International Mountain Day: Everything You Need To Know
Every year on December 11, International Mountain Day is observed to raise awareness of the value of mountains to human life highlighting the opportunities and challenges of mountain development and forging partnerships that will benefit mountain communities and habitats all over the globe.
This year’s International Mountain Day theme is “Women Move Mountains.”
In mountainous locations, women are crucial to social and economic growth as well as environmental protection. They frequently serve as the main resource managers for the mountains, the protectors of biodiversity, the keepers of traditional knowledge, the stewards of local culture, and the foremost authorities on traditional medicine.
In order for indigenous women to participate more effectively in decision-making processes and have more control over productive resources, empowering them is crucial. International Mountain Day 2022 is an opportunity to raise awareness of this need. It is a day to promote gender equality and thereby help to improve social justice, livelihoods, and resilience by sharing excellence, opportunities, and capacity development in mountains.
Mt. Apo is the grandfather of all Philippine Mountains that every Filipino or foreign climber dreams to hike. It is the highest point in the Philippines at 3144 meters above sea level. Every backpacker or adventure traveler should see and experience Mount Apo in the province of Davao.
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Who declared International Mountain Day?
The UN proclaimed 2002 as the UN International Year of Mountains as a result of increased awareness of mountains’ significance. The following year, 2003, is the inaugural commemoration of the first international day.
Why do we celebrate International Mountain’s Day?
The dangers that mountains face these days caused by climate change and overuse are highlighted on International Mountain Day.
Avalanches, mudslides, and rock slides are rushing downstream, stripping bare forests and drowning communities are some of the dreadful results of climate change. Due to rising temperatures and climate change, infectious diseases like malaria will spread at greater altitudes in the tropics, harming millions of people living in the highlands.
Therefore, mountain conservation is a crucial factor for sustainable development and is a component of SDG Goal 15 which aims to conserve, restore, and promote the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial and other ecosystems in order to preserve the variety of life forms found on land.
Goal 15 specifically focuses on managing forests sustainably, stopping biodiversity loss, successfully combating desertification, and halting land and natural habitat deterioration. Together, these initiatives seek to guarantee that future generations will be able to benefit from sustainable livelihoods and other advantages of land-based ecosystems.
Millions of people living in the lowlands depend on mountains and the local population. They serve as the major river basins of the planet and are essential to the water cycle. The prospects and the growth of mountains are also the main topics of this day. Additionally, it imparts knowledge of how mountains affect the environment and human life. Every year, it is observed with a certain theme.
Importance of Mountains
Mountains are among the most exquisite natural constructions because they are strong, a tower to the sky giving a shadow over the entire countryside. They serve as both recreational and resource centers. They are the foundation of agriculture and offer plenty of area for farming on the slopes.
Mountains provide shelter for plants, animals, and about 1 billion people in addition to being a glorious thing to see. They make up 22 percent of the surface of the world. Additionally, the essential landforms provide resources like food, fresh water, and even sustainable energy
Hydroelectric power is also produced from water that originates in the mountains.
Wood fuel, whether in the form of wood or charcoal, is a necessity for many people who live in the lowlands and on the plains and is the primary source of energy in mountain villages.
There are numerous uses for mountain wood.
The mountain’s ecosystems are crucial for maintaining biological variety, etc.
The celebration of Internation Mountain Day is observed in a variety of ways; Numerous forums, interactive activities, student debates, picture and art competitions, hikes, and events catered to particular demographics are organized on this day. You may also participate in the discussion on social media using the hashtag #MountainsMatter. You can also send an email to [email protected] with your event planning details so that it can be featured on the International Mountain Day website. Most significantly, you can also discuss your mountain life experiences, favorite mountain images, and other things with your friends, family, and others.
Natural Jewels we should treasure
Mountain of Life. Mountains are the “water towers” of the world, providing between 60 and 80 percent of the world’s freshwater resources. But as a result of climate change, glaciers are retreating and vanishing in mountain ranges all across the world making our freshwater scarce. Over the past few decades, at least 600 glaciers have totally vanished, threatening the water sources rely on by billions of people living downstream.
Mountain Protects. Mountain forests also contribute significantly to the reduction of disaster risk by protecting towns and infrastructure from some natural disasters like avalanches, mudflows, and landslides that can strip forests bare and flood communities and populations.
Mountain sustains tourism. Mountain regions are important for their significant cultural diversity, expertise, and tradition, and they draw between 15–25% of all international tourists. Although mountain tourism has the potential to stimulate economic growth in isolated and inaccessible areas, many mountain villages are still not profiting from it and still struggle to make ends meet.
Mountain gives food. They are significant agricultural biodiversity hotspots and the origin of many of the crops we eat, including potatoes, tomatoes, and other vegetables.
Mountain cares for indigenous people. Ancient indigenous populations with preserved knowledge, traditions, and languages can be found in numerous mountainous places. Mountain peoples have created extraordinary land use systems and have amassed a plethora of information and methods for coping with climate change through many centuries.
Mountain supports biodiversity. Mountains support around one-fourth of all terrestrial biological diversity, and they are home to half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Rare species like gorillas, the Philippine eagle, and the magnificent spotted deer live in mountains, as well as stunningly gorgeous vegetation like orchids and rich flora.
Be a Mountain Advocate!
We are all affected by the consequences of mountain negligence. Therefore, it is our duty to advocate care for these mighty pillars and lessen our carbon imprint. Here are some simple ways you can do to protect the mountains:
Stay in accommodation options like hotels and condos with strict environmental policies.
Wear sustainable clothing and equipment.
Put an end to the use of single-use plastics.
Pick public transportation, bicycle, or car sharing if feasible.
When hiking, stick to the marked trails and camping sites with respect to the wildlife.
Took nothing but pictures.
Bring food and garbage with you. Leave no trace behind.
Do not contaminate rivers, lakes, or any freshwater sites. Never use detergent soap or shampoo.
Support indigenous communities, buy their produce, and promote their products.
Use your voice to encourage mountain conservation, especially to the younger generation.