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. 

 

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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World Mountain Forum 2018 Kyrgyzstan

World Mountain Forum 2018 Kyrgyzstan

peak to peak

Issue 120 – Month 10 – Year 2018

The November 2018 issue of Peak to Peak starts with the fourth in the series of World Mountain Forums (WMF) which was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. in October. The newsletter continues with stories from members about Bridging the gap on mountain resilience Cultural heritage at the European...

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Caucasus Mountain Forum 2018

Caucasus Mountain Forum 2018

event

The second Caucasus Mountain Forum, organized by the Scientific Network for the Caucasus Region under the theme “The Caucasus Research Agenda – a Key to Sustainable Regional Development”, will be held from 30 October to 2 November 2018 in Ankara, Turkey. The 2018 Caucasus Mountain Forum theme encompasses the subject...

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World Mountain Forum 2018

World Mountain Forum 2018

event

Under the theme “Mountains in a changing world: strengthening partnership and pathways towards a thriving mountain future”, the fourth World Mountain Forum will be held on 23–26 October 2018, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, hosted by the Government of Kyrgyzstan with support from the Government of Switzerland, the...

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Global mountain safeguard: emerging risks and future challenges for mountain regions worldwide

Global mountain safeguard: emerging risks and future challenges for mountain regions worldwide

event

Eurac Research and the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security, through their new joint programme “Global Mountain Safeguard Research (GLOMOS)”, are organizing an United Nations international workshop to enhance disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and emergency response preparedness in mountain regions worldwide....

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