Malawi commemorates World Mountain Day
The United Nations says mountains house 15% of the world's population and contain roughly half of the world's biodiversity hotspots. They provide fresh water for half of humanity's daily needs.
Malawi: The United Nations says mountains house 15% of the world's population and contain roughly half of the world's biodiversity hotspots. They provide fresh water for half of humanity's daily needs.
Their conservation is a critical component of sustainable development and is included in SDG 15 of the SDGs.
"Unfortunately, mountains are under threat from climate change and overexploitation. As the global climate continues to warm, mountain people — some of the world’s 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,” says the UN.
The UN goes on to say that this problem affects us all and that we must all work together to reduce our carbon footprint and protect these natural treasures. It goes on to say that communities and friends should plan an event or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #MountainsMatter.
22 years ago, the world recognised the importance of mountains, prompting the United Nations to declare 2002 the UN International Year of Mountains. The first international day was commemorated the following year, in 2003.
This year's International Mountain Day theme is "Women Move Mountains."
The theme was chosen because women play an important role in environmental protection as well as social and economic development in mountains.
They are frequently the primary managers of mountain resources, protectors of biodiversity, keepers of traditional knowledge, keepers of local culture, and traditional medicine experts.
Says the UN: "Increasing climate variability, coupled with a lack of investment in mountain agriculture and rural development, has often pushed men to migrate elsewhere in search of alternative livelihoods. Women have therefore taken on many tasks formerly done by men, yet mountain women are often invisible due to a lack of decision-making power and unequal access to resources.
When rural women have access to resources, services, and opportunities, they become a driving force against hunger, malnutrition, and rural poverty and are active in the development of mountain economies."
This year's International Mountain Day provides an opportunity to promote gender equality and thus help to improve social justice, livelihoods, and resilience.
Malawi began commemorating this day with a walk on Senga hill in Senga Bay, Salima, and trees have been planted in various locations, including Mulanje Mountain in southern Malawi.