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.  

 

Environmental calendar drawn up in Argentina

Environmental calendar drawn up in Argentina

news

An environmental calendar was created in the first half of 2016, with the support of CONICET, in Santa Catalina, a town situated in the high elevations of the Argentinian province of Jujuy. The result of intercultural efforts, the calendar was requested by various communities who wanted to record their local...

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Partnerships boosting mountain businesses

Partnerships boosting mountain businesses

news

The habitat offered by the Monti Sibillini National Park, Central Italy, suits the wild boar so well, there comes a point when wild boars are too prolific, and as part of the Park’s conservation work, a studied and controlled cull is agreed.

Mountain writer Tamara Griffiths spoke with Amedeo Tuccini, who...

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Call for case studies on mountain culture

Call for case studies on mountain culture

peak to peak

Issue 95 – Month 8 – Year 2016

The August issue of Peak to Peak calls for case studies on mountain culture for International Mountain Day (IMD) communication materials. The newsletter continues with stories about a mountain apricot community in the Kyrgyz Republic, a call...

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Increasing mountain forest cover in Costa Rica

Increasing mountain forest cover in Costa Rica

news

Costa Rica, a country with an area of only 51 100 sq km, contains a wealth of species, approximately 3.6 percent of the expected biodiversity of the planet (between 13 and 14 million species). The country has an approximate record of 94 753 known species, i.e., about 5 percent of...

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Call for mountain photographs for IMD

Call for mountain photographs for IMD

news

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

news

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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