UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres calls on mountain countries to take bold action on climate change mitigation and adaption

Mountains and climate change


Human activities are profoundly affecting the world’s climate, and mountains are a sensitive indicator of that effect.
Because of their altitude, slope and orientation to the sun, mountain ecosystems are easily disrupted by variations in climate. Many scientists believe that the changes occurring in mountain ecosystems may provide an early glimpse of what could come to pass in lowland environments.

As the world heats up, mountain glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates, while rare plants and animals struggle to survive over ever diminishing areas, and mountain peoples, already among the world’s poorest citizens, face even greater hardships.

Changes in the volume of mountain glaciers and in their seasonal melting patterns have an impact on water resources in many parts of the world. Changes in water availability due to climate change are taking place at a time when pressure on water resources for irrigation and food production, industrialization and urbanization is increasing.

Understanding how climate change affects mountains is vital as governments and international organizations develop strategies to reverse current global warming trends, elaborating treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.  In addition, local community empowerment can be an essential step towards building climate change resilience in mountains.




International Mountain Conference

International Mountain Conference

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Evaluating the responses of mountains to climate change and mountains’ resilience as social-ecological systems requires the consideration of multiple and mutually interacting stressors. The International Mountain Conference 2019 aims to encourage in-depth cross-disciplinary discussions towards a new understanding of mountain systems, their responses and resiliencies.

The International Mountain Conference 2019 will...

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Caucasus Mountain Forum 2018

Caucasus Mountain Forum 2018

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The second Caucasus Mountain Forum, organized by the Scientific Network for the Caucasus Region under the theme “The Caucasus Research Agenda – a Key to Sustainable Regional Development”, will be held from 30 October to 2 November 2018 in Ankara, Turkey. The 2018 Caucasus Mountain Forum theme encompasses the subject...

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World Mountain Forum 2018

World Mountain Forum 2018

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Under the theme “Mountains in a changing world: strengthening partnership and pathways towards a thriving mountain future”, the fourth World Mountain Forum will be held on 23–26 October 2018, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, hosted by the Government of Kyrgyzstan with support from the Government of Switzerland, the...

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#MountainsMatter Photo Contest

#MountainsMatter Photo Contest

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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched a #MountainsMatter Photo Contest in celebration of International Mountain Day that is observed every year on 11 December 2018. Participants from around the world are encouraged to submit photos showing why mountains matter to them. Approximately 13 percent of the world’s population...

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Forum Carpaticum 2018

Forum Carpaticum 2018

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The Forum Carpaticum is an open meeting of the Science for the Carpathians (S4C) initiative that occurs every two years. The fifth Forum Carpaticum will cover a wide range of topics related to sustainability in the Carpathians, including land cover and land-use change, renewable energy, climate change vulnerability assessment and...

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Closing summer school on Agrobiodiversity

Closing summer school on Agrobiodiversity

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The first Summer School on Agrobiodiversity in a Changing Climate ended this week. Held at FAO in Rome, Italy, the course hosted high profile speakers from NaturaSi, IFOAM Organics International and Slow Food and looked at ways to enhance productivity and improve marketing strategies in sustainable and resilient agricultural systems.

“We know that...

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