The United Nations (UN)’s International Mountain Day is annually observed across the globe on 11th December to create awareness about the importance of preserving the mountains across the globe.
The theme of International Mountain Day 2021 is “Sustainable mountain tourism”.
i.The idea of the International Mountain Days originates in 1992 when the adoption of Chapter 13 of Agenda 21 “Making Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development” at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in the history of mountain development.
ii.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) has declared the year 2002 as the “International Year of Mountains”.
iii.The UNGA also adopted the resolution A/RES/57/245 titled ‘International Year of Mountains 2002’ and proclaimed the 11th December of every year as the International Mountains Day.
iv.The first ever International Mountains Day was observed on 11th December 2003.
The virtual event ‘Sustainable Mountain Tourism’ was held on 10th December 2021 to promote dialogue and cooperation to tap mountain tourism’s full potential to contribute to sustainable development.
Importance of Sustainable Mountain Tourism:
i.Sustainable tourism in Mountain contributes to creating additional and alternative livelihood options and promoting poverty alleviation, social inclusion as well as landscape and biodiversity conservation.
ii.Mountain tourism attracts around 15 to 20% of global tourism.
iii.The tourism sector is the most affected by the covid-19 pandemic and in the mountain, the restriction of pandemics have further compounded the vulnerabilities of mountain communities.
Importance of Mountains:
Mountains house around 15% of the world’s population and host around 50% of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and provide freshwater for everyday life to around 50% of humanity.
Mountains and SDGs:
The conservation of mountains plays a major role in sustainable development and is a part of Goal 15 of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDG).