Planetary health and mountains

FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy
From: 03.10.2024 to: 03.10.2024

The event "We Are All Mountain People: connecting the lives and livelihoods and health of people to the earth’s natural systems" will take place at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations headquarters in Rome, Italy, on 3 October from 8.30 to 17.00 CEST. The event is being organized by the Zero Water Day Partnership within the framework of the Mountain Partnership.

Mountains constitute approximately one-fifth of the Earth's surface and are home to about 15 percent of the global population. As the world’s water towers, mountains play a crucial role in supplying 60 to 80 percent of freshwater resources.

The growing threat to our planet's health, which consequently impacts human well-being, is multifaceted, transboundary and extends across various levels and sectors. This necessitates a shift towards planet-centric critical thinking. Mountains and their glaciers serve as visible indicators of our planet's health; their decline reflects our own.

The concept of planetary health emphasizes the interdependence of a healthy environment and thriving communities, recognizing that the conditions of daily life and the health of natural systems are shaped by political, economic and social forces and systems.

"We are all mountain people" creates an inclusive narrative, linking the well-being and livelihoods of people with the health of Earth's natural systems. The event aims to establish this narrative as a unifying force to promote both planetary and human health.

Event objectives:

  • advocate for sustainable mountain development by focusing on the social determinants of health
  • showcasehow mountains and their glaciers act as powerful visual aids for education on sustainable development and global citizenship
  • promote planetary and human health through engagement with mountain sports
  • launch the dedicated "Saving the World’s Water Towers" campaign in conjunction with the International Year of Glaciers' Preservation 2025
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