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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Mountains, one year after the Paris Agreement

Mountains, one year after the Paris Agreement

news

One year ago, on 22 April (Earth Day) 2016, 175 of the 197 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gathered at United Nations Headquarters in New York to sign the Paris Agreement, an international treaty to address climate change. As of today, one year after...

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March 2017 update on mountain protected areas

March 2017 update on mountain protected areas

news

The 93rd edition of the Mountain Protected Areas Update, the quarterly newsletter of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Mountains Specialist Group and Network, is now online. Edited by Gillian Anderson, the newsletter summarizes news and events from members...

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Mount Kenya Three Peaks Climb

Mount Kenya Three Peaks Climb

event

The Mount Kenya Trust (MKT) invites you to come and climb the three peaks of Mount Kenya to raise vital mountain conservation funds for the MKT, an NGO working to protect the wildlife, forest and people of Africa's second highest peak. The climbing options available include Lenana (non-technical),...

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A UN entity to insure mountains have a voice

A UN entity to insure mountains have a voice

peak to peak

Issue 102 – Month 3 – Year 2017

The March issue of Peak to Peak opens with a news about two Mountain Partnership (MP) members presenting an oral statement on behalf of the MP during the 55th Commission for Social Development at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The...

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Trees, forests and water: cool insights for a hot world

Trees, forests and water: cool insights for a hot world

publication

Forests’ many life-sustaining functions as prime regulators within the water, energy and carbon cycles are still not universally recognized, a fact that the world ignores at its peril, a new article cautions. To address climate change and land misuse, global action should be realigned to prioritize trees’ and forests’ key...

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