International Mountain Day

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2023 Date11 December 2023
2024 Date11 December 2024

International Mountain Day

International Mountain Day in
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International Mountain Day aims at raising awareness about the crucial role the mountains play in providing essential services to humanity. These include freshwater, energy, food, and biodiversity which are increasingly under threat due to climatic change. Additionally, these terrains serve as a trove of rich diversity in terms of culture, flora, and fauna. Through this observance, we seek to sensitize the public about the impact of climate change on mountain ecosystems, and the need to preserve their health and vitality for future generations.

The United Nations General Assembly designated 11th December as International Mountain Day in 2003. For India, with its majestic Himalayan range and other notable hilly terrains providing freshwater to millions and sheltering a range of unique biodiversity, the relevance of this observance cannot be overstated. Indian mountains are not just geological formations; they are intertwined deeply with the socio-cultural fabric and the livelihood of the people, particularly the tribal communities. Climate change, however, is a significant concern, threatening the biodiversity and the people dependent on these mountains for their livelihood.

In India, International Mountain Day is marked by various events and activities. These engagements encompass hikes, eco-awareness curriculums in schools and colleges, photography competitions, panel discussions, and more. Public and private institutions, non-governmental organizations, and communities collaborate to celebrate mountain culture, sports, and endeavor to draw attention towards the challenges being faced by the mountain environment. As in the global observance, this day is commemorated on the 11th of December in India as well, shining a light on the importance of mountains in our lives and ecosystem.

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International Mountain Day facts

  • The theme for International Mountain Day in 2023 was Restoring Mountain Ecosystems.
  • Mountains make up 30% of all key biodiversity areas according to the U.N. Key biodiversity areas are those areas recognized as vital for threatened plants and animals. They consist of land, freshwater, and marine sites.
  • According to the U.N, around twenty plant species supply 80% of the world's food. Six of them: maize, potatoes, barley, sorghum, tomatoes, and apples originated and were diversified in mountainous regions.
  • Mount Kanchenjunga, located in the Indian state of Sikkim, is the highest mountain peak in India at 8,586 meters (28,169 feet). It is the third highest peak in the world, after Mount Everest and K2.
  • The Aravalli Range, spanning across India's northwestern states of Rajasthan and Haryana, is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, dating back to the Pre-Cambrian era. Guru Shikhar, at 1,722 meters (5,650 feet), is the highest peak in this range.

Top things to do in India for International Mountain Day

  • Plan a hike in a mountainous region to better your understanding of the vast amounts of biodiversity that mountains offer.
  • Identify local organizations working towards mountain conservation and make donations or volunteer your time to support their efforts.
  • Encourage responsible tourism practices in mountainous regions. Support local communities by choosing eco-friendly accommodations, engaging in local cultural experiences, and promoting sustainable tourism activities that do not harm the environment

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