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International Mountain Day


An image from a spring equinox festival on a mountain in Iran taken by Salar Arkan has won the 2018 International Mountain Day photo contest. Learn more

Send us a photo of why mountains matter to you!

Did you know that about 13 percent of the world’s population lives in the mountains? Mountains across the globe host a rich variety of cultures. Many ancient indigenous communities live in mountains, are the holders of traditional knowledge, beliefs and practices, and speak unique languages.

Mountains provide about 70 percent of all freshwater resources, including water for drinking, irrigation and energy. However, all available records indicate that glaciers in mountain ranges around the world are retreating and disappearing due to climate change. At least 600 glaciers have disappeared completely over the past decades, affecting water supplies relied on by billions living downstream.

Mountains are also home to rare animals such as gorillas, snow leopards and the majestic tahr as well as strikingly beautiful plants such as orchids and lobelias. Most of the food that comes to our table, such as rice, potatoes, quinoa, tomatoes and barley, originated in mountains. 

By capturing mountains and mountain peoples in photos, you can help promote the vast array of goods and services they provide to the planet and ensure that they are made more visible to the wider public. 

We’d like you to send us photos of why mountains matter to you.

The winner of the contest will win a certificate and a copy of the FAO publication, Towards Zero Hunger 1945-2030.  

How do I enter?

To enter the contest, just follow these three steps:

1. Take a photo of an aspect that shows us why mountains matter to you:

This could be:

  • A portrait of a person living in the mountains, anywhere in the world
  • Mountain communities in action, (practicing traditional activities, local farming techniques, weaving and handcrafts, livestock rearing etc.)
  • An animal, crop or a plant which is typical of mountains
  • A mountain festival, ritual or celebration
  • Children or youth activities in mountains
  • A temple, a church or a place of worship on a mountain
  • Glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, rivers and streams in mountains

2. Tell us why the people, practices or mountain site best represent the value of mountains when you fill in the online entry form, and attach the photo (minimum width 1754 pixels at 150 ppi, maximum file size 5 MB)

3. Finally, don’t forget to post your photo if you have a Twitter, Flickr or Instagram account, using the International Mountain Day hashtag: #MountainsMatter. We'll retweet some of your photos on @FAOForestry Twitter.

Deadline for entries is 22 November 2018.

A jury will choose the six best photos, and the six finalists will be posted on FAO’s Facebook page for the public to decide the winner in time for International Mountain Day on 11 December.

What if I’m under 18?

You have to be over 18 to enter the contest, but that doesn’t stop you joining the campaign on social media! Take a photo of mountain culture and post it on your Twitter, Instagram or Flickr account with the hashtag #MountainsMatter. We’ll tweet some of the photos from @FAOForestry Twitter.

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