International Mountains Day marked across the world, including Pakistan on 11th December to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life.
The day highlighted the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build agreements for bringing positive change to mountain people’s and environments.
International Mountain Day 2017 gave a platform that highlighted the points like how climate, hunger, and migration are affecting highlands and ensure that sustainable mountain development is integrated into the 2030 Agenda and in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Mountains under Pressure: climate, hunger, migration was the theme on which the day was celebrated.
Until now mountains are under threat from climate change, land degradation, overexploitation, and natural disasters, with potentially far-reaching and devastating consequences, both for mountain communities and the world.
The mountain glaciers are melting at recorded rates, affecting freshwater supplies downstream for millions of people due to global warming.
Climate change, climate variability, and climate-induced disasters, combined with political, economic, and social marginalization, increase the vulnerability of mountain communities to food shortages and poverty.
At present, about 39% of the mountain population in developing countries, or 329 million people, is projected to be vulnerable to food insecurity. Those who cannot migrate are often women, left to manage the farms but with little access to credit, training, and land tenure rights.
An inestimable loss in terms of provision of ecosystem services and preservation of cultural and agrobiodiversity is seen due to out-migration. Migration can be reversed by investments and policies can lessen the harsh living conditions of mountain communities.
On and around International Mountain Day, various activities are organized to increase awareness and knowledge about the role of mountains and mountainous regions amongst professionals and general public.
Events like book fairs, symposia, themed lectures for students, workshops, and press events.
International Year of Mountains was held in 2002 for raising awareness and triggering action on issues leading to sustainable mountain development by the Food and Agriculture Organization.
United Nations launched this day celebration in New York on December 11, 2001. While December 20, 2002, was marked as the International Year of Mountains. UN-designated December 11 as International Mountain Day and encouraged the international community to organize events to highlight the importance of sustainable mountain development on this date.
International Mountain Day was first observed on December 11, 2003. Each year International Mountain Day observed with a theme focused on freshwater, peace, biodiversity, or climate change.