Mountains : Factfile

There are 11 documents in this section.

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  • Mountains and people

    13 May 2008

    It has been estimated that 12 per cent of the world's population - about three-quarters of a billion people - lives in mountain areas. Nearly half (46 per cent) of these people live in the Asia/Pacific region. Recent research, bringing together census data with satellite measurements of the light visible from the Earth at night, suggests that 1.48 billion people - 26 per cent of the global population - live in or very near to mountain areas.

  • Centres of biodiversity

    13 May 2008

    Mountains are core areas of global biodiversity, providing many goods and services that sustain our lives - as recognised by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2004. Because of their isolation, mountains frequently contain species of plants and animals which are found nowhere else. In other words, they tend to have particularly high levels of endemism.

  • Mountain tourism

    13 May 2008

    After coasts and islands, mountains are the most important destinations for global tourism. Tourists are attracted to mountains for many reasons: the climate and clean air, varied topography, scenic beauty, local traditions, 'simple' lifestyles, and the opportunities to practise sports that require steep slopes or winter snow.

  • Mountains in a changing climate

    13 May 2008

    Climate change will have significant impacts on both mountain people and billions living downstream from, and travelling through, mountain areas.

  • Endangered mountain regions

    13 May 2008

    While several of the world's mountain areas are in relatively good ecological shape, many face accelerating environmental and cultural decline brought on in part by government and multilateral agency policies too often founded on inadequate research.

  • Health problems

    13 May 2008

    A disproportionately high number of the world's hungriest and chronically malnourished people live in mountain regions.

  • Water towers for humanity

    9 May 2008

    More than half of humankind relies on water from mountain areas, for drinking, industry, agriculture, food preparation, hydroelectricity, and many other purposes.

  • Where are the mountains?

    9 May 2008

    Anyone who looks at or walks up a mountain knows what it is, but only recently has it been possible to come up with a precise figure for the proportion of the Earth's land surface covered by mountains: 24 per cent.

  • Mountain forests

    9 May 2008

    Mountain forests play many vital roles for people. Among the most critical, in these water towers of the world, is their role in capturing and storing rainfall, maintaining water quality, regulating river flow, and reducing erosion and downstream sedimentation.

  • Mountain energy

    9 May 2008

    Many forms of energy are produced in mountain areas, and have been essential for the economic development of neighbouring regions. The most important of these have been hydroelectricity, which is largely exported downstream, and wood, the primary energy source for most mountain people.

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