What do mountains mean to you?
Today it is International Mountain Day, a day in which to rethink about the importance of mountains. The influence of mountains reaches far, going way beyond the direct area surrounding these regions. Over half of the world’s population depend on the water, food and clean energy provided by mountain areas. A baffling fact!
However, mountains today are facing huge issues. On one hand, climate change, driven by humankind, greatly impacts the benefits we receive from these regions: as glaciers melt, there will be less water, and in turn many millions of people downstream will suffer from drought and reduced crop production. Also more disasters will occur: ice and snow is the cement that keep the mountains together, without this, landslides will happen more, as already seen in the last few years. Animals and plants, adapted to the unique mountain ecosystems, are becoming extinct as their environments change too rapidly to adapt.
On the other hand, also human societies living in mountains are facing difficulties. In a world where urban lifestyles are evermore valued, entire cultures, together with their unique traditions and knowledge related to living in the mountains, are now disappearing. Like the area in this image: this is a high mountain pasture, where livestock lives during summer months. These grasslands at altitude have an important role, both in the ecosystem as in forming the unique landscape of the area. But, as more and more people leave to the city, these pastures become abandoned, and all knowledge, traditions, flora and fauna surrounding it perish forever.
So, now is the moment to think: what do the mountains mean to you? And what can you do to help the mountains? :) Valle de Pineta. Vistas desde el Pico Comodoto
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