International Mountain Day

The International Mountain Day is declared since 2002 by the United Nations (UN) after the

increasing concern and attention to the importance of mountains. The first international day

was celebrated for the first time in the following year, 11 December 2003. The main objective

of this day is to increase awareness of the importance of sustainable mountain development.

2020 theme: Mountain Biodiversity

“Biodiversity encompasses the variety of ecosystems, species and genetic resources, andmountains have many endemic varieties. The differentiated topography in terms of altitude, slopeand exposure in mountains offers opportunities to grow a variety of high-value crops, horticulture,livestock and forest species.” – United Nations


Mountain biodiversity is the key role to support global environment, economic, social and cultural sectors. However, it is facing a number of serious and growing challenges. Climate change, commercial mining, logging, unsustainable farming practices and poaching impose a heavy toll on mountain biodiversity. Natural disasters and widely used of land are accelerating the biodiversity loss and lead to a fragile environment for the mountain communities. Habitat degradation from unsustainable land clearing cause erosion of soil and increase the risk of landslides and floods. With this change of habitat, exotic species of animals and plants may face extinction. This also affects the cultural aspect, in which environmental degradation also means increasing number of poverty and hunger for mountain communities. As the result, they will have no choice but to migrate to lowland areas which then results in the abandonment of cultural practices and ancient traditions.

Fun Facts!

1. The world’s highest mountain in the world is located in the Himalayas – Mount Everest

(8,850.1728 m/ 29,036 ft) tall

2. Heights of mountains are generally given as heights above sea level

3. Mountains occur more often in oceans than on land; some islands are the peaks of

mountains coming out of water.

4. There are mountains under the surface of the sea!

5. Our planet’s freshwater mostly originates from the mountains (80%)

Let’s celebrate this day by using the hashtag #MountainsMatter !