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International Mountain Day 2019: Current Theme, History and Key Facts

International Mountain Day is celebrated on 11 December every year globally to raise awareness about the importance of mountains in our lives and to our planet. Let us read more about International Mountain Day, its 2019 theme, history, significance, and some key facts.  
Dec 11, 2019 10:50 IST
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International Mountain Day
International Mountain Day

Do you know that 15% of the world's population lives in the mountains? Therefore, conservation of mountains is a crucial factor and is a goal 15 of sustainable development. As we know that due to climate change, overexploitation, mountains are under threat. 

Mountains are not only important for inhabitants but also for millions of people living in lowlands. They are the sources of the world's major rivers and also play a crucial role in the water cycle.

This day also focuses on the opportunities and on the development of mountains. It also educate people in understanding the role of mountains in the environment and its impact on life. It is celebrated every year with a particular theme.

International Mountain Day (IMD) 2019: Theme

The theme of International Mountain Day 2019 is "Mountains matter for Youth". The theme focuses on young youth so that they can come forward as active agents of change and as the future leads of tomorrow. It is necessary to educate children and people that mountains provide fresh water, clean energy, food, and recreation.

International Mountain Day (IMD): History

The formation of International Mountain Day history dates back in 1992 when Agenda 21 "Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development" of Chapter 13 was adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. No doubt, it put a milestone in the history of mountain development. By seeing the increasing attention towards the importance of mountain, the UN General Assembly declared in 2002 the UN International Year of Mountains and designated 11 December as International Mountain Day from 2003 onwards. Therefore we can say that the first time International Mountain Day was celebrated on 11 December 2003. Every year it is celebrated with a particular theme.

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International Mountain Day (IMD): Celebrations

It is celebrated in various ways. One of these is that the Centro de Investigacao de Montanha (CIMO) and partners will celebrate International Mountain Day from 13 to 14 December as "Mountain, Sport and Sustainable Development Days". On the first day there will be a conference focusing on bringing speakers, athletes, politicians, sporting associations and researchers together to throw light on the importance of mountains. For the first time on this day, the Baslay Farmer's Association (BFA) and local partners will join the celebrations on 11 December including hiking and the establishment of a native tree nursery. A forum will also be organised on the importance of the mountains and mountain peoples.

According to FAO, in the coming months, a communication tool box for this day will be made available on the IMD website in six languages.

On this day various forums, hand-on-activities, presentations, student debate, photo, art competitions, hikes and events targeted specific groups and are organised. You can also join the conversation on social media using the #MountainsMatter hashtag. You can also write about your planning for the event on International Mountain Day at info-IMD@fao.org so that it can be published on the website of International Mountain Day. You can also share your experience on mountains life, photo of your favourite mountain, moments, etc with your friends, relatives, etc.

Importance of Mountains

Mountains are the most beautiful structures of nature, majestic, solid that stand against the sky and feel like that they can catch the entire countryside’s in their shadow. They are the sources of recreation and resource. They are the source of agriculture, provides ample of space in the slopes for the production.

- Mountains play an important role in the water cycle.

- The precipitation of snow in the mountains remains and stored in the mountains until it melts in the spring and summer season and provides essential water for settlements, agriculture and industries downstream.

- In fact, in semi-arid and arid regions, around 90% of the river comes from the mountains.

- In temperate Europe, the Alps that occupy around 11% of the area of the Rhine river basin supply 31% of the annual flow and in summer more than 50%.

- Water coming from the mountains is also the source of hydroelectric power.

- The fuel of the wood in developing countries is the predominant source of energy in mountain settlements and is also essential whether as wood or charcoal to many people living in urban lowlands and on the plains.

- Mountain wood is also used in several ways.

- The ecosystems of the mountain play an important role in biological diversity etc.

Therefore, International Mountain Day is celebrated every year on 11 December to raise awareness and focus on the importance of Mountains not only for our lives but also for inhabitants, ecosystem and the environment.

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