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International Mountain Day is celebrated on 11 December of every year to let us know how important the mountains are, to highlight the pros and cons in the process of mountain development, and to build alliances so that mountain inhabitants are impacted in a positive way around the world. Mountains, the natural borders that protect the boundaries of any land, stand for constancy, eternity, firmness, and stillness that we need to learn from. The importance of Mountains needs to be perceived right, with respect to mountain development, providing economically and socially a new ray of hope to the residents of the hills and mountains, and generally bringing about a change in the mountainous environment.
The UN General Assembly declared 2002 the UN International Year of Mountains, and on this occasion, it designated 11 December, from 2003 onwards, as International Mountain Day. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) coordinates the annual celebration of the Day to foster greater awareness of mountain issues.
Mountains provide 60-80% of all freshwater resources that we need on our planet and half of the population depends on the mountainous ecosystem not only for water but also food and energy. River basins originating from the mountains supply fresh water to humanity and hence mountains are known as "the water towers" of the world.
International Mountain Day 2022: Why Mountains Matter?
Mountains are the world's freshwater resources. The mountain ecosystem is essential because it is a source of not only food but also clean energy for the entire population of the world. However, climate change is becoming a threat to the glaciers in the mountain ranges and they are slowly disappearing. Some reports have also suggested that about 600 glaciers have disappeared completely over the past decades. Mountains also double as a shelter for certain people in the world and data reveals about 1 billion people live in the mountains. But, due to climate change, slowly these people are becoming vulnerable to food insecurities.
International Mountain Day 2022: Date And Theme
International Mountain Day 2022 aims at conserving, developing and sustaining the mountains and it is celebrated on 11 December 2022. Women move mountains is the suggested theme for 2022, and countries, communities, and organizations will celebrate this day by choosing a theme that is suitable to their liking.
International Mountain Day 2022: History and Significance
After the repressive changes in climate that adversely impacted the entire ecosystem on the planet, we began to notice what an important role the mountains had to play in our lives. UN at first declared the entire year of 2002 as the year of Mountains but starting from 2003, one day got earmarked as Mountain Day.
International Mountain Day 2022: Tourism Perspectives
Tourism and Mountain maintenance exist inseparably as one can't do without the other. Tourism is a key aspect of mountainous upkeep. Both mountain development and tourism have to be dealt in a sustainable way. It can not only preserve the natural beauty, the landscape and biodiversity but also do a lot for the cause of the people living on these terrains so that the natural and cultural heritage of mountains can be safeguarded.
About 15 per cent of the world's population and about half of the world's biodiversity hotspots have made mountains their home. The freshwater that the mountains provide has to be conserved.
International Mountain Day 2022: Initiatives Taken
A High Mountain Summit in 2019, led to WMO chalk a plan to pursue prioritized activities meant to support sustainable development mitigate disasters and risks, and bring about climate change adaptation in high mountains and downstream. About 15-20 percent of the Global tourist population visits mountainous destinations.
Low-impact tourism can benefit the mountain ecosystems and their biodiversity, in a big way and help local economies thrive while improving food systems. Off late, unusual and unpredictable climatic changes and gradually degrading environments have been especially troublesome for the upkeep of mountains.
Most of the mountain glaciers are retreating at an unbelievably fast rate. Glaciers have been rapidly losing mass with the passing of time according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report.
Due to the above changes, mankind will be facing issues with respect to water supply, energy production, agricultural and forestry production, and so on.
International Mountain Day 2022: Benefits Of Mountain Climbing
Mountain climbing has numerous benefits. Be it improving your flexibility, heart health or mental health, it comes with a plethora of benefits. This will also help you to develop a more positive approach towards life.
• You find a sense of peace from deep within while you spend your time in the mountains. It is a unique feeling of calm that descends over you, resides in your being and lingers on even after you leave. This will help to get you into shape, keep you physically healthy, and prepare you properly so that you can climb mountains with confidence.
• The benefits of mountain climbing are many. You will learn about peace, about what mountains can do for your fitness, gain a new perspective towards life, and enjoy the beauty of nature, the mountain air, and the natural fragrance.
• You are able to breathe fresh air, as you live next to mountains due to the absence of pollution and toxic substances. Joining a climbing club can add to your list of friends who are likely to accompany you always in your climbing expeditions.
• The incidence of heart disease is lowered. Climbing mountains can help to take your thoughts off of your mundane jobs and responsibilities and keep your mind sharp and focused. You will also be able to connect with nature in a better way that will in turn boost your physical, mental and emotional health.
• You stay energized. It helps you to learn persistence by teaching you certain skills that can improve your mental and emotional health. Climbing reduces your chances of developing joint pain and stiffness in your senior years.
• The peace and tranquillity of the mountainous terrains influence your mindset as well. You feel at ease and at peace. Climbing can help you to conquer your fears, make you courageous and inculcate a spirit of facing challenges with grit. .
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