The report points to climate change, population growth as major threats to mountain forests, and highlights the important roles of forests as sources of fresh water.
9 December 2011: The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, has published a report titled “Mountain Forests in a Changing World” that brings attention to the threats to mountain forests including increasing temperatures and wildfires, population growth and food and fuel insecurity.
The report notes that expansion of intensive agriculture has pushed smallholder farmers higher up slopes to marginal areas, and that climate change is likely to facilitate more rapid expansion of damaging pests. The report also highlights the important role mountain forests play as sources of fresh water for cities. It calls on national policymakers to take the protection of mountain forests into account and integrate these concerns into climate change mitigation and adaptation policies.
The report was released prior to International Mountain Day, observed on 11 December. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), in collaboration with the World Mountain Forum, will launch a new public-private partnership initiative to support global sustainable mountain development efforts. [UN News Centre Media Release][FAO Media Release][Publication: Mountain Forests in a Changing World]