The subject for the 18th International Mountain Day (IMD) was ‘Sustainable Mountain Tourism,’ with the goal of raising awareness about the importance of mountains for people and the environment.
Sustainable mountain tourism can help to create new and alternative livelihood opportunities while also encouraging poverty reduction, social inclusion, and landscape and biodiversity conservation.
Experts say that the climate catastrophe is affecting mountain lives and livelihoods, citing recent avalanches on the Tukuche Himal in Mustang, unprecedented precipitation in rain shadow areas such as Manang and Mustang, Melamchi floods, and the recent loss of agricultural crops due to unseasonal rains.
Climate change is already wreaking havoc on Nepal.
Unexpected incidents are becoming more common, and their frequency is increasing. Mountains are the primary source of biodiversity and water supplies, as well as the birthplace of civilization and culture.
According to Gobinda Bahadur Shahi, International Vice-Chair of Mountain Partnership Executive Director of Karnali Integrated Rural Development and Research Centre (KIRDARC) Nepal, these mountainous areas are currently at significant risk due to the climate crisis.
Speaking at a press conference held to commemorate the IMD and to announce the Mountain Advocacy Summit on “Unlocking Mountain Potentials: Connecting the Dots for a Sustainable Planet (MAS2022),” which will be held in Mustang from March 13 to 14, 2022 in collaboration with state and non-state actors.
The Summit will be organized by Nepalese Civil Society Organizations, including The Mountain Foundation Nepal (TMF), International Forum on Climate Change and Food Security (FOCUS International), Nepalese Civil Society Initiative (NCSMI), and KIRDARC. He announced that KIRDARC Nepal would be the host.
The climate problem has put mountainous areas in jeopardy.
The impact of rising temperatures on mountainous areas, biodiversity, agriculture, life and livelihoods of not just alpine regions, but also downstream communities, is direct.
According to Shahi, it is critical to push and fight for the development and protection of mountainous regions through creating an accountable and responsible governing structure.
Min Bahadur Shahi, Secretary-General of the International Forum for Climate Justice and Food Security (FOCUS-International), remarked at the event that while the mountain agenda is a new concern, climate change has a greater influence on the mountain and its people. The government, civil society, commercial sector, and local people should all address the subject of mountains, he continued.
Geeta Pandey, ECCA Manager at KIRDARC, stated in a presentation that the summit will be held to improve accountability and collaboration among stakeholders in order to unleash the potential for implementing measures that contribute to the commitment for mountain resilience.
Mountains are home to 15% of the world’s population and half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, according to the United Nations.
They supply fresh water to half of the world’s population on a daily basis. Their preservation is a critical component of sustainable development and is included in Sustainable Development Goal 15 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).