December 11: International Mountain Day
International Mountain Day predominantly refers to the day, the United Nations marks on December 11 every year since 2003. The same day is celebrated in US and Japan as well as National Mountain Day. The US began to mark mountain day even before the UN since 1877. However, in Japan it is being celebrated since 2014 and is a national holiday.
Theme: Mountains matter for youth
Why Mountain Day?
Around 15% of world population live in mountain according to the UN. Today, mountains are under threat due to over exploitation, climate change
The day highlights that living is hard for those in the mountains. It focuses predominantly on the youth. It encourages and highlights the opportunities for young people in mountains. The day marks the importance of market access, education, training, public services and employment opportunities for the youth living in mountain region.
The day also focuses on abandonment of mountains. Today many young people leave hilly terrains for better life and employment. This leads to abandoned agriculture, loss of cultural values and land degradation. International Mountain Day also focuses on solutions to migration problems in the hilly regions.
The idea of International Mountain Day was framed in United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. The idea was introduced in Agenda 21, which is “Managing Fragile Ecosystem: Sustainable Mountain Development”
Sustainable Development Goal
Mountains are the most important ecosystem that needs maximum attention. They provide freshwater for every day life. Conservation of mountains is important for sustainable development and is a part of Goal 15.
The SDG 15 focuses on “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably”