Disaster risk management


Mountains are hazardous places.
Many mountain communities live under the threat of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions caused by shifting tectonic plates.
Gravity pushing down on sloping land compounds the destructive power of storms and heavy rains, producing avalanches, landslides and floods. Population growth, climate change and unsustainable natural resource management practices are putting dangerous pressure on the mountain ecosystems and making mountain communities increasingly vulnerable to disasters.

Women, children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to disasters. And in many mountain areas, it is these members of the community that are looking after mountain homesteads, as the men move to lowland cities or abroad to earn a better income and support their family through remittances.

Forces from outside mountain communities, such as commercial logging interests and market-driven agricultural production, also put pressure on mountain ecosystems. All of this can lead to deforestation and environmental degradation. The loss of forest cover deprives mountain communities of a protective barrier against landslides and avalanches and further contributes to increased soil erosion and water run off.

To reduce the risks of disasters in mountain areas it is urgent to increase awareness and to develop integrated strategies and policies on disaster risk management at the national level. Policy-makers involved with disaster risk management cannot afford to neglect mountains, considering the high number of natural hazards in mountain areas and the high vulnerability of mountain communities. 

 United Nations General Assembly Resolution: Status of preparation for the International Year of Mountains, 2002 (2001)

United Nations General Assembly Resolution: Status of preparation for the International Year of Mountains, 2002 (2001)

publication

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly at 55th Session.
A/RES/55/189

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United Nations General Assembly Resolution: International Year of Mountains, 2002 (1998)

United Nations General Assembly Resolution: International Year of Mountains, 2002 (1998)

publication

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly at 53th Session.
A/RES/53/24

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Alpine Convention

publication

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