Mountain forests

 

Covering over 9 million square kilometres of the earth’s surface, mountain forests represent a remarkable 23 percent of the earth’s forest cover.

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.  

 

6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas

6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas

event

National Parks Austria and Hohe Tauern National Park will host the 6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Salzburg, Austria. Researchers and protected areas managers, as well as individuals from government, business, non-governmental organizations and the public who are interested in...

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Malawi forms national mountain committee

Malawi forms national mountain committee

news

Malawi will form a national committee on mountains, decided the participants of an inception workshop on sustainable mountain development (SMD) held on 29 September 2017. The participants also agreed that there is a need to develop a national strategy on SMD to address the challenges facing the country’s mountain ecosystems...

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1st West African Mountain Forum

1st West African Mountain Forum

event

West Africa is a sub-region that has an abundance of ecosystems, including - among others - mountains. Although not necessarily impressive in terms of altitude, West African mountains are high in biodiversity, and they play an important role in the overall sustainable development of the sub-region. Many West African communities...

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Enter the #MountainsMatter video contest

Enter the #MountainsMatter video contest

peak to peak

Issue 109 – Month 10 – Year 2017

The October issue of Peak to Peak launches the #MountainsMatter video contest, to bring attention to the plight of mountain peoples and ecosystems for International Mountain Day 2017. The newsletter continues with stories about the University of the Mountains’ initiative to...

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Forum on mountain snow leopard opens

Forum on mountain snow leopard opens

peak to peak

Issue 108 – Month 9 – Year 2017

The September issue of Peak to Peak announces the opening of the International Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Forum, held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The newsletter continues with stories about how Mountain Partnership (MP) members can register for the upcoming Global Meeting, an...

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Stepping up for mountains: Mountain Partnership Secretariat Annual Report 2016

Stepping up for mountains: Mountain Partnership Secretariat Annual Report 2016

publication

The Mountain Partnership Secretariat outlines its key achievements in promoting sustainable mountain development last year in its 2016 annual report. The publication documents the Secretariat’s work in the areas of advocacy, communication and knowledge management, promoting International Mountain Day, brokering joint action and leading capacity development initiatives. The 60-page publication...

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