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When is International Mountain Day?

December 11th is International Mountain Day.

What is International Mountain Day?

Mountains are beautiful to behold, exciting to hike, and essential to most of us. They provide protection, water, and food, even for people who don’t live in the mountains. International Mountain Day acknowledges the vulnerability of mountains and folks living on the heights in the face of climate change.

Rainwater pours out across the mountains and then washes down into low-lying areas to give us freshwater. Much of the world depends on that water, as well as mountain-grown food. Melting glaciers are affecting that water supply though. Around the world, rising climate-driven disasters like mud slides and avalanches damage crops, flood communities, and strip the forests.

People are migrating out of the mountains too. Climate change disturbs highland agriculture. Food shortages worsen the already harsh living conditions, so folks are moving into the cities and leaving their cultures behind. That’s a loss for the world because we value cultural diversity. More importantly though, it’s a hardship for them, and one they shouldn’t have to face.

On International Mountain Day, we remember what the gifts that the mountains supply and the people who still inhabit the high places.

Fun facts about International Mountain Day!

  • About 13% of the world’s population lives in the mountains.
  • Billions more people live downstream from mountains and directly experience their benefits.
  • Mountains cover 22% of our planet’s land areas.
  • Mountains supply 60% to 80% of the world’s freshwater.
  • Around 80% of the world’s food comes from 20 plant species, and 6 of those plants—maize, potatoes, barley, sorghum, quinoa, tomatoes and apples—originated and were diversified in mountain areas.
  • Mountains house many rare animals, such as gorillas and snow leopards.

How to celebrate International Mountain Day:

Research how your local area relies on the mountains. Then post on social media why mountains matter to you. Join the global campaign to halt human-driven climate change and end the marginalization of mountain communities.

What’s the hashtag for International Mountain Day?

Support mountains and the people they house by using #InternationalMountainDay on social media.