IMD events in Asia and MENA


In Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), International Mountain Day (IMD) 2020 was widely celebrated by many organizations throughout the regions. Events were held in Algeria, India, Malaysia, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan and Russia.

In Algeria, Assirem Gouraya Association of Bejaia organized a series of activities throughout December. Tree planting and reforestation campaigns, awareness raising activities on biodiversity and fighting the spread of COVID-19, and a documentary about local magot monkeys are just some of the ways Assirem Gouraya Association celebrated mountains. Meanwhile, the Office of Tourism of Médéa hosted an IMD celebration with participation by community members and local environmental associations.

The Moroccan Mountain Coalition organized several activities through its local branches and the national secretariat, including the distribution of 300 furnaces in a mountain village in Sefrou Province. The coalition also organized a webinar on mountain biodiversity.

Organizations throughout India held events in celebration of IMD:

  • In the Nilgiri Mountains, local TV stations featured special programmes on mountains, and people from most of the 350 villages where the Badaga people live participated in celebrations led by the Nilgiri Documentation Centre.
  • The Centre for Environment Education held a virtual event with young environment leaders, educators and practitioners to share concerns and ideas on action for the conversation of mountain biodiversity.
  • The Giripremi Mountaineering Club of Pune hosted an essay writing competition, conducted a photography contest and published a podcast series on mountains and biodiversity.
  • The Darjeeling Himalaya Initiative and Integrated Mountain Initiative Sikkim Chapter held an online event highlighting key issues challenging the sustainability of biodiversity and proposing conservation actions.
  • Hundreds of people participated in activities led by Akhil Maharashtra Giryarohan Mahasangh, a mountaineering organization in Maharashtra State, including hikes, webinars, mountain clean ups, social media campaigns and writing competitions.
  • The South Asia Regional Network of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management organized a virtual brainstorming session on the multidimensional threats affecting Himalayan ecosystems, with participation by Sara Manuelli of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS).
  • The Central Himalayan Institute for Nature and Applied Research in collaboration with the Global Foundation held a dialogue on the importance, challenges and scope of mountain biodiversity.
  • Doers NGO conducted a 5-day workshop for youth of the Indian Himalayan region.
  • The Global Himalayan Expedition was one of 13 winners to receive the 2020 UN Global Climate Action Award during a special online ceremony on IMD.
  • The ninth edition of the Integrated Mountain Initiative's Sustainable Mountain Development Summit, hosted by Sustainable Development Forum Uttaranchal, focused on building pathways toward a resilient and sustainable mountain economy in the Indian Himalayan Region in the context of a post COVID-19 scenario and climate change.
  • The Integrated Mountain Initiative also organized the third Indian Himalayan Youth Summit. MPS Coordinator Yuka Makino spoke on the power of youth for promoting sustainable mountain development.
  • The Mussoorie Mountain Festival reinvented itself as a virtual online event focusing on the Himalaya as a limitless source of knowledge, adventure, inspiration and biodiversity through talks, readings, interviews, slide-show exhibitions and short films.
  • The 8th Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics Forum "Rural Futures: Ecology is Economy," organized by the Balipara Foundation, aimed to develop a Green Recovery Plan for the Eastern Himalayas for boosting economic growth, creating jobs and building a resilient future.

Two high-level IMD celebrations took place in Russia. The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Interparliamentary Assembly held an event to discuss the adoption of the model law "On the Development and Protection of Mountain Territories". Additionally, the Russian Geographical Society conducted a webinar on the theme of "Mountainous territories of the CIS countries and Russia: development and protection".

In Pakistan, the United Nations Development Programme, Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, Italian Embassy in Pakistan and Mountain Wilderness celebrated with a webinar on mountain biodiversity. Meanwhile, the Alpine Club of Pakistan in collaboration with Frontier Works Organization hosted an eco-hike and photography competition at Margalla Hills Trail 5, a popular trekking trail in Islamabad.

Mountains were celebrated for an entire week by ICIMOD at its headquarters in Kathmandu, Nepal, as well as in its country offices. Also in Nepal, organizations held webinars in observance of IMD. The Karnali Integrated Rural Development and Research Centre conducted a web dialogue on "Building the Resilience of Mountain Communities in the face of Climate Crisis" to raise the voices of mountain people. During the event, Yuka Makino, MPS, delivered a presentation on the Mountain Partnership and partnering for change. The Climate Alliance of Himalayan Communities furthermore hosted a virtual dialogue on "COVID-19, Climate and Careers in Mountain Tourism".

As part of the “Future Belongs to the Tropics” series, a lead-up to the International Conference Tropical Sciences: Contributions to Sustainability 2021 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the International Science Council Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the Mahathir Science Award Foundation and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia broadcast the webinar 'Mountains and Life' on 11 December.

Across Asia, the Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCEs) came together to conduct a webinar on disaster risk and crisis management, training and capacity building, and institutional building by international experts. The webinar saw participation from the RCE of Srinagar (India), Kuching (Malaysia), East Java (Indonesia), East Kalimantan (Indonesia) and Kyrgyzstan.

To inform the MPS of your International Mountain Day 2020 activities if you have not done so already, please email [email protected].

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Photo by CHINAR India/Ghanshyam Pande

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