The International Mountain Day is being celebrated today. The day is celebrated on 11th of December every year. The day aims to encourage sustainable development in mountains. The increasing attention to the importance of mountains led the UN to declare 2002 the UN International Year of Mountains. The International Day was celebrated for the first time the following year, 2003.

International Mountain Day gives us an opportunity to spread awareness about protecting the mountain biodiversity as these delicate ecosystems are under tremendous pressure from climate change, overexploitation and pollution.

The theme of this year’s International Mountain Day is ‘Sustainable mountain tourism’. Sustainable tourism in mountains can contribute to creating additional and alternative livelihood options and promoting poverty alleviation, social inclusion, as well as landscape and biodiversity conservation.

Mountains are home to 15 per cent of the world’s population and host about half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. They provide fresh water for everyday life to half of humanity. Their conservation is a key factor for sustainable development.