International Mountain Day

International Mountain Day

International Mountain Day is commemorated on 11th December each year to promote sustainable development in mountain areas. The United Nations declared 2002 the UN International Year of Mountains in response to a growing awareness of the importance of mountains. In the following year, 2003, the first International Mountain Day was commemorated.

Mountains are home to unique vegetation, animals, and indigenous people. International Mountain Day is celebrated to promote healthy development in the mountains and preserve the wildlife of the region. Learn more about the history and significance of this day here.

International Mountain Day 2022

International Mountain Day is often confused with two other events, Mountain Day (USA) and Mountain Day (Japan). The United Nations General Assembly announced the official day in 2003, and it is celebrated as International Mountain Day on 11th December. On this day, people are encouraged to demand sustainable development in the mountains.

International Mountain Day is celebrated all over the world, and many world leaders also advocate for sustainable development in those areas on this day. Here is a brief overview of this day:

Event Name International Mountain Day
Celebrated 11th December
Observed Worldwide
Established By United Nations General Assembly
Aim To promote sustainable development in mountains.

International Mountain Day 2022 Theme

Each year, a new theme is announced for International Mountain Day. Here is a list of all the previous year’s themes:

Year International Mountain Day Theme
2022 Women Move Mountains
2021 Sustainable Mountain Tourism
2020 Mountain Biodiversity
2019 Mountains Matter for Youth
2018 Mountains Matter
2017 Mountains Under Pressure: Climate, Hunger, Migration
2016 Mountain Cultures: Celebrating diversity and strengthening identity
2015 Promoting Mountain Products for Better Livelihoods

History of World Mountain Day

The origins of International Mountain Day can be traced back to 1992 when the paper “Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development” was adopted as part of the Conference on Environment and Development’s Agenda 21 action plan. World Mountain Day was officially established in 2003 by the United Nations General Assembly. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is responsible for leading the celebration for the day.

International Mountain Day is an important observance because mountains are often neglected regions when it comes to socio-economic development. Mountain tourism was one of the most affected industries by the Covid-19 epidemic. The livelihoods of mountain dwellers were adversely impacted. Moreover, the constraints in the mountains exacerbate the susceptibility of the communities living there. Sustainable development in the mountains can preserve the wildlife and indigenous communities residing there during such situations.

International Mountain Day Significance

International Mountain Day is celebrated to raise awareness about preserving mountain biodiversity from pollution, overexploitation, and climate change. Sustainable mountain tourism can help provide alternative livelihood opportunities, encouraging poverty reduction. Their preservation is essential for the long-term growth of the natural ecosystem.

Moreover, World Mountain Day serves as a reminder to people worldwide about the necessary functions of mountains, such as:

  • Mountains are host to half of the biodiversity hotspots of the world.
  • They are reportedly home to 1.1 billion people, 15% of the world’s population.
  • They are a source of 60-80% of the world’s freshwater.
  • Forests cover 40% of the mountainous area.
  • Most food crops, including tomatoes, potatoes, corn, apples, etc., originate in the mountains.
  • Mountain tourism accounts for 15-20% of all tourists worldwide.

International Mountain Day vs Mountain Day

Many people confuse International Mountain Day and Mountain Day together. Both are separate events, and here is the difference between the two:

International Mountain Day Mountain Day
An annual observation made to promote sustainable development. Celebrated in the USA by college students fond of climbing mountains.
This day is being celebrated since 2003. This day is being celebrated since 1838.
Established by the United Nations General Assembly. Established by the students of Mount Holyoke College.

How to Celebrate International Mountain Day?

World Mountain Day helps preserve the cultural, spiritual, and natural world history while at the same time promoting local crafts and traditional customs and festivals. On 11th December, the Food and Agricultural Organisation, the principal UN agency for this International Day, produces communication materials in all 6 UN languages. You can use that to spread the word about Mountain Day with your family, friends, and neighbours.

When we talk about global celebrations, every year, the chairperson of the Albanian Alps Alliance gives an interview on International Mountain Day in which he discusses the importance of mountains. Moreover, the researchers from the University of British Columbia in Canada also convene to discuss the need to protect the mountain ecosystem. Here are some ideas on how to celebrate this day as an individual:

  • Go hiking or camping in the mountains.
  • Watch a film on the subject.
  • Challenge your friends to name as many mountains as they can.
  • Take a trip to the mountains to support the flailing tourism industry.
  • Make it a goal to climb a world-famous peak, like Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro, or Mount Fuji.

FAQs on International Mountain Day

Q1. When is International Mountain Day celebrated?

International Mountain Day is celebrated on 11th December each year to promote sustainable development in the mountains. This day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2003, and it has been observed annually since then.

Q2. Why is International Mountain Day celebrated?

Internation Mountain Day is celebrated to serve as a reminder to people worldwide of the need to preserve the sanctity and purity of the mountain ecosystem. On this day, the officials of the United Nations encourage sustainable development of the mountains.

Q3. What is the theme of International Mountain Day 2022?

The International Mountain Day 2022 theme is “Women Move Mountains”. This theme was set by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), an organization responsible for leading the global celebration of this day.

Q4. Who established International Mountain Day?

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) established International Mountain Day in 2003. The day is celebrated on 11th December each year. Moreover, the UNGA made FAO – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN responsible for leading the celebration of this day.

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