Mountain forests

 

Mountains cover around 27 percent of the earth’s land surface, and forests cover more than 40 percent of the global mountain area.

Healthy mountain forests are crucial to the ecological health of the world. They protect watersheds that supply freshwater to more than half of humankind. They also harbour wildlife, provide food and fodder for mountain peoples and are important sources of timber and non-wood products. Moreover, they protect the earth and contribute to shielding the atmosphere from CO2 emissions.

Protecting these forests and making sure they are carefully managed is an important step towards sustainable mountain development. In the last decades, tropical mountain forests have been disappearing at an astounding rate. Deforestation is generally driven by population growth, the expansion of intensive agriculture, uncertain land tenure, inequitable land distribution and the absence of strong and stable institutions.

Crucially, mountain forests perform a protective function against natural hazards, so that when forest cover is lost and the land is left unprotected, runoff and soil erosion increase, provoking landslides, avalanches and floods, to the detriment of villages, transport systems, human infrastructure and of the food security of vulnerable populations.

Putting power back into the hands of mountain people is one important step towards alleviating their poverty and, in turn, protecting mountain forests. Measures that could accomplish these aims include providing incentives for biodiversity and agro-biodiversity conservation as well as the inclusion sustainable forest management plans into national policies. 

Identification of global priorities for new mountain protected and conserved areas

Identification of global priorities for new mountain protected and conserved areas

news

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Mountains Specialist Group has developed a paper on Identification of Global Priorities for New Mountain Protected and Conserved Areas. This mountain project aims to identify inadequately protected mountain areas and prioritize their importance for protection...

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Members’ voices: Mathew John, Last Forest

Members’ voices: Mathew John, Last Forest

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Last Forest is a social enterprise pioneering sustainable living choices by connecting communities to markets. We promote eco-friendly, thoughtful and meaningful products made by indigenous communities in the mountains of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in South India.

Indigenous communities represent 8.6 percent of the population of India. They are the...

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MP

MP's dialogue highlights sustainable food systems in mountains

peak to peak

The June 2021 issue of Peak to Peak highlights the outcomes of the Mountain Partnership's Independent Dialogue on mountains an sustainable food systems, organized to inform the first-ever UN Food Systems Summit. Members' Voices features a Mountain Partnership Products producer story on Mermelada de Arándano from Peru. Top news stories cover a...

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Restoring mountain forests for recovered, resilient and sustainable mountain countries

Restoring mountain forests for recovered, resilient and sustainable mountain countries

news

The Permanent Mission of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United Nations (UN) in New York, on behalf of the Group of Friends of Mountainous Countries and with the collaboration of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, organized a side event on the margins of the 16th session of the United Nations Forum...

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Third GROW Summer School ends, Innovation Contest winner announced

Third GROW Summer School ends, Innovation Contest winner announced

peak to peak

The October 2020 issue of Peak to Peak highlights the closing of the third annual GROW Agrobiodiversity in a Changing Climate Summer School and the winner of the first ever innovation contest. This month's Members' Voices is a Mountain Partnership Products producer story about goldenberry jam in Peru. Peak to...

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Raising environmental awareness through art in the Andean Chocó

Raising environmental awareness through art in the Andean Chocó

news

Can artistic expressions such as music help generate greater environmental awareness and add to ongoing scientific efforts? Can art motivate subjects to change their habits and thus provoke concrete actions towards adaptation to climate change? To explore these questions, in 2019, the Andean Forest Program, InConcerto and Radio COCOA undertook...

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