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. 

 

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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EcorNaturaSí and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat join forces to boost the livelihoods of mountain and island communities

EcorNaturaSí and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat join forces to boost the livelihoods of mountain and island communities

peak to peak

Peak to Peak August 2020 announces a new agreement between EcorNaturaSi and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat that promotes fair-trade of unique, organic products and conserves biodiversity. This month's Members' Voices is a Mountain Partnership Products producer story, zooming in on women silk scarf producers in Kyrgyzstan. Peak to Peak August highlights four...

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Mountain Partnership Steering Committee 2020 Summary Report

publication

Mountain Partnership Steering Committee 2020 Summary Report

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IPROMO 2020 call for applications: Mountains in a changing climate

IPROMO 2020 call for applications: Mountains in a changing climate

peak to peak

Peak to Peak 2020 launches the call for applications to IPROMO 2020, which will focus on the theme "Mountains in a changing climate". This month's Members' Voices is about new member "Mountain Homestays", which includes a survey for members interested in getting involved in community-based tourism. Peak to Peak July highlights four...

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Mountain Partnership members produce mountain documentary

Mountain Partnership members produce mountain documentary

peak to peak

The May 2020 edition of Peak to Peak features an exciting collaboration between Mountain Partnership members on the creation of a documentary. This month's Members' Voices is about Mountain Partnership Products Initiative producers of maca andina in Peru. Peak to Peak May highlights four top news stories about using technology...

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