International Mountain Day 2019

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A day to celebrate mountains? This question may have crossed your minds, but, have you ever wondered what the world would have been like without mountains? They add a special touch to the landscape and has enormous benefits.

Recognising the value of mountains, not only as home to 15 percent of the world’s populations but also a vital source of fresh water for half of the humanity; the United Nations declared 2002, UN International Year of Mountains. One year later (2003) International Mountains Day was celebrated for the first time. Celebrated under the theme, “Mountains Matter for Youth”, this year’s observance aims to educate children about, the role mountains play in supporting billions up and downstream by providing fresh water, clean energy, food and recreation. It also seeks to connect with youths living in rural areas where mountains are prevalent and life can be very challenging.

Why are mountains important?
Mountain environments cover approximately 25 percent of the world’s land surface and directly support one-tenth of the world’s people who live within mountainous regions. Lowland people also depend on mountain environments for a wide range of goods and services, including;

* water,
* energy,
* timber,
* biodiversity maintenance,
* Opportunities for recreation, and
* Spiritual renewal.

Mountains provide for the freshwater (60-80%) needs of more than half of humanity, and are, in effect, the water towers of the world.

The world’s mountains encompass some of the most spectacular landscapes, a great diversity of species and habitat types, and distinctive human communities. Mountains support a wide variety of ecosystems and occur on all continents, in all latitude zones.
Mountain ecosystems are important for biological diversity, particularly in the tropics and warmer temperate latitudes. Isolated mountain blocks are known for their rich endemic species.

With the sustainability of mountains being threatened by several human-induced and environmental factors; International Mountain Day plays a key role in the support of global environmental, economic, social and cultural sectors through connections to; invasive species, air pollution, climate change, mining, hydropower, tourism, forests, agriculture.

Mountains in Guyana
Guyana is home to many breathtaking mountains and mountain ranges. Like other mountains around the world, these boast enormous biological wealth and are home to many, especially our indigenous communities.
Did you know Guyana has over 100 mountains and 4 mountain ranges?

Activity
1. How many mountains in Guyana can you name? Test your knowledge of Guyana’s mountains by trying to identify the two highlighted in the photos below.
You can share your ideas and questions by sending letters to: “Our Earth, Our Environment”, C/O ECEA Programme, Environmental Protection Agency, Ganges Street, Sophia, GEORGETOWN, or email us at: eit.epaguyana@gmail.com or follow us on Facebook and Instagram

Reference: 
https://www.greeningtheblue.org/event/international-mountain-day
http://www.fao.org/international-mountain-day/key-messages/en/
http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/mountain_partnership/doc/POLICY_BRIEFS/Mountains_and_the_Sustainable_Development_Goals_-_NY_-_8Jan.2014.pdf