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. 

 

6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas

6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas

event

National Parks Austria and Hohe Tauern National Park will host the 6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Salzburg, Austria. Researchers and protected areas managers, as well as individuals from government, business, non-governmental organizations and the public who are interested in...

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Mountains and Sacred Landscapes

Mountains and Sacred Landscapes

event

The India China Institute (ICI) at The New School, the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC), American University’s Center for Latin America and Latino Studies (CLALS) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) announce an international conference on the theme of mountains...

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Mount Kenya Three Peaks Climb

Mount Kenya Three Peaks Climb

event

The Mount Kenya Trust (MKT) invites you to come and climb the three peaks of Mount Kenya to raise vital mountain conservation funds for the MKT, an NGO working to protect the wildlife, forest and people of Africa's second highest peak. The climbing options available include Lenana (non-technical),...

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A UN entity to insure mountains have a voice

A UN entity to insure mountains have a voice

peak to peak

Issue 102 – Month 3 – Year 2017

The March issue of Peak to Peak opens with a news about two Mountain Partnership (MP) members presenting an oral statement on behalf of the MP during the 55th Commission for Social Development at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The...

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Mount Kilimanjaro Research Group Meeting

Mount Kilimanjaro Research Group Meeting

event

The interdisciplinary AfroMont-Mount Kilimanjaro Research Group meeting will bring together researchers working on African mountains. The conference theme will be "African mountain ecosystems under global change: Linking biodiversity, biotic interactions and biogeochemical ecosystem processes". The Mount Kilimanjaro research programme will host the meeting.

Sessions for the research meeting will...

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Sustainable value chains for sustainable food systems

Sustainable value chains for sustainable food systems

publication

The joint FAO/UNEP workshop on Sustainable Value Chains for Sustainable Food Systems was organized by the Sustainable Food Systems Programme and held on 8–9 June 2016 at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. This report details the workshop and contains a paper about the Mountain Partnership Products Initiative, contributed by the Mountain Partnership...

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