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. 

 

Mountains celebrated worldwide on IMD 2020

Mountains celebrated worldwide on IMD 2020

peak to peak

The first issue of Peak to Peak in 2021 highlights International Mountain Day, held every year on 11 December. The newsletter focuses on events held by mountain lovers and communities around the world. This issue gives a recap of events divided by region. Peak to Peak January 2021 also features...

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Commemorating IMD in the Americas

Commemorating IMD in the Americas

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North and Central America, the Caribbean and South America marked International Mountain Day (IMD) in 2020 through various events in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Peru, the United States of America and Venezuela.

The Canadian Mountain Network (CMN) together with the Reconciling Ways of Knowing: Indigenous Knowledge and Science Forum...

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IMD events in Asia and MENA

IMD events in Asia and MENA

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In Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), International Mountain Day (IMD) 2020 was widely celebrated by many organizations throughout the regions. Events were held in Algeria, India, Malaysia, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan and Russia.

In Algeria, Assirem Gouraya Association of Bejaia organized a series of activities throughout December. Tree...

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Mountain Biodiversity Matters: FAO

Mountain Biodiversity Matters: FAO's high-level event to mark International Mountain Day

peak to peak

The December 2020 issue of Peak to Peak announces FAO's online celebration of International Mountain Day. This month's Members' Voices is a Mountain Partnership Products producer story about baby mountain yak wool insulating livelihoods in Mongolia. Peak to Peak December brings to you four top news stories from the past...

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 International Mountain Day photo contest, deadline for submissions 14 November

International Mountain Day photo contest, deadline for submissions 14 November

peak to peak

The November 2020 issue of Peak to Peak announces the International Mountain Day photo contest on mountain biodiversity. This month's Members' Voices is a Mountain Partnership Products producer story about white honey and beekeeping in Kyrgyzstan. Peak to Peak November highlights four top news stories from the past month about...

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Mountain products take the stage at the Origin, Diversity and Territories Forum

Mountain products take the stage at the Origin, Diversity and Territories Forum

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The Mountain Partnership Products (MPP) initiative was presented as an example of identifying, developing and improving value chains of quality food products, cultivated in fragile ecosystems, for creating employment opportunities during the Origin, Diversity and Territories Forum (Forum ODT).

The Forum ODT is an international platform for the exchange of experiences...

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