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.  

 

Submissions for UN report on mountains

Submissions for UN report on mountains

news

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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Call for papers: mountain forests and the SDGs

Call for papers: mountain forests and the SDGs

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Mountain forests provide key ecosystem services that are essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mountain Research and Development is seeking papers that assess experiences of how to manage forests so that they can provide such services; that analyse the state of mountain forests; or that offer...

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Air quality monitored in national park in Nepal

Air quality monitored in national park in Nepal

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The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)  in collaboration with the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) has established the ‘Chitwan National Park Air Quality Observatory’ to monitor air pollution at the periphery of the national park in order to study the impact of air pollution on...

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A Year-long Ascent: Mountain Partnership Secretariat Annual Report 2014

A Year-long Ascent: Mountain Partnership Secretariat Annual Report 2014

publication

The Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) reflects its key achievements in promoting sustainable mountain development (SMD) in its 2014 annual report. Using mountain climbing as an analogy to facing SMD challenges, the annual report outlines its work in advocacy, communication and knowledge management, promoting International Mountain Day, brokering joint action and...

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The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation Options in the Forest Sector

The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation Options in the Forest Sector

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Recently, attention has shifted towards the role of forests and its products in climate change mitigation which paved the way for various initiatives. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) is organizing an online conference, called “The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation Options in the Forest Sector” to...

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