International Mountain Day - History, Significance, Theme

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 7, 2022, 9:08

On December 11th, International Mountain Day is commemorated to promote sustainable mountain development. The United Nations declared 2002 the UN International Year of Mountains in response to a growing awareness of the importance of mountains. In the following year, 2003, the first World Mountain Day was commemorated. Its origins may be traced back to 1992 when the paper "Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development" was adopted as part of the Conference on Environment and Development's Agenda 21 action plan.

Mountain tourism was one of the most affected industries by the Covid-19 epidemic. The livelihoods of mountain dwellers were adversely impacted. The constraints in the mountains exacerbated the susceptibility of the communities living there.

International Mountain Day Themes




Women Move Mountains


Sustainable Mountain Tourism


Mountain Biodiversity


Mountains Matter for Youth


Mountains Matter


Mountains Under Pressure: Climate, Hunger, Migration


Mountain Cultures: Celebrating diversity and strengthening identity


Promoting Mountain Products for Better Livelihoods

International Mountain Day Significance

International Mountain Day is celebrated to raise awareness about preserving the mountain biodiversity from pollution, overexploitation, and climate change. Sustainable mountain tourism can help provide alternative livelihood opportunities, encouraging poverty reduction. Their preservation is essential for the long-term growth of the natural ecosystem.

Moreover, World Mountain Day serves as a reminder to people worldwide about the necessary functions of mountains, such as:

  • Mountains are host to half of the biodiversity hotspots of the world.
  • They are reportedly home to 1.1 billion people, 15% of the world population.
  • They are a source of 60-80% of the world's freshwater.
  • Forests cover 40% of the mountainous area.
  • Most food crops, including tomatoes, potatoes, corn, apples, etc., originate in the mountains.
  • Mountain tourism accounts for 15-20% of all tourists worldwide.

Celebrating International Mountain Day

World Mountain Day helps preserve the cultural, spiritual, and natural world history while at the same time promoting local crafts and traditional customs and festivals.

On December 11th, the Food and Agricultural Organisation, the principal UN agency for this International Day, produces communication materials in all 6 UN languages. You can use that to celebrate World Mountain Day with family, friends, and neighbours. Also, you may kickstart a conversation on your social media account using the hashtag #InternationalMountainDay. You can share a photo of your favourite mountain online or even general information about the biodiversity in your local mountains.

Every year, the chairperson of the Albanian Alps Alliance gives an interview on International Mountain Day in which he discusses the importance of mountains. The researchers from the University of British Columbia in Canada also convene to discuss the need to protect the mountain ecosystem. To take part in the event, you can:

  • Go hiking or camping in the mountains.
  • Watch a film on the subject.
  • Challenge your friends to name as many mountains as they can.
  • Take a trip to the mountains to support the flailing tourism industry.
  • Make it a goal to climb a world-famous peak, like Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro, or Mount Fuji.
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FAQs on International Mountain Day

Q 1. Why is International Mountain Day celebrated?

A 1. Internation Mountain Day is celebrated to serve as a reminder to people worldwide of the need to preserve the sanctity and purity of the mountain ecosystem.

Q 2. What day is International Mountain Day celebrated?

A 2. International Mountain Day is celebrated on December 11th each year.

Q 3. What is the theme of International Mountain Day 2020?

A 3. The theme of International Mountain Day 2020 was Mountain Biodiversity.