Covering around 25 percent of the earth's land surface, mountains play a critical role in moving the world towards sustainable economic growth.
Mountains not only provide sustenance and wellbeing to 720 million mountain people around the world, but indirectly benefit billions more living downstream.
Mountains provide freshwater, energy and food - resources that will be increasingly scarce in coming decades.
Mountains and water
Mountains provide 60-80 percent of the world's freshwater - without which sustainable development that aims to eliminate poverty and hunger would not be possible.
Fresh water from mountains is fundamental for achieving global food security, as it is used by farmers to irrigate crops in many lowland agricultural regions.
Some of the world's largest cities, including New York, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Tokyo and Melbourne, are dependent on freshwater from mountains.
Mountains and energy
Mountains have a key role to play in providing renewable energy, especially through hydropower, solar power, wind power and biogas.
Hydropower currently provides around a fifth of all electricity worldwide, and some countries rely almost exclusively on mountains regions for hydropower generation.
Mountains in regions with a dry or tropical climate hold particular potential for the generation of solar energy.
Mountains and food
Mountains contribute to food and nutrition security by providing land for crops, grazing for livestock, water courses for inland fisheries, and non-wood forest products such as berries, mushrooms and honey.
Mountain farming has been a model for sustainable development for centuries and is inherently "green" thanks to its small-scall character and low-carbon footprint
Of the 20 plant species that supply 80 percent of the world's food, six originated and have been diversified in mountains: maize, potatoes, barley, sorghum, quinoa, tomatoes and apples.