Why Mountain Day?

Almost 90 of the world’s countries have more than one-quarter of their territory in the mountains. More than 50% of the world’s population depends on water sourced from mountains. Mountains also provide high-quality natural products, rich agro-biodiversity, habitats for rare and endangered flora and fauna, and resources for tourism and recreation. However climate and global changes are having serious impacts on mountain ecosystem goods and services, particularly water, biodiversity, and atmospheric circulation. There is therefore an urgent need to raise awareness and promote policy actions to ensure the critical contribution of mountain ecosystems in meeting adaptation and sustainable development goals in upstream and downstream areas alike.

What are the Impacts of Climate Change on Mountains?

Mountain regions have experienced above-average warming in recent years, with significant implications for the ecosystem goods and services they provide to humanity, which are especially critical for the survival of poor and indigenous communities. Scenarios of climate change in mountain regions are highly uncertain and poorly understood, with large gaps in knowledge.

What Will Happen at Mountain Day?

Mountain Day will assemble a high-level panel of global personalities, ministers, and scientists to advocate the value and critical role of mountains and share scientific evidence and examples of challenges and opportunities. The day-long programme will also include plenary presentations and discussions, working groups, and panel discussions. The organisers hope that Mountain Day will conclude with the adoption of the Durban Declaration on Mountains and Climate Change.

What Will Mountain Day Achieve?

Mountain Day will call to the COP17 delegates and global development partners for more concerted and long-term actions at the national, regional, and global levels to save vital mountain ecosystems. It is hoped that the knowledge shared and the evidence presented will provide a powerful and convincing message to ensure that UNFCCC deliberations include provisions for protecting mountain systems’ integrity for the survival of current and future generations.