and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations,...

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Mountain Research and Development issue online

Mountain Research and Development issue online

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When exploring pathways for sustainable development, knowledge about context matters just as much as our understanding of global processes. Papers in Open Issue (Vol 36, No 1) of Mountain Research and Development (MRD) carefully examine the changing social-ecological context and the global factors influencing it. Papers offer insights...

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Project to help mountain farmers in East Africa

Project to help mountain farmers in East Africa

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A new initiative will focus on implementing research-based interventions to support the food security and reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farming families in Jimma Highlands, Ethiopia, Taita Hills and Murang’a, Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Called “Adaptation for Ecosystem Resilience in Africa (AFERIA)”  the two-year initiative has been launched...

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