December 11th, 2011 is the ninth International Mountain Day. This year’s theme focus on Mountains Forests, roots to our future.
Mountain forests are some of the most spectacularly beautiful landscapes on Earth. These forests are special places unlike any other ecosystem on Earth. Mountain forests cover over 9 million square kilometers: 28 percent of the world’s closed forest area. These forests protect local communities against natural disasters and safeguard the natural resources and environmental services billions of people rely on for their well-being and livelihoods.
However, Mountain forests are under threat because of many global challenges, such as rising temperatures, population growth, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity and desertification. In reality, they are vanishing.
|2011 International Mountain Day Celebration held in Chengdu|
According to the latest report produced jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), mountain forests have a great influence on the quantity and quality of water supplies, and they warn the loss of mountain forests sparked by increasing temperatures and population growth would have serious socio-economic and environmental consequences. They also calling on governments to increase their efforts to protect mountain forests and incorporate them into their climate change policies. The report also emphasizes that mountain people play a key part in preserving this ecosystem and should therefore be empowered by governments so they can have a say in the management of the local forestry resources, and share the benefits from forest use and conservation.
Chinese Committee on ICIMOD (CNICIMOD) keeps close contact with FAO and ICIMOD, and publicized and celebrated every International Mountain Day. Aims to raise awareness about the relevance of mountain forests and the role they play within a Green Economy as well as in climate change adaptation measures, CNICIMOD and Mountain Resource Research branch of China Society of Natural Resources joint held a display on December 11, 2011. They made exhibition boards and prepared publications reflecting research works conducted on mountain hazard management, climate change and mountain development by the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences and ICIMOD.