Disaster risk management

Mountains are hazardous places. Many mountain communities live under the threat of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions caused by shifting tectonic plates. Gravity pushing down on sloping land compounds the destructive power of storms and heavy rains, producing avalanches, landslides and floods. Population growth, climate change and unsustainable natural resource management practices are putting dangerous pressure on the mountain ecosystems and making mountain communities increasingly vulnerable to disasters. 

Women, children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to disasters. And in many mountain areas, it is these members of the community that are looking after mountain homesteads, as the men move to lowland cities or abroad to earn a better income and support their family through remittances.

Forces from outside mountain communities, such as commercial logging interests and market-driven agricultural production, also put pressure on mountain ecosystems. All of this can lead to deforestation and environmental degradation. The loss of forest cover deprives mountain communities of a protective barrier against landslides and avalanches and further contributes to increased soil erosion and water run off. 

To reduce the risks of disasters in mountain areas it is urgent to increase awareness and to develop integrated strategies and policies on disaster risk management at the national level. Policy-makers involved with disaster risk management cannot afford to neglect mountains, considering the high number of natural hazards in mountain areas and the high vulnerability of mountain communities. 

Himalayan Glaciers Will Shrink Despite Steady Climate

Himalayan Glaciers Will Shrink Despite Steady Climate

news

Some glaciers of the Himalayas will continue shrinking for many years to come, even if temperatures hold steady, a Brigham Young University geology professor, Summer Rupert, has predicted. Rupper’s most conservative findings indicate that even if climate remained steady, almost 10 percent of Bhutan’s glaciers will vanish within the next...

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Locusts, a threat to crops in Africa

Locusts, a threat to crops in Africa

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Croplands in Niger and Mali are at “imminent risk” from desert locust swarms that are moving southward from Algeria and Libya, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned on Tuesday. Locust infestations were first reported in southwest Libya near Ghat in January 2012 and in southeast...

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Study Finds There’s Still Hope For Himalayan Glaciers

Study Finds There’s Still Hope For Himalayan Glaciers

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Previous fears regarding the Himalayan glacier may have been unduly warranted, according to the results of the HIGHNOON (Adaption to changing water resources availability in northern India with Himalayan glacier retreat and changing monsoon pattern) project. Researchers led by the University of Zurich in Switzerland claim that previous...

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Mountain Voice for change that matters

Mountain Voice for change that matters

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Over 200 delegates from Indian eleven mountain States at Gangtok in Sikkim deliberated on mountain issues related to water, livelihoods and Communities & forests of the Indian Himalayan region at the Indian Mountain Initiative summit II, held from 25 to 26 May 2012 at Gangtok, Sikkim in India. In his...

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Mountain Pavilion to be presented by Peru during RIO+20

Mountain Pavilion to be presented by Peru during RIO+20

blog

With the collaboration of strategic international partners, the Government of Peru is leading the organization of the Mountain Pavilion at Rio+20. The initiative aims to showcase achievements and progress towards sustainable development in mountain regions to representatives of 191 countries and civil society present at the conference. More...

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Study Finds Permafrost Thaw: Glacier Melt Releasing Methane

Study Finds Permafrost Thaw: Glacier Melt Releasing Methane

news

A study, led by scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has found that methane from underground reservoirs is streaming from thawing permafrost and receding glaciers, contributing to the greenhouse gas load in the atmosphere. The study, published online in the journal Nature Geoscience, is the first to document leakage...

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