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. 

 

IPROMO 2020 call for applications: Mountains in a changing climate

IPROMO 2020 call for applications: Mountains in a changing climate

peak to peak

Peak to Peak 2020 launches the call for applications to IPROMO 2020, which will focus on the theme "Mountains in a changing climate". This month's Members' Voices is about new member "Mountain Homestays", which includes a survey for members interested in getting involved in community-based tourism. Peak to Peak July highlights four...

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Mountain Partnership members produce mountain documentary

Mountain Partnership members produce mountain documentary

peak to peak

The May 2020 edition of Peak to Peak features an exciting collaboration between Mountain Partnership members on the creation of a documentary. This month's Members' Voices is about Mountain Partnership Products Initiative producers of maca andina in Peru. Peak to Peak May highlights four top news stories about using technology...

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Mountain Partnership Governance and Strategy (2018-2021)

Mountain Partnership Governance and Strategy (2018-2021)

publication

This document presents the Mountain Partnership strategy and governance for the period 2018 to 2021.

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Mountain biodiversity word search

publication

Mountain biodiversity word search for kids.

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Elevating Mountains in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

Elevating Mountains in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

publication

With the Aichi Biodiversity Targets coming to an end in 2020, the world is preparing for a new set of ambitious biodiversity targets and goals to follow. This brief, prepared for the second Open-Ended Working Group meeting on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework in February 2020, highlights how mountains are...

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Mainstreaming mountain biodiversity

Mainstreaming mountain biodiversity

peak to peak

This issue of Peak to Peak kicks off with a recap of the Informal Mountain Gathering, held on the sidelines of the Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework at FAO headquarters. This month's Members' Voices features Bibiana Vilá, a biologist in Argentina specializing in vicuñas. The newsletter...

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