It’s International Mountain Day!

It’s International Mountain Day! This week a new study was published in Nature that highlighted the huge issue we’re in with scarcity of water. In fact, 1.9 billion people are at risk of water supply issues as mountain glaciers and alpine lakes are affected by climate change and increasing demand & overexploitation.⁠

This year has seen numerous articles and studies on the situation from the Himalayas to Europe to South America. We rely on mountains for a lot of fresh water. The high mountains contain about half of all the fresh water humans use (FAO).⁠

Mountains are literally feeling the heat more than the average. There’s another issue though too that this year’s theme is addressing; the rural youth leaving their villages to migrate to better circumstances. This migration causes abandoned agriculture, land degradation and a loss of ancient cultural traditions. This year, youth will take the lead and demand that mountains and mountain peoples become central in the national and international development agendas.⁠

We love mountains. We love how they make us feel so small, we love that they can sometimes feel like they’re hugging us, and we particularly love hiking them to waterfalls and drinking in the freshest of all water. But we’re only visitors of the mountains. Millions of people live this every day and their homes are becoming less and less tenable. This is an often overlooked aspect of climate change and it needs attention.