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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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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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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Mountain summer course in Italy to open

Mountain summer course in Italy to open

peak to peak

Issue 106 – Month 7 – Year 2017

The July issue of Peak to Peak begins with an announcement of the opening of the 2017 International Programme on Research and Training on Sustainable Management of Mountain Areas (IPROMO) on 5 July in Ormea and Pieve Tesino, Italy. The newsletter...

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FAO

FAO's Work in Sustainable Mountain Development and Watershed Management—A 2017 Update

publication

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) provides an update on its activities related to sustainable mountain development and watershed management in this 2017 platform statement published in Volume 37, Issue 2 (May 2017) of Mountain Research and Development.

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Keeping an Eye on SDG 15

Keeping an Eye on SDG 15

publication

This publication presents the three forest-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators for which the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is the custodian agency, including SDG indicator 15.4.2, the Mountain Green Cover Index. It contains 3-4 pages for each indicator, covering the following: a) context of goal...

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