Mountains: fragile beauty

Eritrea: Mountain soil and vegetation are extremely
vulnerable to erosion

Mountains occupy almost one quarter of the world's land surface. Ten percent of the world's populations live in mountain regions. Another forty percent depend on mountains, not just for water and other natural resources, but for a wide range of social and cultural benefits as well.

Mountains are fragile ecosystems. Their steep slopes and thin soil make them extremely vulnerable to erosion. The degradation of mountain soil and vegetation cover often takes many years to repair; in some cases it is irreversible.

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