Mountains: Mountains matter

Posted: April 15, 2012 in Art, Economy and Resources, Environment, Geography, History, International, Politics, Region, Tajikistan

Mountains matter

Mountains make up one-quarter of the world’s landscape and they are the source of eighty per cent of the world’s fresh water supply. Some two billion people worldwide depend on food produced in mountainous regions and many more benefit from the minerals, timber and hydro-electricity that are derived from mountain resources. And because mountains provide a wide range of ecological niches that are protected, to some extent, by inaccessibility, they provide shelter to half the planet’s richest centres of biodiversity. And yet, despite their importance, mountain resources and the people who make their living from them are under great pressure.High Stakes - the future for mountain societies

The depth and extent of that pressure is clearly outlined in the Panos Institute’s report “High Stakes – the future for mountain societies.” Published for the International Year of Mountains in 2002, “High Stakes” draws together and analyses the mountain crises on every continent and the efforts being taken, or required, to avert further social and environmental disaster.

The list of threatened mountains is a long one: the Himalaya- Karakorum-Hindu Kush (deforestation, drought, overgrazing and out-migration); the European Alps (air pollution and the collapse of traditional farming); the Rockies in the western United States (recreational development and climate change); the Madagascan Amber Mountains (mining, farming and charcoal production); Australia’s Snowy Mountains (succession of warm winters) the Sierra Chincua in Mexico (logging and agricultural expansion destroying 44 per cent of the forest); the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan (civil war).

via Mountains: Mountains matter.

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