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. 

Mountains and Sacred Landscapes

Mountains and Sacred Landscapes

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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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Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership

Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership

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The Fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership (MP) was to take place 21-22 October 2016 in Mbale, Uganda, but has been postponed to 2017. The new date and venue are to be determined.

This Global Meeting will provide members with an opportunity to discuss delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals,...

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Drying causes Mount Kenya glacier to melt

Drying causes Mount Kenya glacier to melt

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A study published in Cryosphere earlier this year has found that the largest glacier on Mount Kenya, the Lewis Glacier, is melting because of decreasing atmospheric moisture rather than increasing temperatures. In the tropical climate of East Africa, glaciers are an unexpected, yet vitally important part of the ecosystem. Since...

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Climate change in mountain valleys in Pakistan

Climate change in mountain valleys in Pakistan

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Sardari, Helmat and Taobat are the last three villages in the upper Neelum Valley in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan known for their pristine, moist temperate forests and alpine pastures. In an interview on 24 August 2016 about the impacts of climate change in the valley, Abdul Rehman, a teacher at Government...

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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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Mountains at the World Conservation Congress

Mountains at the World Conservation Congress

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This year the World Conservation Congress, hosted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), will feature a number of events that address mountains on 1-10 September in Hawaii, USA. The discussions will revolve around the theme of “Planet at the crossroads”, signifying that “the ecosystems...

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