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 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. 

Fourth annual GROW Summer School opens online

Fourth annual GROW Summer School opens online

news

The fourth annual GROW Summer School “Agrobiodiversity in a changing climate” opens online today with 30 participants attending from 21 countries. The two-week course equips practitioners with the necessary tools, knowledge and understanding to enhance productivity and improve marketing strategies in sustainable and resilient agricultural systems.

The 2021 GROW course focuses...

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Philippine mountain producers engage in national Participatory Guarantee System

Philippine mountain producers engage in national Participatory Guarantee System

peak to peak

The September 2021 issue of Peak to Peak highlights the Philippines' growing national recognition of Participatory Guarantee Systems as an option for small-scale farmers and fisherfolk to get organic certification, including Mountain Partnership Products producers. Top news stories cover the first ever Latin American edition of IPROMO, a new database...

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Philippine mountain producers engage in national Participatory Guarantee System

Philippine mountain producers engage in national Participatory Guarantee System

news

Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) are gaining recognition and empowering small-scale organic farmers and fisherfolk in the Philippines, including Mountain Partnership Products (MPP) producers.

According to IFOAM - Organics International – a member of the Mountain Partnership and the only organization worldwide collecting, compiling and publishing global data about PGS initiatives...

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Mountain Partnership’s UN Food Systems Pre-Summit event on food systems in mountains

Mountain Partnership’s UN Food Systems Pre-Summit event on food systems in mountains

peak to peak

The August 2021 issue of Peak to Peak highlights the outcomes of the Mountain Partnership's UN Food Systems Pre-Summit parallel session on mountains and sustainable food systems. Top news stories cover a side event on mountains held in the margins of the 2021 High-level Political Forum, an overview of the...

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Next MP Global Meeting to be held in Aspen, USA in 2022

Next MP Global Meeting to be held in Aspen, USA in 2022

peak to peak

The July 2021 issue of Peak to Peak announces the host and location of the sixth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership, to be held in 2022. Members' Voices features new member Last Forest Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., a social enterprise that promotes eco-friendly, thoughtful and meaningful products made by indigenous communities in the mountains of...

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Identification of global priorities for new mountain protected and conserved areas

Identification of global priorities for new mountain protected and conserved areas

news

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Mountains Specialist Group has developed a paper on Identification of Global Priorities for New Mountain Protected and Conserved Areas. This mountain project aims to identify inadequately protected mountain areas and prioritize their importance for protection...

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