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. 

 

 International Mountain Day photo contest, deadline for submissions 14 November

International Mountain Day photo contest, deadline for submissions 14 November

peak to peak

The November 2020 issue of Peak to Peak announces the International Mountain Day photo contest on mountain biodiversity. This month's Members' Voices is a Mountain Partnership Products producer story about white honey and beekeeping in Kyrgyzstan. Peak to Peak November highlights four top news stories from the past month about...

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Mountain products take the stage at the Origin, Diversity and Territories Forum

Mountain products take the stage at the Origin, Diversity and Territories Forum

news

The Mountain Partnership Products (MPP) initiative was presented as an example of identifying, developing and improving value chains of quality food products, cultivated in fragile ecosystems, for creating employment opportunities during the Origin, Diversity and Territories Forum (Forum ODT).

The Forum ODT is an international platform for the exchange of experiences...

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International Mountain Day 2020 photo contest opens

International Mountain Day 2020 photo contest opens

news

The theme of the International Mountain Day 2020 photo contest launched by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat on 6 October is mountain biodiversity.

Did you know that about half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots are found in mountains? Mountains are home to an extraordinary range of plants and animals, from endangered mountain...

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Third GROW Summer School ends, Innovation Contest winner announced

Third GROW Summer School ends, Innovation Contest winner announced

peak to peak

The October 2020 issue of Peak to Peak highlights the closing of the third annual GROW Agrobiodiversity in a Changing Climate Summer School and the winner of the first ever innovation contest. This month's Members' Voices is a Mountain Partnership Products producer story about goldenberry jam in Peru. Peak to...

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Raising environmental awareness through art in the Andean Chocó

Raising environmental awareness through art in the Andean Chocó

news

Can artistic expressions such as music help generate greater environmental awareness and add to ongoing scientific efforts? Can art motivate subjects to change their habits and thus provoke concrete actions towards adaptation to climate change? To explore these questions, in 2019, the Andean Forest Program, InConcerto and Radio COCOA undertook...

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International Mountain Day 2020 Coloring Pages

publication

International Mountain Day 2020 Coloring Pages

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