Mountain biodiversity


Mountains loom large in some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes.
Their unique topography, compressed climatic zones and isolation have created the conditions for a wide spectrum of life forms.

Half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots are concentrated in mountains and mountains support approximately one-quarter of terrestrial biological diversity. Mountains are home to rare species of plants and animals. These include increasingly rare animals such as gorillas, mountain lions, and the majestic tahr or strikingly beautiful plants such as orchids and lobelias.

A large portion of the world's most precious gene pools (for agriculture and medicine) are preserved in mountains. Crops that are important for food security, such as maize, potatoes, barley, sorghum, tomatoes, beans and apples, have been diversified in mountains and an array of domestic animals - sheep, goats, yaks, llamas and alpacas - have originated or been diversified in mountains. Other crops, such as wheat, rye, rice, oats and grapes, have found new homes in the mountains and evolved into many varieties. Coffee and tea, with their roots in Ethiopia and the Himalayan region, are mountain crops as well. Medicinal plants are one of the most valuable resources from high altitudes. This rich biodiversity holds cultural, ecological and economic value. In the Andes, for example, farmers know of as many as 200 different varieties of indigenous potatoes and, in Nepal, they farm approximately 2 000 varieties of rice.

Climate change, poverty, commercial mining, logging and poaching all exact a heavy toll on mountain biodiversity. The sustainable management of mountain biodiversity has increasingly been recognized as a global priority. The Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a Programme of Work on Mountain Biological Diversity in 2004, which includes a set of actions and targets addressing characteristics and problems that are specific to mountain ecosystems. 

 

Science Magazine, Policy Forum: "Accelerating the movement for mountain peoples and policies"

Science Magazine, Policy Forum: "Accelerating the movement for mountain peoples and policies"

publication

Yuka Makino, Sara Manuelli and Lindsey Hook from the Mountain Partnership authored this article for Science, a peer-reviewed, academic journal produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The article covers the current movement for mountain peoples and policies, details how these policies have far-reaching impacts on those...

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2018 Annual Report now available online

2018 Annual Report now available online

peak to peak

Issue 130 - Month 9 - Year 2019

The September 2019 issue of Peak to Peak begins with the release of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat Annual Report 2018. Continuing with the new Members' Voices section, Ruel Inojaldo Perez from the Baslay Farmers Association (BFA) explains his journey to becoming the Chairman of...

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Mountain agriculture: Opportunities for harnessing Zero Hunger in Asia

Mountain agriculture: Opportunities for harnessing Zero Hunger in Asia

publication

Around 300 million mountain people are food insecure, with half of them suffering from chronic hunger. Yet, mountain agriculture offers enormous opportunities for zero hunger. This comprehensive publication conveys priority and entry points to turn the potential of mountain agriculture into real benefits for the Asian region. The publication provides...

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Mountain Partnership Secretariat Annual Report 2018

Mountain Partnership Secretariat Annual Report 2018

publication

The Mountain Partnership Secretariat Annual Report outlines key achievements in promoting sustainable mountain development last year in its 2018 annual report. The publication documents the Secretariat’s work in the areas of advocacy, communication and knowledge management, promoting International Mountain Day, brokering joint action and leading capacity development initiatives. This publication...

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IMD celebrated in over 35 countries in 2018

IMD celebrated in over 35 countries in 2018

peak to peak

The February 2019 issue of Peak to Peak starts by discussing IMD 2018 celebrations that took place in over 35 countries. The newsletter continues with stories about revitalizing mountains through agriculture and tourism, and exploring mountain food systems. 

Peak to Peak provides a sampling of Mountain Partnership members’ activities and events...

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The Indigenous Mountain Peoples Database is live!

The Indigenous Mountain Peoples Database is live!

news

The Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) in close collaboration with the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA) has developed a database and an interactive map which connects indigenous mountain communities and the mountain range they inhabit.

The scope of this project is to raise awareness about indigenous mountain peoples...

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