Water


Each day, one of every two people on the planet quenches his thirst with water that originates in mountains.
 And as the world population swells to an estimated 9.6 billion by 2050, the worldwide demand for freshwater will continue to soar.

Mountains provide between 60 and 80 percent of the world’s freshwater, essential for domestic consumption, irrigation, industry, food and energy production. The ten largest rivers originating in the Hindu Kush Himalayas alone supply water to over 1.35 billion people. Some of the world’s largest cities, including New York, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Tokyo and Melbourne, are dependent on freshwater from mountains.

Climate change is already causing more than 600 glaciers to disappear, resulting in springs and rivers drying up. Greater frequency of extreme weather events, droughts and floods, including flash floods and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), are also expected to increase in mountains, causing imbalance between current water supply and demand.

Given the importance of mountain water resources worldwide, the careful management of mountain water resources is a global priority.  Water management practices need to be adapted to different climatic zones, using locally adapted soil and water management techniques. Most importantly, watershed management must take into account the needs of all those who depend on mountain water, including those who have the greatest stake in preserving healthy mountain ecosystems – people who live in mountain areas themselves, who are often marginalized from the decision-making processes. 

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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Mountains and Sacred Landscapes

Mountains and Sacred Landscapes

event

The India China Institute (ICI) at The New School, the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC), American University’s Center for Latin America and Latino Studies (CLALS) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) announce an international conference on the theme of mountains...

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Mount Kilimanjaro Research Group Meeting

Mount Kilimanjaro Research Group Meeting

event

The interdisciplinary AfroMont-Mount Kilimanjaro Research Group meeting will bring together researchers working on African mountains. The conference theme will be "African mountain ecosystems under global change: Linking biodiversity, biotic interactions and biogeochemical ecosystem processes". The Mount Kilimanjaro research programme will host the meeting.

Sessions for the research meeting will...

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Trees, forests and water: cool insights for a hot world

Trees, forests and water: cool insights for a hot world

publication

Forests’ many life-sustaining functions as prime regulators within the water, energy and carbon cycles are still not universally recognized, a fact that the world ignores at its peril, a new article cautions. To address climate change and land misuse, global action should be realigned to prioritize trees’ and forests’ key...

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Chile’s public consultation on mountain policy

Chile’s public consultation on mountain policy

news

Chile’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heraldo Muñoz, has announced that Chile will be the first country in South America to have a national public policy on sustainable mountain development. To decide the final policy, Chile has launched a public consultation, encouraging Chilean citizens to make suggestions and help...

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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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