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    Celebrating International Mountain Day: Restoring Vital Ecosystems for a Sustainable Future

    As December 11 approaches, the world gears up to celebrate International Mountain Day, shining a spotlight on these majestic landforms and the critical role they play in sustaining life on Earth. This year’s theme, “Restoring Mountain Ecosystems,” underscores the urgency to prioritize the preservation and rejuvenation of these invaluable natural habitats.

    Guardians of Biodiversity and Lifelines for Humanity

    The United Nations has designated 11 December as International Mountain Day to honour these towering geographical features that cover nearly 27 percent of the Earth’s land surface. They serve as crucial reservoirs for biodiversity, providing a habitat for an astonishing array of flora and fauna, while also sustaining nearly 1.1 billion people worldwide.

    Mountains aren’t merely breathtaking landscapes; they act as vital water towers, supplying fresh water to approximately half of humanity. The significance of these ecosystems extends far beyond their scenic beauty. They regulate climates, nurture soil health, and conserve invaluable resources essential for human survival.

    Revitalizing Mountain Ecosystems: A Crucial Step in the UN’s Restoration Agenda

    This year’s theme aligns with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030), spearheaded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and the UN Environment Programme. It aims to consolidate political backing, scientific inquiry, and financial investment to ramp up restoration efforts and prevent further deterioration of mountain ecosystems.

    The linkage between mountains and the preservation of biodiversity cannot be overstated. These geological wonders house about half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and serve as the birthplace of six out of the planet’s 20 most crucial food crops. Moreover, forests blanket around 40% of the global mountain area, emphasizing their role in maintaining ecological balance.

    International Mountain Day’s Impact on Conservation

    International Mountain Day celebrates the culmination of the International Year of Mountain Areas under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), established by the UN General Assembly in 2002. Since its inception in 2003, this annual celebration has been a catalyst for global awareness and action toward the conservation of mountain ecosystems.

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