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. 

 

Kigali Outcomes - Second Africa Regional Mountains Forum

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World Mountain Forum 2018 Kyrgyzstan

World Mountain Forum 2018 Kyrgyzstan

peak to peak

Issue 119 – Month 9 – Year 2018

The September 2018 issue of Peak to Peak starts with the preparations of the World Mountain Forum 2018 the fourth in the series of World Mountain Forums (WMF) which will be held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in October. The newsletter continues with stories from...

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Rediscovering Nature and Culture in the Apennines

Rediscovering Nature and Culture in the Apennines

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An inspiring project linking the rejuvenation of the mountains and socio-economic regeneration has sprung up in Italy in the wake of the 2016-2017 earthquakes, which created a national disaster in Italy.

Le Erbe delle Sibilla (the herbs of Sibilla) project was created in June 2017 and is fully funded by the Earthquake...

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Mountain Partnership at the United Nations

Mountain Partnership at the United Nations

peak to peak

Issue 118 – Month 8 – Year 2018

The August 2018 issue of Peak to Peak provides a brief overview of the "Leading Sustainable Mountain Development" side event that took place 16 July 2018 at the High-Level Political Forum in New York, USA. The newsletter continues with stories about the Andean monitoring...

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Our Journey 2017: Mountain Partnership Secretariat

Our Journey 2017: Mountain Partnership Secretariat

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The Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) reflects on its key achievements in promoting sustainable mountain development last year in its 2017 annual report. “Our Journey 2017: Mountain Partnership Secretariat Annual Report”, the publication documents the Secretariat’s work in the areas of advocacy, communication and knowledge management, promoting International Mountain Day, brokering...

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Trekking in the mountains of Pakistan

Trekking in the mountains of Pakistan

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Three Italian mountaineering instructors (Emiliano Olivero, Tommaso Castorina, and Omar Scarpellini) will leave for Pakistan on August 28 2018. This trip will be led by Carlo Alberto Pinelli, honorary president of Mountain Partnership member Mountain Wilderness International and member of the prestigious Italian Academic Alpine Club.

The destination is in the...

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