The challenges faced by mountain people have been and are, well, mountainous. The theme of this year’s International Mountain Day is exactly these challenges.
Today is International Mountain Day 2012, and we are “Celebrating Mountain Life”.
Mountains cover approximately one-quarter of the world’s surface and are home to one in ten of its people. These people are among the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged. They frequently face political, social and economic marginalization and lack access to such basic services as health and education. Moreover, current global challenges such as climate change, economic developments and population growth exacerbate the hardships they face.
Over the generations, mountain people have learned how to live with the threat of natural hazards and have developed well-adapted and risk-resilient land-use systems. However, there is growing evidence that many mountain regions have become increasingly disaster-prone over the past few decades.
Mountains are characterized by massive global diversity – from tropical rain forests to permanent ice and snow, from climates with more than 12m of annual precipitation to high?altitude deserts, and from sea level to almost 9000 m in altitude. They are the water towers of the world – providing freshwater to at least half of the world’s people. However, mountains are also high-risk environments; avalanches, landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and glacial lake outburst floods threaten life in mountain regions and surrounding areas. Mountains play an important role in influencing global and regional climates and weather conditions.
The International Year of Mountains ten years ago led to the adoption of resolution 57/245, in which the General Assembly designated 11 December as International Mountain Day. Since then, mountains have gained an increasingly high (pun intended) profile on agendas at all levels.
“Idanre Hills (south-west Nigeria)”
“Obudu Mountain (eastern Nigeria)”
Picture credit: www.africasustainabilityreview.com
“Kerang Volcanoes, Jos Plateau (north central Nigeria)”
Picture credit: www.flikr.com
This article was written by folarin
Founder of Naijatreks, Nigerian-born Folarin Kolawole’s photography and travel writing depict a passionate romance with nature’s endowments. He grew up in the small town of Akure, Ondo State. He is a travel writer, geologist, researcher and tourism activist. When not at work, he writes geo-scientific research papers and travels the length and breadth of Nigeria, exploring, taking photos, making videos and writing about her numerous hidden tourist potentials.