Commemorating IMD in the Americas


North and Central America, the Caribbean and South America marked International Mountain Day (IMD) in 2020 through various events in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Peru, the United States of America and Venezuela.

The Canadian Mountain Network (CMN) together with the Reconciling Ways of Knowing: Indigenous Knowledge and Science Forum hosted "Why mountains matter: bringing indigenous knowledge and science together for IMD", a set of dialogues on the need for a multi-evidence approach to sustaining biological and cultural diversity. The CMN also conducted a month-long social media contest culminating on IMD.

The Utah International Mountain Forum at Utah Valley University hosted its eleventh IMD observance, co-sponsored by the United Nations Association of the United States of America as well as the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and Utah China Friendship Improvement Sharing Hands Development and Commerce. Meanwhile at Western Colorado University, the Center for Mountain Transitions welcomed students from seven global universities to share stories of mountain action during a virtual session, which was followed by a discussion of the UNESCO Zero Water Day Partnership.

Argentina celebrated IMD at national level. The Committee for Sustainable Development of the Mountain Regions held a virtual event on 11 December with participation by Rosalaura Romeo of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS).

The Forum for the Sustainable Development of Brazilian Mountain Environments concluded on IMD with the announcement of the first International Meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Network for Research and Innovation in Mountain Environments (LACMON), to be held on 11-13 May 2021.

In Chile, the Metropolitan Area of Santiago celebrated by promoting mountain tourism through public-private alliances. A variety of discounted outdoor activities were offered, including hiking, zip lining, mountain biking, rafting and more. Mayor Felipe Guevara invited residents to enjoy their surrounding mountains.

The Instituto Humboldt in Colombia organized a virtual panel on the management of biodiversity in high mountains with participation by Rosalaura Romeo, MPS. Panelists addressed the main challenges facing high mountain biodiversity and the actions required for its sustainable management.

Organizations throughout Peru held events in celebration of IMD:

  • Organized by Illariy, OIKOS and INKAFEST, the Carnaval por las Montañas featured a section for children, a technical session, presentations of projects, a movie screening and music.
  • The 16th INKAFEST Mountain Film Festival was taking place online on 7–12 December. INKAFEST provides a forum for exchanging ideas among moviemakers, sports lovers and the general public while providing a supportive showcase for creative and effective ways to spread the word about the world of mountains.
  • Redar Peru, together with the Andean Knowledge Network and other institutions, celebrated both IMD and World Children's Day on 11 December. Their virtual event for children ages 8 to 15 promoted caring for the environment, appreciating diversity, and creating a culture of peace.
  • The National Institute for Glacier and Mountain Ecosystem Research organized a special event. Sixteen institutions coordinated a social media campaign and a panel discussion on the importance and challenges in mountain areas in Peru.

The Ministry of Popular Power for Ecosocialism of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela organized a three-day IMD celebration. The programme began with a webinar on the sustainable management of mountain environments and the ecosystem services that mountains provide. A planting ceremony followed in Macarao National Park. Finally, the third day celebrated the sixty-second anniversary of Waraira Repano National Park.

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 Sam Archibald

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