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597. The Importance of Mountain Ecosystem

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Tomorrow, August 11, is Mountain Day.

According to an article by the World Climate Organization (WMO) on the occasion of the International Mountain Day last December 11, mountains are referred to as the "water towers” of the world. Mountains cover a quarter of the Earth's land surface and supply freshwater to more than half of the world population. Mountains are also important centers of biological and cultural diversity as well as traditional knowledge.

Mountains still account for 15-20% of global tourism revenues, and environmentally friendly tourism supports biodiversity and local economies and food systems through the conservation and valorization of mountain ecosystems.

However, mountains are also becoming more exposed than ever to the effects of climate change and environmental degradation. A recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that glacier melting will continue for decades, even if warming stabilizes. These changes could affect water supplies, energy production, ecosystem integrity, and agricultural and forest productivity. Local and global initiatives are needed to mitigate the effects of climate change and preserve mountain ecosystems.

Pick Up will take a summer break starting tomorrow. We will resume on August 17.

Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Director, Information Program)