The UN General Assembly declared 11 December, starting on 2003, as the International Mountain Day. This decision is the result of the success of International Mountain Day, which was marked in 2002 at the proposal of the UN, given that it helped increase global awareness on the importance of mountains, the establishment of national committees in 78 countries and strengthening alliances through promoting the creation of the International Partnership for Sustainable Development in mountainous areas, known as ‘Mountain Cooperation’ (world meeting on sustainable development, Johannesburg, 2 September 2002).
FAO (Organization for Food and Agriculture of the UN) was responsible for the coordination of the International Mountain Day, and was determined as the lead agency for marking International Mountain Day.
This year’s International Mountain Day is dedicated to the topic ‘Mountains-Key to a Sustainable Future’, whose goal is to note that mountains are the main drivers of sustainable economic development in the context of the fight against poverty, with special emphasis on continuity and environmental acceptability of the production of goods that mountains give.
‘’We believe that the launch of this topic would help raise awareness of how new opportunities could benefit the people who live in mountain areas and in other areas, and to not undermine the existing social and ecological mountain systems’, said in this year’s message of the FAO on occasion of the International Mountain Day.
Mountains are important for life because it supplies with up to 70 percent of all fresh water, they are home to up to 25 percent of plant and animal species, and even every tenth inhabitant of the planet.