Water


Each day, one of every two people on the planet quenches his thirst with water that originates in mountains.
 And as the world population swells to an estimated 9.6 billion by 2050, the worldwide demand for freshwater will continue to soar.

Mountains provide between 60 and 80 percent of the world’s freshwater, essential for domestic consumption, irrigation, industry, food and energy production. The ten largest rivers originating in the Hindu Kush Himalayas alone supply water to over 1.35 billion people. Some of the world’s largest cities, including New York, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Tokyo and Melbourne, are dependent on freshwater from mountains.

Climate change is already causing more than 600 glaciers to disappear, resulting in springs and rivers drying up. Greater frequency of extreme weather events, droughts and floods, including flash floods and glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), are also expected to increase in mountains, causing imbalance between current water supply and demand.

Given the importance of mountain water resources worldwide, the careful management of mountain water resources is a global priority.  Water management practices need to be adapted to different climatic zones, using locally adapted soil and water management techniques. Most importantly, watershed management must take into account the needs of all those who depend on mountain water, including those who have the greatest stake in preserving healthy mountain ecosystems – people who live in mountain areas themselves, who are often marginalized from the decision-making processes. 

Mountain session, SDG 15 Expert Group Meeting

Mountain session, SDG 15 Expert Group Meeting

news

The role of mountains as key providers of goods and services essential for global sustainable development was discussed during a dedicated session of the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 on Life on Land in New York on 15 May 2018. 

Andrew Taber, former Chair of the...

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The Mountain Institute wins St Andrews Prize

The Mountain Institute wins St Andrews Prize

news

The Mountain Institute, a Mountain Partnership member, is the 2018 winner of the St Andrews Prize for the Environment. Their winning project integrates 2 000 years of indigenous knowledge of water management in the Andes with contemporary science and technology to create hybrid solutions that improve water security,...

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Adaptation in Central Asia mountain villages

Adaptation in Central Asia mountain villages

news

The Alliance of Central Asian Mountain Communities (AGOCA) recently published the brochure Traditional adaptation practices in Central Asian villages. The publication was the result of the multi-year project “Improving resilience and adaptive capacity at the local level”, supported by the Mountain Partnership (MP) Central Asia Mountain Hub (CAMH),...

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Mountain biodiversity and well-being survey

Mountain biodiversity and well-being survey

news

The Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA) is carrying out a global assessment of the state of, trends in and relations between biodiversity, ecosystem services, human well-being and direct drivers in the world's mountains. They have created a survey that will allow those interested to share their knowledge about...

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MP Steering Committee meets in Rome

MP Steering Committee meets in Rome

peak to peak

Issue 115 – Month 5 – Year 2018

The May 2018 issue of Peak to Peak provides a brief overview of the Mountain Partnership Steering Committee meeting held in Rome, Italy, on 23–24 April. The newsletter continues with stories about the 2018 International Mountain Day theme; the baseline data...

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Mountain Research and Development issue online

Mountain Research and Development issue online

news

The papers in the latest issue of the journal Mountain Research and Development (MRD) analyze gender-inclusive nettle value chain development in western Nepal, discuss the impact of Swiss government policy on maintaining high-mountain pasturing in the Alps, present an agronomic study of an endangered landrace of runner bean in Italy...

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