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. 

 

Mountain Futures 2018

Mountain Futures 2018

event

In March 2016, stakeholders from 35 countries established the Mountain Futures Initiative, as part of the inaugural Mountain Futures Conference in Kunming, China. The initiative seeks to foster local innovations for resilient livelihoods in mountain regions worldwide; it aims to identify, develop and scale up mountain-based solutions to global problems.

In...

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15 years of Mountain Partnership

15 years of Mountain Partnership

publication

This publication celebrates the work of the Mountain Partnership - the only United Nations alliance dedicated to improving the lives of mountain communities and their ecosystems - over 15 years. It profiles key players, charts the achievements at global, regional and national level, and showcases success stories around the world....

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A focus on sustainable mountain food systems

A focus on sustainable mountain food systems

news

The fifth edition of the Forum "Origin, Diversity and Territories" (ODT) was held on 1 December 2017 in Bulle, Switzerland and celebrated mountains under the theme "Designing sustainable mountain food systems". The forum explored the richness and dynamism of mountain territories.

In her opening remarks, Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, Read more »

2030 Agenda for Mountains - Framework for Action

2030 Agenda for Mountains - Framework for Action

publication

On International Mountain Day (11 December) 2017, a Framework for Action to support concrete actions, put in place long-lasting processes, and establish policies to strengthen the resilience of mountain peoples and environments was launched at the fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership. The Framework will aim to ensure that sustainable...

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Le Programme 2030 pour les Montagnes - Cadre d’action

Le Programme 2030 pour les Montagnes - Cadre d’action

publication

On International Mountain Day (11 December) 2017, a Framework for Action to support concrete actions, put in place long-lasting processes, and establish policies to strengthen the resilience of mountain peoples and environments was launched at the fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership. The Framework will aim to ensure that sustainable...

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Повестки Дня На Период До 2030 Года Для Гор - Рамочная программа действий

Повестки Дня На Период До 2030 Года Для Гор - Рамочная программа действий

publication

On International Mountain Day (11 December) 2017, a Framework for Action to support concrete actions, put in place long-lasting processes, and establish policies to strengthen the resilience of mountain peoples and environments was launched at the fifth Global Meeting of the Mountain Partnership. The Framework will aim to ensure that sustainable...

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