Urgent action on climate change needed to safeguard mountains, says new Mountain Partnership Ambassador, Ludovico Einaudi


“Today, mountains and their glaciers are undergoing irreversible transformations resulting from climatic upheavals linked to human action. These are transformations that affect us: the water and energy that we use daily and so many of the foods we eat come from mountains,” says composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi, new Goodwill Ambassador of the Mountain Partnership, a United Nations alliance based at FAO.

Einaudi was speaking on International Mountain Day, which is held each year on 11 December to recognize the role mountains play in sustaining human communities and the planet. A man with a long interest in environmental issues, Einaudi celebrated the day and his appointment as an Ambassador for the Mountain Partnership by dedicating his 11 December concert at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan, Italy, to mountains.

“Science tells us that climate change is a devastating reality and mountains are at the center of it. They regulate life on earth and are a guarantee of life for us and for future generations,” he says. “This is why I have decided to support the mountain cause.”

Hiroto Mitsugi, Assistant Director-General of the Forestry Department, FAO, said the appointment of Einaudi as Mountain Partnership Ambassador on International Mountain Day would help increase awareness of the vital importance of mountains.

“Mountain ecosystems, and the crucial services they provide, are under sustained threat,” he says. “Today is an opportunity to reflect on the emergency facing mountains and their populations and the urgent need for action.”

A recent report by the International Panel on Climate Change found that high mountain glaciers thinned by roughly half a metre between 2006 and 2015, and many will have disappeared altogether by 2100.

“We all depend on mountains for food, water and clean air,” says Yuka Makino, coordinator of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat. “The loss of glaciers will have enormous consequences for all of us – not just mountain-dwelling peoples, but also those who live downstream.”

This year’s theme of International Mountain Day, “Mountains Matter for Youth”, focuses on young people, who are agents of change and the leaders of tomorrow. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, including many young people, are mobilizing to take action on behalf of the environment, calling for drastic changes in consumer behavior and in national and international policies to combat the effects of climate change.

Areas of climatic extremes, such as mountains, are likely to be first hit by climate change.

“Protecting mountains and improving the livelihoods of mountain communities around the world is key to the future of our planet and of our children,” says Einaudi. “Let us save the mountains to save the planet and ourselves.”

Learn about the concert here

Read more about Mountain Partnership Goodwill Ambassadors

Photo from Rosalaura Romeo

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