About International Mountain Day



International Mountain Day came into being in 2002, the International Year of Mountains, with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 57/245. The First International Mountain Day was celebrated in 2003. The purpose of International Mountain Day is to bring focus to “sustainable development in mountain regions” and “eradication of poverty in mountain regions” (UNGA 2002).

Mountains have long been, “places of religious worship, pilgrimage and rituals all over the world”(FAO 2017). Due to the rugged and often difficult to traverse geography of mountain regions, the diversity of Mountain cultures and languages has been retained. Furthermore, “mountain peoples have long held vital roles in the management of their ecosystems. Over the centuries, they have developed remarkable land-use systems, climate change adaptation approaches, traditional diets and mountain products that are unique and rich in globally significant biodiversity” (FAO 2017). According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, however, “the stability of mountain populations, each with different values and belief systems, is threatened by migration, urbanization and conflict” (FAO 2017).

Mountain regions affect the whole world. Their vitality is essential for downstream food security. Freshwater from mountain regions is used in agriculture. Mountains are sites of production for renewable energy: hydropower; solar power; wind power; and, biogas. Hydropower currently provides around a fifth of all electricity worldwide (FAO 2017).


Quick Facts

  • Mountain cover 22% of the earth’s land service

  • Mountains are home to 13% of the world’s population, 90% of whom live in developing countries; one in three face the threat of food insecurity

  • Mountain Tourism Accounts for 15-20 percent of the global tourism industry

  • Mountains provide 60-80% of the world’s freshwater

  • “Of the 20 plant species that supply 80 percent of the world's food, six originated and have been diversified in mountains: maize, potatoes, barley, sorghum, quinoa, tomatoes and apples” (FAO 2017)