UN observes International Mountain Day

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Rural women of west-central Nepal carrying fuelwood from nearby forests to their mountain homes. FAO@PHOTO

Mountains, covering around 27 per cent of the earth's land, play a critical role in moving the world towards sustainable economic growth.

That's the message that is being highlighted on 11 December which is observed as International Mountain Day under the theme "Mountains: Key to a Sustainable Future"

The United Nations says mountains not only provide sustenance and wellbeing to 720 million mountain people around the world, but indirectly benefit billions more living downstream.

In particular, mountains provide freshwater, energy and food – resources that will be increasingly scarce in coming decades.

However, mountains also have a high incidence of poverty and are extremely vulnerable to climate change, deforestation, land degradation and natural disasters.

The General Assembly designated 11 December as International Mountain Day in 2002 which was observed as the International Year of Mountains.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1'14"

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