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Mountain Day 2020: biodiversity matters

ROME, 9 DECEMBER – Virtual event to focus on solutions for halting biodiversity loss and improving livelihoods in mountains will be organized on 11 december, the International mountain day. Mountains host about half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and 30 percent of all Key Biodiversity Areas. Mountains and their biodiversity provide food and medicine, as well as help regulate climate, water, soil, and air quality. Yet mountain ecosystems are under pressure from changes to land use and climate as well as from indirect drivers such as demographic shifts, economic and policy factors.

In addition mountain people are among the hungriest in the world. A new study by the FAO, the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) adds further evidence that in the rural mountain regions of developing countries, food insecurity is still prevalent. The study also demonstrates that between 2000 and 2017, the share of rural mountain people vulnerable to food insecurity in developing countries constantly increased. The theme of this year’s International Mountain Day, “Mountain biodiversity matters,” highlights the social, economic and ecological value that mountain biodiversity holds for the planet. The joint study ”Vulnerability of mountain peoples to food insecurity: updated data and analysis of drivers” will be launched on the day.

This year’s celebration will feature a high-level segment, a session on collaborative actions and programmes, and a roundtable session featuring the Mountain Partnership Goodwill Ambassadors.

The event will bring together Mountain Partnership members (government officials, IGOs, private sector, NGOs, universities, research institutes, alpine clubs, mountaineering associations), mountain stakeholders, FAO decentralized offices, resource partners, youth, environmental activists and individuals worldwide. Yuka Makino, FAO’s Mountain Partnership Secretariat Coordinator, will moderate the event together with Mountain Partnership Goodwill Ambassador Jake Norton, a climber and filmmaker.

Who: High-level session

Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General, FAO;

Josep Maria Casals, Director of Agriculture, Environment and Sustainability, Principality of Andorra;

Mirgul Moldoisaeva, Permanent Representative of the Kyrgyz Republic to the UN;

Andrea Macchioni, Coordinator for the Environment, Directorate General for Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy;

Tsukasa Hirota, Minister, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Italy;

François Pythoud, Special Envoy for International Sustainable Agriculture, Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG).


Roundtable: Accelerating Action for Mountains

Peter Muir, International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation;

Yoko Watanabe, United Nations Development Programme Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme;

Queen Noëlla Bwiza, Albertine Rift Conservation Society;

Sunita Chaudhary, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development;

Anita Paul, Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation.


Roundtable: Champions for Mountains – Mountain Partnership Goodwill

Reinhold Messner


Ludovico Einaudi, pianist and composer;

Arjun Gupta, founder, TeleSoft Partners;

His Holiness Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang (video message);

Reinhold Messner, mountaineer;

Jake Norton, climber and filmmaker;

Massimiliano Ossini, TV presenter; Lino Zani, TV producer and author.

Mountain Partnership Goodwill Ambassador Jake Norton will introduce new Mountain Partnership Goodwill Ambassador Mira Rai, trail and sky runner.

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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