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. 

Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership

Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership

event

The Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership (MP) will take place 21-22 October in Mbale, Uganda. This Global Meeting, three years after the last one, which took place in Erzurum, Turkey, will provide members with an opportunity to discuss delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals, which include three mountain-related targets,...

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Holding the water on Mount Kenya

Holding the water on Mount Kenya

news

Mount Kenya Trust (MKT) is an NGO working to protect and conserve the forest, water and wildlife around Africa’s second highest mountain – Mount Kenya. The Afromontane forests, vast bamboo stands and moorlands host incredible biodiversity including numerous species of IUCN concern such as African Elephant and Mountain...

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MPS Coordinator urges action on mountains

MPS Coordinator urges action on mountains

news

A paradigm shift is needed in recognition of the global importance of mountains and the ecosystem services they provide, Thomas Hofer, Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) Coordinator told United Nations Radio in May 2016 ahead of a meeting with diplomats about hunger in the mountains. “There is a mismatch. There is...

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Submissions for UN report on mountains

Submissions for UN report on mountains

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The Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) is currently compiling summaries of the most important results of mountain development activities since July 2013 for the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Report on Sustainable Mountain Development.

Now requested every three years, the MPS and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations,...

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Mountain Research and Development issue online

Mountain Research and Development issue online

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When exploring pathways for sustainable development, knowledge about context matters just as much as our understanding of global processes. Papers in Open Issue (Vol 36, No 1) of Mountain Research and Development (MRD) carefully examine the changing social-ecological context and the global factors influencing it. Papers offer insights...

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Project to help mountain farmers in East Africa

Project to help mountain farmers in East Africa

news

A new initiative will focus on implementing research-based interventions to support the food security and reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farming families in Jimma Highlands, Ethiopia, Taita Hills and Murang’a, Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Called “Adaptation for Ecosystem Resilience in Africa (AFERIA)”  the two-year initiative has been launched...

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