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.  

 

The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation Options in the Forest Sector

The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation Options in the Forest Sector

event

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...

Read more »
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...

Read more »

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

Download »
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...

Download »
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...

Read more »
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...

Read more »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Home > Our work > Forests