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International Mountain Day being marked with theme Mountains under pressure: climate, hunger and migration
International Mountain Day (IMD) is being celebrated with theme 'Mountains under pressure: climate, hunger and migration" on December 11 this year.

"Almost one billion people live in mountain areas, and over half the human population depends on mountains for water, food and clean energy. Yet mountains are under threat from climate change, land degradation, over exploitation and natural disasters, with potentially far-reaching and devastating consequences, both for mountain communities and the rest of the world," stated United Nation (UN) on the occasion of IMD.

This year, a conference to mark IMD is going to be held on 11-13 December at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, which will focus on the challenges and opportunities in sustainable mountain development and will launch a Framework for Action to support concrete actions and establish policies that strengthen the resilience of mountain peoples and environments. It is matter of great concern that about 39 percent of the mountain population in developing countries, or 329 million people, is estimated to be vulnerable to food insecurity, .

"Mountains are early indicators of climate change and as global climate continues to warm, mountain people — some of the world's hungriest and poorest — face even greater struggles to survive. The rising temperatures also mean that mountain glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates, affecting freshwater supplies downstream for millions of people. Mountain communities, however, have a wealth of knowledge and strategies accumulated over generations, on how to adapt to climate variability," informed the UN.

The UN has warned that climate change, climate variability and climate-induced disasters, combined with political, economic and social marginalization, increase the vulnerability of mountain peoples to food shortages and extreme poverty. It has urged the world community to strengthen the ecosystem services and lay stress on preservation of cultural and agrobiodiversity.

The need for more investments and robust policies has been emphasized to alleviate the harsh living conditions of mountain communities and reverse out-migration trends from mountain areas.

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