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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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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Thinking Mountains

Thinking Mountains

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Thinking Mountains 2018 will bring researchers, students and teachers from across scholarly disciplines into dialogue with activists, artists, Indigenous leaders and community members, all of whom share a commitment to global mountain sustainability and to the betterment of mountain peoples, places and activities.

This will be the third interdisciplinary Thinking Mountains...

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International Conference on Natural Hazards and Disaster Management

International Conference on Natural Hazards and Disaster Management

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The second International Conference on Natural Hazards and Disaster Management will be held under the theme “Significance of Early Warning Systems and Risk Management Strategies”. The two-day conference will consist of a scientific programme, comprehensive talks, special sessions, oral and poster presentations of peer-reviewed papers, and innovative research products from...

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High-level International Conference on the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028

High-level International Conference on the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028

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Lack of access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation and sound hygiene, along with water scarcity and water pollution constitute some of today’s biggest challenges for the international community, in particular for developing countries. Increasingly frequent water-related disasters, climate change, urbanization, population growth, desertification and drought combined with a lack...

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4th Sustainable Summits Conference

4th Sustainable Summits Conference

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In 2010, the Sustainable Summits Conference was launched by the American Alpine Club with the primary goal of sharing solutions for managing human waste in the high mountain peaks around the world. At the 2014 conference in Golden, Colorado, USA, and again in 2016 at Aoraki / Mount Cook National...

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