A socio-ecological production landscape in Dzongu, North Sikkim, India (photo courtesy of Pema Yangden)

On the initiative of the Kyrgyz Republic, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2022 the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development. 94 governments backed the resolution, which was adopted at the plenary meeting of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 2021.

It’s about making people aware of how critical mountains are for sustainable development. It aims to raise awareness about the ecosystem services that mountain ecosystems provide and the challenges mountain communities face, including climate change.

Also, the United Nations General Assembly has declared the period between 2022 and 2032 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages to draw attention to the critical status of many Indigenous languages across the world and encourage action for their preservation, revitalization and promotion.

Quick Facts about mountains and their impact on humanity

Here are quick facts about mountain and impact on humanity

  • Mountainous areas cover almost a third of the planet’s land surface;
  • They are home to some 1.1 billion people, or 15 per cent of the world’s population;
  • Mountain regions provide essential ecosystem services by regulating climate and hydrological cycles.  They support livelihoods through farming, grazing, tourism and natural products;
  • Significant havens of rare and fragile biological diversity, with many species existing nowhere else.
  • From the 4,300 varieties of potatoes found in the Andes to the 5,000 varieties of coffee that grow in Ethiopia, these genetic resources are staples of farming and food systems around the world.
History of International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development 2022

On the recommendation of the Government of Kyrgyzstan, the 76th session of the UN General Assembly declared 2022 the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development. Over 94 governments backed the resolution.

Members of the United Nations system, other international organizations and stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector and academia, are invited to observe “International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development, 2022” to raise awareness about sustainable mountain development and protecting mountain ecosystems.

It also invites the Mountain Partnership, in collaboration with all relevant organizations, to facilitate the observance of the International Year.

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