The Global Importance of Mountains

Every day the hazards and disasters caused by Climate Change, ranging from droughts, flooding and extreme monsoons, to the melting of Glaciers become more apparent.

The global hydrological (fresh water) cycle is one of the primary systems that is most detrimentally affected by these changes and which has become seriously imbalanced. This threatens the future of all of Earth’s ecological systems along with humanity. These threats have prompted greater awareness and global interest in sustainable development, which has led to many questions concerning how this can feasibly be achieved. Fresh water is vital for all of life on Earth and is therefore, a fundamental issue for consideration. In relation to this, the connection between mountain regions, Earth’s climates and the hydrological cycle is crucial. High altitude forests play a huge part in the maintenance of this cycle. Over the last few decades huge deforestation throughout Earths’ mountain regions has taken place. This is detrimentally affecting all watersheds and river sources. The prompt reforestation of these areas is of paramount importance.


Payment for Environmental Services

 

It is necessary for Humanity to accept and act upon the fact that all Global environments are dependant upon the Mountain Systems.

 

The mountains are the water towers and climate regulators of the Planet. It is therefore in the interest of people living in the lowlands to support the people living in the highlands in regenerating and maintaining the valuable mountain forests.

 

This would help to protect the fresh water sources and climatic stability for the lowlands and all global eco-systems. The United Nations supports and advocates 'Payments for Environmental Services' in Integrated Water Resources Management.