International Mountain Day – 11/12

As with every year, International Mountain Day (IMD), 11 December serves as a reminder of what people owe to the mountains. This is an opportunity to shine the spotlight on regions that are essential to mankind, but which are often overlooked because they are hard to access.  To take a look at some of the initiatives taken by these mountainous regions, which do not receive nearly enough attention.

Mountains, the common heritage of mankind

Did you know that mountains cover 22% of the Earth’s surface but provide 60-80% of the world’s fresh water? They also contain 28% of the world’s forests and a quarter of all biodiversity. That should give you an idea of just how important they are to us. Not to mention the one billion people who live in the mountains, despite harsh living conditions and often modest incomes.


Mountains matter for Youth” was the theme chosen by the United Nations for International Mountain Day 2019. The challenge: to mobilise young people on the critical role of mountains and the need to protect their ecosystem, which is seriously threatened by global warming.

The 2019 edition also represented an opportunity to call for better living conditions for rural young people living in the mountains, by facilitating access to education, sport and employment, and by supporting the development of technologies and services in remote valleys.

IMD 2019 around the world

International Mountain Day is celebrated all over the world. Many countries, including some which are more famous for their coasts than for their mountains, seize the opportunity to shed light on the subject. From one continent to another, a look back at some of the events that marked IMD 2019.


An International Mountain Film Festival in Kathmandu

The Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (KIMFF) is organised by the Himal Association, based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Every December, the festival brings people together to view mountain films from around the world.


An IMD Symposium to Highlight Nigeria’s mountains

The Mandara Community Development Network (MACDEN) held a symposium in Yola, Nigeria. The symposium included presentations on the various mountain communities of northeast Nigeria. MACDEN’s IMD event kicked off its work plan for 2020, which includes building programmes for mountain communities in the region.


Tree Planting Activity in Kenya

Development Training and Research Africa (DETRA-Africa), the Centre for Research in Environment in Kenya and their co-organisers held an event centred on mountains’ importance as sources of fresh, clean water and home to biodiversity hotspots – particularly focusing on Mount Kenya and the Mount Kenya Forest. The event included a lecture and a tree planting activity.


Medical and Educational Missions in Greece

The University of the Mountains conducted an excursion to the Municipality of Platanias, Crete, Greece, on 10 October. There, they performed medical examinations on the vulnerable Karanou population, educated primary school children. Monthly excursions to mountainous and remote villages of Crete and the Aegean islands will occur in the future.


A Mountain Conference on Climate Change in Peru

The National Institute of Research on Glaciers and Mountain Ecosystems of Peru organised an international symposium, called “Mountains: Our Future”, in Cusco, Peru from 10 to 12 December. The symposium aimed to exchange knowledge on climate change in these ecosystems, analyse the role of research on public policy and implementation, and identify the way forward on these issues.


Find more initiatives around the world here

ATR, perfect aircraft for the mountains

All the topics discussed during the International Mountain Day celebrations echo ATR’s commitments: concern for people, environmental commitment, development assistance for remote areas. On this last point, ATR aircraft are highly appreciated for their handling and their ability to serve small, landlocked airports in hard to reach areas. These features are further enhanced by the ATR -600 series incorporating the new ClearVision™ system, which secures the landing and take-off phases in the event of reduced visibility, which is common in the mountains. Drukair, the national airline of Bhutan, was the first airline in the world to add ATR 42-600s equipped with the ClearVision™ system to its fleet. The airline serves several small airports located in the Himalayas, connecting Bhutan to the Indian towns of Katmandu, Kolkata and Dhaka.