Conservation and sustainable development in mountain areas
Mountain areas cover 24% of the Earth's land and 26% of the global population lives in or around these areas. At the global scale, perhaps their greatest value is as 'water towers', providing water for over half of humankind. As global centres of biological and cultural diversity, they are among the world's major tourist destinations. For urban citizens, mountains provide diverse opportunities for recreation; they have also long been vital for spiritual recreation, including sacred sites for all major religions. Yet mountain regions, and many of their people, are faced by increasing challenges linked to the globalisation of their economies and social structures, and the threats of climate change. This illustrated brochure introduces these and other issues relating to conservation and sustainable development in mountain areas through case studies of projects undertaken around the world by IUCN and partner organisations which are members of IUCN's Mountains Initiative Taskforce.
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