Friday, December 11, 2015
International Mountain Day
December 11 is International Mountain Day. Established to encourage the international community to organize events at all levels to help highlight the importance of sustainable mountain development. International Mountain Day has been observed every year since 2003 to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life by highlighting opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build alliances that will bring positive change to mountain peoples and environments around the world.
Mountains cover about 22% of the earth's land surface. There is around 915 million mountain people around the world. More individuals than that living down stream benefit from the mountains even more. Mountains provide freshwater, energy, and food. While high in resources the mountains do not provide very much financial means though. Most that live in the mountains live in poverty. Likewise, the mountain people find that they have little way to fight back with factors that destroy the mountains they live in. Whether it is climate change, deforestation, land degradation and natural disasters. The mountain people living in developing countries are even more vulnerable to food insecurity as they face poverty and isolation.
Mountain Day this year aims to highlight Mountain Products. Mountain people primarily earn money from their farms. They have developed unique, resilient and sustainable production systems adapted to their local environments. Producing mountain specific products and services is how they have learned to live. The demand for quality, high value and traditional foods and crafts produced in mountain areas, such as coffee, cheese, herbs and spices as well as handicrafts and medicines is on the rise. While not being able to keep up with the larger farms the mountain agriculture life taps into organic, fair trade, or high end quality.