December 11 - International Mountain Day. This year's theme, "Restoration of Mountain Ecosystems," calls for nature-positive solutions, best practices, and investments that enhance ecosystem resilience and means of livelihood, reduce vulnerability, and increase the ability of mountains and their residents to adapt to daily threats and extreme climatic events.
To mark this significant date, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) prepared and published a report titled "Restoration of Mountain Ecosystems," analyzing 10 projects for restoring mountain ecosystems and recommending ways to apply the Ten Principles of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration to mountain ecosystems.
The report emphasizes that mountain ecosystems – and the millions of rural residents depending on them – are under threat and particularly vulnerable to climate change. Based on thematic research from around the world, the report elucidates what needs to be done to conserve and restore mountain ecosystems.
For instance, conservation efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda have led to an increase in the population of mountain gorillas, attracting tourists and generating income for local communities.
In Kyrgyzstan, the "Baibosun" microreserve, covering 14,000 hectares of pastures and glaciers, was established to protect biodiversity and regulate activities such as hunting and livestock grazing. Former hunters and fishermen now serve as community rangers, patrolling the protected area and managing camera traps to monitor wildlife, while local shepherds employ modern livestock grazing methods, improving vegetation and pasture viability. This shift has not only increased the population of snow leopards and ibex but also created new sources of livelihood.
These efforts are part of a flagship initiative involving several countries led by UNEP, the FAO Mountain Partnership Secretariat, and the Carpathian Convention for the restoration of mountain ecosystems in Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, Rwanda, and Uganda.
It is worth noting that the initiative of the "Baibosun" public microreserve was recognized with the World Biodiversity Award for Ecosystem Revitalization at the 15th UN Conference on Biodiversity (COP 15), held in December last year in Montreal, Canada. It has also been recognized among the best flagship initiatives for "restoration and reconciliation with nature."
The success story of the "Baibosun" microreserve can be read here.
Source and photo on the page: https://www.fao.org/
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