International Mountain Day: Disaster Risk Management in Mountains

December 18th, 2009

The UN International Mountain Day, observed each year on 11 December, creates awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build partnerships that will bring positive change to the world’s mountains and highlands. The theme of this year’s World International Mountain Day is ‘Disaster Risk Management in Mountains.’ It aims to highlight the increasing number of natural hazards in mountain areas and increasing vulnerability of mountain communities to disaster and promote climate change adaptation strategies to reduce those disasters.

Mountain people are among those hardest hit by global warming, economic globalisation, and migration. Globalisation and climate change will have an increasing influence on the stability of our fragile mountain ecosystems and agrobiodiversity and the livelihoods of mountain people.

On the occasion Dr. Andreas Schild, Director General of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), stated that “the theme draws the attention of policymakers to the need to adopt climate change adaptation strategies that reduce the risks of disasters in mountain areas. For example, sustainable water management, and agricultural, rangeland, and forestry practices should be put in place as key elements of risk reduction approaches at national and regional levels as part of integrated strategies and policies.” Read his full International Mountain Day message.

More information on Disaster Risk Management in Mountains can be found in the 2009 International Mountain Day information note and the brochure.