Mountain biodiversity


Mountains loom large in some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes.
Their unique topography, compressed climatic zones and isolation have created the conditions for a wide spectrum of life forms.

Half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots are concentrated in mountains and mountains support approximately one-quarter of terrestrial biological diversity. Mountains are home to rare species of plants and animals. These include increasingly rare animals such as gorillas, mountain lions, and the majestic tahr or strikingly beautiful plants such as orchids and lobelias.

A large portion of the world's most precious gene pools (for agriculture and medicine) are preserved in mountains. Crops that are important for food security, such as maize, potatoes, barley, sorghum, tomatoes and apples, have been diversified in mountains and an array of domestic animals - sheep, goats, yaks, llamas and alpacas - have originated or been diversified in mountains. Other crops, such as wheat, rye, rice, oats and grapes, have found new homes in the mountains and evolved into many varieties. Coffee and tea, with their roots in Ethiopia and the Himalayan region, are mountain crops as well. Medicinal plants are one of the most valuable resources from high altitudes. This rich biodiversity holds cultural, ecological and economic value. In the Andes, for example, farmers know of as many as 200 different varieties of indigenous potatoes and, in Nepal, they farm approximately 2 000 varieties of rice.

Climate change, poverty, commercial mining, logging and poaching all exact a heavy toll on mountain biodiversity. The sustainable management of mountain biodiversity has increasingly been recognized as a global priority. The Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a Programme of Work on Mountain Biological Diversity in 2004, which includes a set of actions and targets addressing characteristics and problems that are specific to mountain ecosystems. 

CBD COP 15

CBD COP 15

event

With China in the Chair as President, the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity will reconvene 5 to 17 December 2022 in Montreal, Canada, where a new world agreement to safeguard nature is expected to be adopted.

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Photo by Vakhidova Maryam

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8th European Symposium on South American Camelids and 4th European Meeting on Fibre Animals

8th European Symposium on South American Camelids and 4th European Meeting on Fibre Animals

event

Following the tradition of previous events, the Symposium will cover a broad range of topics related to the breeding, husbandry and sustainability of South American domestic and wild Camelids, wool sheep, Cashmere and Angora goats, Angora rabbit and all other fibre mammals in Europe and throughout the World.

The invitation to...

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Main proceedings from the HLPF side event on mountains

Main proceedings from the HLPF side event on mountains

peak to peak

The August 2022 issue of Peak to Peak shares the main proceedings from the side event on mountains organized by the Government of Andorra and the Mountain Partnership at the High-level Political Forum 2022. Top news stories cover a call for grant applications through the newly launched Mountain Facility Investment...

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Register for the Mountain Partnership Global Meeting

Register for the Mountain Partnership Global Meeting

peak to peak

The July 2022 issue of Peak to Peak invites all Mountain Partnership members to register for the upcoming 6th Mountain Partnership Global Meeting, which will be held at the Aspen Meadows, the campus of the Aspen Institute, in Aspen, Colorado, United States of America on 26-29 September 2022. Top news...

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Kyrgyz Republic presents “Five Years of Action for the Development of Mountain Regions”

Kyrgyz Republic presents “Five Years of Action for the Development of Mountain Regions”

peak to peak

The June 2022 issue of Peak to Peak opens with an overview of an event hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United Nations to present the concept of the "Five Years of Action for the Development of Mountain Regions" to the permanent missions of the United...

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Launching event of the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development

Launching event of the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development

peak to peak

The May 2022 issue of Peak to Peak highlights the opening ceremony of the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development 2022. Top news stories cover the release of the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment's new global mountain inventory, a workshop hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Network...

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