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. 

 

Forum “Origin, Diversity and Territories”

Forum “Origin, Diversity and Territories”

event

The Forum “Origin, Diversity and Territories” (ODT) is an international platform for the exchange of practices and knowledge on cultural and biological diversities, territories and products for which their quality is linked to their origin. The Forum brings together a global panel of actors (territory actors, academics, policy-makers, researchers, etc)...

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International Symposium on Mountain Science 2017

International Symposium on Mountain Science 2017

event

The Mountain Science Center at the University of Tsukuba, Japan will host the International Symposium on Mountain Sciences 2017 on 15 November. The theme of the conference will be “Mountain Science Frontiers: Planning International and Interdisciplinary Studies”. Professors from universities around the world will present during the symposium on topics...

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Mountain environment protects endangered fish

Mountain environment protects endangered fish

news

An endangered species of trout is returning from the brink of extinction in the mountains of the Monti Sibillini National Park. The Salmo macrostigma, or Mediterranean brown trout, is an autochthonous trout found in central and southern Italy. The reasons for this trout becoming endangered were two-fold: water management in...

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6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas

6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas

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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 to be featured at UNFCCC COP 23

Mountains to be featured at UNFCCC COP 23

peak to peak

Issue 110 – Month 11 – Year 2017

The November issue of Peak to Peak announces the two side events organized within the framework of the Mountain Partnership that will take place during the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the United Nations Framework...

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An article inspired by Mount Chirripó, Costa Rica

An article inspired by Mount Chirripó, Costa Rica

news

Mountains have, over the centuries, inspired humanity artistically, spiritually and culturally. Oscar Esquivel Garrote, a biologist and worker in the Amistad Pacífico Conservation Area of the Costa Rican National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), was inspired by Chirripó National Park to write the article “Turismo insólito en las...

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