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. 

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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Mountains in motion: Central Italy earthquakes

Mountains in motion: Central Italy earthquakes

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The series of earthquakes in Central Italy beginning in August 2016 have largely had epicentres inside the Monti Sibillini National Park. After the first earthquake, a crack appeared at the top of the highest mountain in the park, Monte Vettore (2 476 metres), running along the flank of the mountain. A...

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Disaster Risk Reduction in South Asia

Disaster Risk Reduction in South Asia

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In observance of the International Day for Disaster Reduction (13 October), a regional consultative workshop on ‘Strengthening Capacity for Disaster Risk Reduction’ was organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Offices in New Delhi, India and Kathmandu, Nepal with AMARC Asia-Pacific, the regional chapter of...

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New report on African mountain development

New report on African mountain development

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On 19 October 2016, Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Partners released a new report that looks at the impact of climate change on mountains in East Africa. “Sustainable Mountain Development in East Africa in a Changing Climate” was launched during...

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UN report on sustainable mountain development

UN report on sustainable mountain development

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The United Nation Secretary-General (UNSG) has issued a report on sustainable mountain development (SMD) covering the last three years. Prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat in collaboration with governments, UN agencies and other organizations, the report describes the...

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The growing profile of glaciers in Peru

The growing profile of glaciers in Peru

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With the creation of the National Institute for Research in Glaciers and Mountain Ecosystems (INAIGEM), Peru’s  national government is strengthening its role in investigating the nexus of climate change, glacial recession, natural hazards and the management of water and other mountain-based ecosystem services in the Central Andes. The...

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