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International Mountain Day 2017


This year’s theme is Mountains under Pressure: climate, hunger, migration.

Almost one billion people live in mountain areas, and over half the human population depends on mountains for water, food and clean energy. Yet mountains are under threat from climate change, land degradation, over exploitation and natural disasters, with potentially far-reaching and devastating consequences, both for mountain communities and the rest of the world.

Mountains are early indicators of climate change and as global climate continues to warm, mountain people — some of the world’s hungriest and poorest — face even greater struggles to survive. The rising temperatures also mean that mountain glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates, affecting freshwater supplies downstream for millions of people. Mountain communities, however, have a wealth of knowledge and strategies accumulated over generations, on how to adapt to climate variability.

Climate change, climate variability and climate-induced disasters, combined with political, economic and social marginalization, increase the vulnerability of mountain peoples to food shortages and extreme poverty. Currently, about 39 percent of the mountain population in developing countries, or 329 million people, is estimated to be vulnerable to food insecurity.

As the vulnerability of mountain populations grows, migration increases both abroad and to urban centres. Those who remain are often women, left to manage the farms but with little access to credit, training and land tenure rights. Out-migration from mountain areas will also result in an inestimable loss in terms of provision of ecosystem services and preservation of cultural and agrobiodiversity. Investments and policies can alleviate the harsh living conditions of mountain communities and reverse out-migration trends from mountain areas.

International Mountain Day 2017 provides an occasion to highlight how climate, hunger and migration are affecting highlands and to ensure that sustainable mountain development is integrated into the 2030 Agenda and in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

This year, the theme is also linked to the Mountain Partnership Global Meeting, to be held on 11-13 December at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, which will focus on the challenges and opportunities in sustainable mountain development and will launch a Framework for Action to support concrete actions and establish policies that strengthen the resilience of mountain peoples and environments.

While “Mountain under Pressure: climate, hunger, migration” is the suggested theme for 2017, countries, communities and organizations are welcome to celebrate International Mountain Day through the choice of a different theme that might be more relevant to them.

In the coming months, we will prepare communication materials in all six UN languages, which will be made available on our website and distributed as hard copies to those who request them.

Meanwhile, please contact [email protected] with news of the celebrations you are planning, so we can post them on our interactive map.

Almost one billion people live in mountain areas and over half the human population depends on mountains for water, food and clean energy. Yet mountains are under threat from climate change, land degradation and natural disasters, with potentially far-reaching and devastating consequences both for mountain communities and for the rest of the world. To bring attention to the plight of mountains for International Mountain Day (11 December), we are asking you to make a one-minute video on the theme of ‘Mountains under pressure: climate, hunger, migration’ for the #MountainsMatter video contest.

Who can take part?

  • General: No professional equipment? No worries! Grab your smartphone and record a message about mountains, film yourself explaining how climate change has affected a mountain you know, interview someone from a mountain community in a rural area about the difficulties they encounter, or think of another idea that inspires you around the concept of mountains under pressure.
  • Professional: This category is open to people who would like to produce entries with professional video and editing equipment. You don’t have to be a film-maker to enter, but you may be competing with them!

How can I take part?

You can enter the contest in three simple steps.

  1. Make your video – remember to keep it under one minute long.
  2. Upload your entry to YouTube and tag it with the #MountainsMatter hashtag in the title. If possible, please upload a high resolution version of your video (1080p), as the winning entries will be shown on a mega screen at the International Mountain Day concert in Rome.
  3. Visit http://www.fao.org/international-mountain-day/video-contest/upload-your-video/en/ and fill in the online form, tell us which category you are entering, and add the link to your YouTube video.

That’s it! Don’t forget to also post your YouTube link on your social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) using the #MountainsMatter hashtag to encourage people to view your entry!

The deadline for entries is 20 October 2017.

How does the judging work?

The two categories will be evaluated separately:

  1. The winner of the general category will be the entry with the most views on YouTube.
  2. The winner of the professional category will be chosen by a panel of judges including professionals working in mountains and communications who will judge the entries according to their relevance to the mountain theme as well as for aesthetic and technical excellence. NB Views on YouTube will not count in the judging of this category.

Winners will be notified by 30 October and will be officially announced on 11 December.

What are the prizes?

The winner of each category will receive a trip to Rome to attend the International Mountain Day concert on 11 December. The winning videos will be shown at the concert.

What are the rules?

A list of rules for the art contest is available here. Submissions must be made online on the International Mountain Day website.

More information

Read the contest FAQs here and to learn more about mountains, please see the International Mountain Day website.

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International Mountain Day

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