Mountain forests

 

Covering over 9 million square kilometres of the earth’s surface, mountain forests represent a remarkable 23 percent of the earth’s forest cover.

Healthy mountain forests are crucial to the ecological health of the world. They protect watersheds that supply freshwater to more than half of humankind. They also harbour wildlife, provide food and fodder for mountain peoples and are important sources of timber and non-wood products. Moreover, they protect the earth and contribute to shielding the atmosphere from CO2 emissions.

Protecting these forests and making sure they are carefully managed is an important step towards sustainable mountain development. In the last decades, tropical mountain forests have been disappearing at an astounding rate. Deforestation is generally driven by population growth, the expansion of intensive agriculture, uncertain land tenure, inequitable land distribution and the absence of strong and stable institutions.

Crucially, mountain forests perform a protective function against natural hazards, so that when forest cover is lost and the land is left unprotected, runoff and soil erosion increase, provoking landslides, avalanches and floods, to the detriment of villages, transport systems, human infrastructure and of the food security of vulnerable populations.

Putting power back into the hands of mountain people is one important step towards alleviating their poverty and, in turn, protecting mountain forests. Measures that could accomplish these aims include providing incentives for biodiversity and agro-biodiversity conservation as well as the inclusion sustainable forest management plans into national policies.  

 

Call for mountain photographs for IMD

Call for mountain photographs for IMD

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Send us your mountain photos. We are seeking pictures that show local mountain culture. You could submit portraits of mountain peoples or spontaneous shots of individuals engaging in traditional activities, festivals or everyday mountain life. The photographs will be used to promote International Mountain Day (IMD), which is 11 December.

The...

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Forest survey – your participation invited

Forest survey – your participation invited

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You are invited to take part in a global survey that the FAO Forest and Water Programme has released to take stock of the many variables, indicators and methods being implemented to measure forest-water interactions. The survey was especially designed to receive feedback from researchers, technicians and practitioners who are...

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A fête for nature, land, oceans and mountains

A fête for nature, land, oceans and mountains

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For the third consecutive year, Earth Day Italia brought the “Village for the Earth” to Rome. An intense four days were dedicated to celebrating Earth Day, the most significant edition since the series saw its start. In fact, on 22 April 2016, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and world leaders...

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Method for climate adaptation in the mountains

Method for climate adaptation in the mountains

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Active Remedy Ltd submitted a report - outlining a method/tool for working with mountain communities and integrating modern and traditional knowledge conservation approaches – to a United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) database. The worldwide database gathers various uses of Local, Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge and Practices for...

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Holding the water on Mount Kenya

Holding the water on Mount Kenya

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Mount Kenya Trust (MKT) is an NGO working to protect and conserve the forest, water and wildlife around Africa’s second highest mountain – Mount Kenya. The Afromontane forests, vast bamboo stands and moorlands host incredible biodiversity including numerous species of IUCN concern such as African Elephant and Mountain...

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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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