Forests

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 untold wildlife, provide food and fodder for mountain people and are important sources of timber and non-wood products.

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

After centuries of population growth and intensive land use, mountain forests have been reduced to small patches of green. Some forestry and agricultural practices that are unsustainable contribute to deforestation by increasing hillside erosion, threatening mountain biodiversity and impairing the natural processes of forest ecosystems.

As more land is degraded, it increases the likelihood of natural hazards, such as avalanches, landslides and floods. Too often, policies and decisions concerning the management of mountain forests are made from afar, leaving those who live in mountain communities with the least amount of power and influence.

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 reinvesting forest revenues in mountain communities - as primary guardians of mountain forests - and their resources, supporting community-based property rights, decentralizing power and accountability, building alliances and fostering a complementary middle ground between local knowledge and scientific understanding.

Transnational Working Table 1

Transnational Working Table 1

event

The first of two workshops on the results of projects in mountainous European countries and on the development of the Alps will allow participants to share knowledge and experiences on Alpine Space Projects. The meeting will also discuss WikiAlps, an encyclopaedia-like online platform, and its potential use in policy design...

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Why Mountains Matter for Forests and Biodiversity – a call to action on the sustainable development goals

publication

Why Mountains Matter for Forests and Biodiversity – a call to action on the sustainable development goals

Download in English, Spanish

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International Year of Quinoa

International Year of Quinoa

peak to peak

Issue 55 - Month 3 - Year 2013


 

Our new issue of Peak to Peak marks the International Year of Quinoa and the run-up to the first-ever International Day of Forests. We also look at new Mountain Partnership members and activities, see...

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Mountain gorilla population grows

Mountain gorilla population grows

news

The total world population of mountain gorillas has risen to 880, according to census data released a week ago by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The critically endangered animals live only in two locations, Bwindi and the Virunga Massif area, which spans parts of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and...

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Multimedia on policy recommendations for SMD in the Andes

Multimedia on policy recommendations for SMD in the Andes

news

During the Regional Workshop Post-Rio +20 "Sustainable Mountain Development: Building the future we need" held on November 12-14 in Lima, Peru, the Consortium for Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion (CONDESAN) launched a multimedia which containing key information and policy recommendations for sustainable mountain development in the Andes.

The...

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Ecuador presents National Strategy on Climate Change 2012-2025

Ecuador presents National Strategy on Climate Change 2012-2025

news

The Minister of Environment of Ecuador, Marcela Aquiñaga, has presented the National Strategy on Climate Change. The strategy proposes, among other things, to step up efforts to conserve forest resources, mangroves and paramos, supporting and promoting energy efficiency, improving environmental practices and reducing consumption of resources.

Please see complete information in...

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