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.  

 

6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas

6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas

event

National Parks Austria and Hohe Tauern National Park will host the 6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Salzburg, Austria. Researchers and protected areas managers, as well as individuals from government, business, non-governmental organizations and the public who are interested in...

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United Nations General Assembly Resolution: Sustainable Mountain Development (2016)

United Nations General Assembly Resolution: Sustainable Mountain Development (2016)

publication

Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Sustainable mountain development at 71st Session. A/71/463/Add.10

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Mountain Research and Development issue online

Mountain Research and Development issue online

news

The articles in this issue of Mountain Research and Development derive from papers presented at the 2015 Perth III “Mountains of Our Future Earth” conference and align themselves with research themes of Future Earth. The papers feature a Canadian software tool to compare mountain photos for environmental monitoring,...

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FAO launches Mountain Cultures Photo Contest

FAO launches Mountain Cultures Photo Contest

peak to peak

Issue 99 – Month 12 – Year 2016

The December issue of Peak to Peak announces the launch of the Mountain Cultures Photo Contest in celebration of International Mountain Day 2016, “Mountain Cultures: celebrating diversity and strengthening identity”. The newsletter continues with stories about 20 families living in...

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Climate change and reforesting mountains

Climate change and reforesting mountains

news

Human-induced climate change and water-related crises unite people around the world and increase the necessity for the global community to work together cooperatively with serious intent in addressing these urgent matters. Because water issues are of such importance to the non-profit company Active Remedy Ltd., Directors Stella Joy...

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Mountains and the 2030 Agenda – COP22

Mountains and the 2030 Agenda – COP22

news

Organized within the framework of the Mountain Partnership, the official side event “Mapping and understanding mountains to achieve the 2030 Agenda” was held on 11 November 2016 at the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP22). The session focused on assessing...

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