Sustainable Development and Mountains

[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/3452899751_7e32ba9303_o-e1413444628351.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Instead of being considered as one of the parts of sustainable development, freshwater needs to be recognised as central to all development. The ecosystems, which maintain the water cycle can then be prioritised for conservation and restoration.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Because mountain regions are absolutely essential in the regulation and maintenance of global water and climate, they are also fundamental in all long-term Sustainable Development.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“We recognize that the benefits derived from mountain regions are essential for sustainable development. Mountain ecosystems play a crucial role in providing water resources to a large portion of the world’s population; fragile mountain ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, deforestation and forest degradation, land use change, land degradation and natural disasters; and mountain glaciers around the world are retreating and getting thinner, with increasing impacts on the environment and human well-being.”    Download: The Future We Want, UN, 2012, Rio+20.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/un_2012_rio20the_future_we_want_resa66288_para210.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]In 1997 UN ECOSOC proclaimed that mountains represent an essential component of the global life-support system and recognised that they were essential to the survival of the global ecosystem.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“These resources and services in mountain areas are of more than national or regional importance; they have a truly global significance for the future of humankind.” ()    Download: UN ECOSOC, 17/06/98, E/1998/68.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/un_ecosoc_170698_e199868.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

At Rio in 1992 and in 2002 the importance of mountains not only for mountain populations but also for those living downstream and those who are dependent on the regions for various reasons was highlighted. This includes most of humanity and other life forms worldwide.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Food security, poverty alleviation, and, ultimately, political stability will thus be critically linked to mountain resources”    Download: Sustainable Development in mountain Areas, Mountain Agenda, 2002.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/mountain_agenda_2002_mountains_of_the_world_sustainable_development_in_mountain_areas.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Yet despite this clear correlation, the global community has been slow in prioritising mountains and their ecosystems, which are so integral to long-term sustainability.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Mountains play a key role in sustainable development, and their importance will increase in the future. As water towers of the world, mountains will play a crucial role in providing fresh water” (Mountain Agenda, 2002, ‘Sustainable Development in mountain Areas”    Download: Sustainable Development in mountain Areas, Mountain Agenda, 2002.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/mountain_agenda_2002_mountains_of_the_world_sustainable_development_in_mountain_areas.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Because of their role in regulating the water cycle and climate, mountain ecosystems have an important part to play in determining our future. It is in all of our interest to preserve and restore them. Mountain snows and glaciers play a critical part in the healthy functioning, of the entire cryosphere. Because all the varied regions of the cryosphere work in an interconnected manner, safeguarding the high regions will help to reduce the fast melting happening in the lower artic and polar regions. This entire issue is a matter of great urgency.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“In the Arctic changes are occurring. By acting now we can shape the course of the climate trajectory in middle latitudes and lower latitudes. The opportunity is there to act now, the window is open but it’s a window that is not going to be open forever.” (John Walsh, Professor of Climate Change, University of Alaska Fairbanks.)   [/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Another issue needing serious consideration in the sustainable development and mountains debate is the way that large-scale hydro- dams have been promoted as a sustainable way forward for energy and for generating green economies in mountain regions.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Previously the planning of hydro dams was based on the assumption that future stream flow patterns would remain relatively stable.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Yet with melting glaciers and climate change, river flow patterns and precipitation has been significantly and unpredictably changed. Now their continued development for hydropower needs to be seriously reconsidered.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Academic and scientific communities need to collaborate in research across national borders, and political leaders need to include glacier melting and the future of hydroelectric power generation in their dialogues.”   Download: Javaid Laghari , chair of Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission, 2013.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/javaid_laghari_chair_of_pakistans_higher_education_commission_2013.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Given the abundant quantity of solar energy in mountain regions, it would be beneficial to replace hydro-dam electrical projects with solar power projects. If we really want to, we have enough intelligence, capacities and finances collectively to face this global situation and work together to remedy it. Interconnected peaceful solutions that care for the wellbeing of all are our way forward.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Let us be remembered in history as the generation that turned things around, learned from our mistakes, and achieved long-term environmental sustainability.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
READ MORE


Mountains Regulate Global Climate

[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/climate_mounts.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]The varied causes of climate change and solutions to re-stabilise Earth’s climate have been ignored for too long.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Climate Change has now become a major issue on the global agenda. Mountain peaks are becoming bare of snow, glaciers are melting, fresh water is decreasing and deserts are on the increase. In short, natural disasters caused by human activities, which have induced climate changes, are severely effecting the lives of millions of people around the world and threaten billions. These are predicted to greatly increase with the present rate of environmental degradation. However this is not a time to be daunted by the scale of the situation. There are still important changes that can be made and which could prevent even worse disasters from occurring in the future. Yet this cannot happen if we ignore the situation, underestimate it, deny the causes or fail to prioritise it for action.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]”Climate change would be a less immediate threat, if we had kept pace with commitments to sustainable development enunciated again and again over the years.”   Download: UN,The Millennium Development Goals Report, 2008.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/MDG_Report_2008_ENGLISH.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Healthy mountain ecosystems are actually key elements within global climate regulation. Disturbingly since so much of the biodiversity within these regions has been removed worldwide and with mountain glaciers rapidly dissapearing, they are no longer able to effectively perform the important climate stabilizing and regulating functions that they once did.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Their ability to reflect solar heat is one of many reasons why glaciers are crucially important in global climate regulation. As they melt and become thinner this function becomes less effective, greatly influencing rising temperatures upon Earth. This greatly exacerbates climatic instability worldwide.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Glaciers are a critical component of the Earth system and the present accelerated melting and retreat of glaciers has severe impacts on the environment and human well-being,including vegetation patterns, economic livelihood, natural disasters, and water-energy supplies.” (UNEP, 2007)[/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

The extreme loss of mountain glaciers, snow and ice is already having profound and seriously negative affects upon the global climate, water supply and energy. Now that adequate water supplies are unreliable, the unnecessary stress that large hydro dams put upon ecosystems makes them no longer a viable option. When considering the immense importance of water related ecosystems for global fresh water, they may even be immensely detrimental to life far beyond their immediate vicinity. An example of this can be seen in the Andes.A recent study which, analyses 150 planned dams across six major river basins, which connect the Andes to the Amazon (a geographic scope spanning Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) warns that they would threaten many Andean-Amazon rivers.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]These huge dams would disrupt the critical ecological connection that has existed for millions of years between the Andes and the Amazonian floodplain.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/paute1.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Sixty percent of the dams would cause the first major break in connectivity between protected Andean headwaters and the lowland Amazon.”   Download: Center for Intenrational Environmental Law in Washington, D.C, Matt Finer et al. 2012.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/matt_finer_et_al._2012_center_for_intenrational_environmental_law_in_washington_d.c.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

We need to start seeing life in a far more interconnected manner and realize that damage to ecosystems on the other side of the world affect our weather and water and the future lives of our families. All fresh water related ecosystems need to be preserved and we need to avoid adding further stress to them. It has been predicted by scientist that there could be a total loss of mountain glaciers, snow and ice within 50 years. This is virtually unthinkable. Maybe Earth could resemble Mars very shortly if appropriate, effective, concerted global action is not taken promptly. The World Glaciers Monitoring Service (WGMS) measures the thinning of glaciers in terms of water equivalent, estimating that in 2006 shrinking was equivalent to the loss of 1.4 metres of water, compared with half a metre in 2005. This speed of loss is enormous and it is still accelerating.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

It has to be remembered that this is the Earth’s stored fresh water supply and an essential part of the regenerative function of the global water cycle. This situation needs to be remedied. Yet this cannot be done, by using purely man-made technology. The solutions are however within nature. We just need to apply them swiftly.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]The protection and restoration of mixed mountain forests worldwide is one of these important solutions, which could make an enormous tangible difference within a relatively short amount of time and save a great deal of suffering.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
READ MORE


Mountain Communities Determine Our Future

[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/9928292264_4106170757_k.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Mountain people are the natural stewards of crucial mountain ecosystems, with thousands of years of traditional knowledge, the key roles that these communities play should not be overlooked or underestimated.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Around the world mountain communities have become more and more marginalized and impoverished as mountain biodiversity and ecosystems have been depleted. This is a great loss for the world.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Traditional knowledge is vital for sustainability of natural resources including forests, water, and agro-eco systems across landscape continuum spanning from households through farms, village, commons and wilderness.”    Download: (‘Traditional Knowledge Systems for Biodiversity Conservation’,Pandey, D. N. 2004).pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/pandey_d_n_2004_traditional_knowledge_systems_for_biodiversity_conservation.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Mountain regions are absolutely essential in the maintenance of the global water cycle. Therefore it is in the interest of the whole global community to preserve mountain ecosystems and to support and collaborate with mountain communities. Good environmental restoration and management initiatives that strongly involve mountain communities and their traditions are key factors in realizing long-term environmental sustainable development worldwide.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]At present mountain communities are often marginalized and considered in a limited regional context. This attitude, if continued will prove to be detrimental to both them and humanity at large.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/13896296804_76db137d04_k.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“We further recognize that mountains are often home to communities, including indigenous peoples and local communities, who have developed sustainable uses of mountain resources. These communities are, however, often marginalized, and we therefore stress that continued effort will be required to address poverty, food security and nutrition, social exclusion and environmental degradation in these areas.”    Download: (UN,’The Future We Want’, Rio+20, Para. 211, 2012).pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/un_2012_the_future_we_want_resa66288_para212.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

It is important to note that generally it has not been the grass-root mountain communities that have caused the majority of the environmental degradation that has taken place throughout mountain regions worldwide. It has always been in the interest of these communities to protect the natural resources, which supported their livelihoods. However now that the natural resources within these regions have been so desperately depleted, these communities need to be supported to conserve and restore the crucial mountain biodiversity.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]At present, the lives of mountain communities are threatened. Massive flooding and erosion problems, as was experienced in Uttakhand, N. India in June 2013 is an example of present threats being experienced by mountain communities[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Where do we find work? It’s a question that echoes across the whole state. Farmers who have lost their entire fields talk about how they have no option but to look for other forms of work in order to sustain themselves.”.   Download:  (‘The Unheard Voices’,Safeworld, 2013).pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/safeworld_2013_the_unheard_voices.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Mountain people are among the few groups of people capable of living and working in mountain regions with their extreme climates and environmental conditions. Their success with achieving this will be pivotal to global success regarding freshwater security and changing climates. From this it becomes clear that supporting mountain communities is not simply an act of charity, it is a means by which the whole global community can safeguard their own long-term interests.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]These communities need our help and we need theirs. We need their help to secure the global water cycle.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

The health of the global water cycle affects everyone and all ecosystems. If it is to be secured and humanity along with mass biodiversity is going to continue and evolve on Earth, we need to work together in a truly supportive and respectful manner.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
READ MORE


The Role of Mixed Mountain Forests is Irreplaceable

[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/7571011190_6c96785c80_o.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Mountain peaks and glaciers are widely recognised to be important and substantial stores of fresh water (in the form of ice and snow) and vital aspects for the functioning of the global water cycle.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

It is also widely acknowledged that they are essential in global climate regulation. However, these prominent features, which source most of the worlds’ major rivers, should not be looked at as independent from the other important features of mountain ecosystems.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Mountain ecosystems such as mountain forests, cloud forests, wetlands and grasslands play vital roles in water storage and supply, erosion prevention, reduction of peak flows, reduction of flood risks, water filtering and improvement of water quality.”   Download: UNESCO, 2013, ‘Climate Change impacts on Mountain Regions of the World.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/unesco_2013_climate_change_impacts_on_mountain_regions_of_the_world.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]The rich biodiversity within these mountain ecosystems is also a crucial part of maintaining the global water cycle, forming and sustaining mountain glaciers and feeding and regulating streams, rivers, reservoirs and water tables.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Given their important role in water supply and regulation, the protection, sustainable management and restoration of mountain ecosystems will be essential.”   Download: UNESCO, 2013, ‘Climate Change impacts on Mountain Regions of the World.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/unesco_2013_climate_change_impacts_on_mountain_regions_of_the_world.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Compared to the grandeur of the great snow covered peaks, mountain forests may seem unimportant. However the health of mixed mountain forests and biodiversity has many far-reaching impacts upon global water and climate.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Mountain forests also occupy a crucial position in terms of climate change, representing fundamental ecosystems for the health of the planet. As a matter of fact, they protect the Earth and contribute to shielding the atmosphere from CO2 emissions.”    Download: Mountain Forests in a Changing World, FAO,2011.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/fao_2011_mountain_forests_in_a_changing_world.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/8248174919_56d6beb15e_k.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Mountain biodiversity is not simply a beautiful adornment to mountain sceneries, it is a fundamental mechanism within the life sustaining cycle that carries freshwater around the Earth and sustains all of our lives.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“The volumes of water that trees use to grow and return to the atmosphere through transpiration are considerable, thus modifying the hydrological cycle.” (FAO, 2011, ‘Mountain Forests in a Changing World’    Download: Mountain Forests in a Changing World, FAO,2011.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/fao_2011_mountain_forests_in_a_changing_world.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]With emphasis on biodiversity, protecting, restoring and maintaining global mountain ecosystems is one of the priority action plans that is needed in order to secure the long-term sustainability of the global water cycle.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“The ecological linkages between water, wetlands and forests represent the intricate interdependence of our ecosystems and our resources. Forests play a pivotal role in the hydrological cycle by affecting rates of transpiration and evaporation, and influencing how water is routed and stored in a watershed.”   Download: UNEP, CBD, 2010, ‘Water, Wetlands and Forests.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/unep_cbd_2010_water_wetlands_and_forests.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Thus greater awareness is needed, so that the global community as a whole, comes to understand and appreciate the irreplaceable importance of mixed biodiversity, for mountain ecosystems with their snows and glaciers, as well as for their own long term wellbeing.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Trees also intercept snow, which is partly lost through sublimation; and reduce winter snowmelt and delay spring
snowmelt, which can offset the interception losses.”   Download: FAO, Mountain Forests in a Changing World, 2011.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/fao_2011_mountain_forests_in_a_changing_world.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]A paradigm shift is needed, whereby biodiversity is no longer considered to be one of the many issues of the sentimental conversationalists and is instead widely recognised as the irreplaceable foundations upon which, all our lives and all development rests.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
READ MORE


The Third Pole and its Importance to Water and Climate

[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/6477880613_f0495c4af8_b.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]The Third Pole is comprised of the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding mountains and it represents one of the largest masses of ice, snow and permafrost on Earth.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Most people have a general awareness of the importance of the North and South Poles. However far less people are aware that there is also a region that is referred to by many scientists as the ‘Third Pole’.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“People think Tibet is small and unimportant on a global scale. Actually, it is an immense upland, with an area of 2.5 million sq. km and averaging over 4500 meters in elevation. It is also close to 2% of the land surface of the planet.”   Download: Tibet’s Environment, DIIR, 2011.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/diir_2011tibets_environment.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Because this is a time when humanity needs to unite to safeguard the global water cycle and stabilise the climate worldwide, far greater attention needs to be given to restoring and preserving the mixed biodiversity and natural ecosystems within the third pole and adjacent mountain regions. This is important because this biodiversity plays a vital role in the formation and maintenance of ice and snow.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]The Third Pole is essential in global climate regulation. We should be devoting more attention to safeguarding these regions and protect the degradation that is rapidly occurring.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“While the glaciers of the Third Pole respond to global climate variations, their presence and interaction with other Third Pole features are critical in the regulation of the global climate system. For example, conditions in the Third Pole affect the atmospheric circulation patterns in Eurasia and thus significantly influence the climate system in the northern hemisphere.”    Download: UNESCO, 2011, Third Pole Environment.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/unesco_2011_third_pole_environment.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

After the Arctic and the Antarctic, the Third Pole is Earths’ largest store of glaciers, ice and permafrost and it plays a major role in the reflection of solar radiation globally.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/3846049351_dac3815255_b.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]The environmental state of the Tibetan Plateau is relevant to everyone on Earth. As it becomes more degraded, our water and climate becomes more destabilised.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“With an average elevation of 4,500 meters, the Plateau contains over 46,000 glaciers covering an area of 105,000 sq. km, and is the highest, largest, and coldest plateau on Earth”   Download: The Impacts of Climate Change on the Tibetan Plateau, DIIR, 2009.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/diir_2009_the_impacts_of_climate_change_on_the_tibetan_plateau.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

It is of global concern that mountain glaciers and snows are now melting at an alarming rate worldwide and negatively affecting present and future fresh water supplies and climate.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]The Third Pole glaciers are melting rapidly and this is having a disastrous knock-on effect globally.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“The Tibetan Plateau is warming about three times the global average. Since the 1950’s, warming in excess of 1oC on the Tibetan side of the Himalayas has contributed to retreat of more than 80% of the glaciers.”   Download: Retreat of Tibetan Plateau Glaciers, IGSD, 2010.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/igsd_2010_retreat_of_tibetan_plateau_glaciers.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Rather than considering these changes to be purely the impact of climate change and thus impossible to remedy, it would be advantageous to look at the connection between them and the massive deforestation of the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayan regions that has occurred within the last 60 years.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Crucial mountain ecosystems have been degraded to a critical point of instability. These need to be replenished while we still have time.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“In the past half-century, 82% of the plateau’s glaciers have retreated. In the past decade, 10% of its permafrost has degraded. As the changes continue, or even accelerate, their effects will resonate far beyond the isolated plateau, changing the water supply for billions of people and altering the atmospheric circulation over half the planet.”   Download: The Third Pole, Qiu. J,Nature, 2008.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/qiu_j_2008_the_third_pole_nature.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Mixed mountain region forests make an enormous difference to the making of ice and snow and the mass loss of it on the Tibetan Plateau seriously affects climate and fresh water variables globally.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“With all the changes the Tibetan plateau is undergoing — a warming climate, retreating glaciers, degrading permafrost and alpine eco- systems — what are the implications for the regional and global climate? The first and most important victim could be the Indian monsoon.”   Download: The Third Pole, Qiu. J,Nature, 2008.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/qiu_j_2008_the_third_pole_nature.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Tibet is the topmost part of the roof of the world and it affects the entire roof and hence the whole world positively or negatively in regards to water supplies and climate.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]The choice is ours. The restoration of the ecosystems of the Tibetan Plateau could positively affect the water supplies and climate for us all, regardless of where we live or our social and financial status.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
READ MORE


Glaciers are Melting at an Unprecedented Rate

[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/13163184005_a2d8db36dd_o-e1413372350986.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Glaciers are melting at an unprecedented rate worldwide and many major ones could vanish within the next fifty years.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Today the shrinking of mountain glaciers is taking place at a global scale and at a rapid rate. The strikingly synchronous retreat in many parts of the world since the late 20th century may be unique; in many regions, glaciers have now been reduced close to their minimum extent during the climate optimums in the Holocene, i.e. in the past 10,000 years (Solomina et al 2008) – and in some places even beyond this.”    Download: Mountains and Climate Change, Kohler T. et al, 2009.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/kohler_t._et_al_2009_‘mountains_and_climate_change.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]The rate at which they are melting, is threatening freshwater supplies and climate stability around the world and the process is escalating.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

This worldwide scenario is becoming highly disturbing when we consider the implications for the global fresh water supply. All countries, rich and poor alike are threatened by this same looming water related crisis and all the consequences of it.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“If current trends continue, 75% of the glaciers in the Swiss Alps are likely to disappear by 2050”    Download: Climate Change impacts on Mountain Regions of the World, UNESCO, 2013.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/unesco_2013_climate_change_impacts_on_mountain_regions_of_the_world.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]With so many glaciers retreating worldwide and increasing freshwater shortages, there is no long-term sustainability in large hydro dams for energy production.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“At the global level, it is this ice stored in the top of the mountains in the major continents that become vital in maintaining the river flows.” (Bandyopadhyay, 1992)[/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

In addition, the environmental damage that hydro dams cause, puts even more pressure onto valuable water resources and crucial mountain ecosystems. These ecosystems are too important to lose. The massive depletion and potential disappearance of mountain snows and glaciers worldwide is a threat that humanity should do everything possible to prevent from becoming a reality. The extreme melting of these glaciers not only indicates climate change, they exacerbate and accelerate climate change. The Earth’s mountain glaciers, permafrost, ice and snow acts as a protective mirror, reflecting a large percentage of the sun’s heat back into space and keeping the planet cool.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Their ability to reflect solar heat is one of many reasons why glaciers are crucially important in global climate regulation. As they melt and become thinner this function becomes less effective, greatly influencing rising temperatures upon Earth. This greatly exacerbates climatic instability worldwide.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Most glaciologists believe we are witnessing unprecedented changes to land and sea ice. The burning question is not if, but how fast, land and sea ice will disappear, and what we can do to mitigate and adapt to these changes.” (Prof Jonathan Bamber Director of the Bristol Glaciology Centre)[/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Yet this massive loss is not something that can be adapted to. Rises in temperature above 1o C (J Hansen) could lead to a global climate catastrophe. Therefore the accelerating retreat of mountain glaciers must be slowed down.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Protecting and restoring mountain region biodiversity globally is a fundamental part of the solution and remedy for this.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
READ MORE


Global Move to Preserve Mountain Regions

[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/3199653300_5bca01bda4_o.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Mountain regions could be considered as the ecological backbone of the world. This gives an idea of their immense significance worldwide and why it is of such great importance that they are reevaluated in the important roles that they play regarding the global fresh water cycle.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Mountains are the only environments that occur in all climatic zones of the earth – tropical, subtropical, temperate and Arctic.”    Download: Mountains of the World – Sustainable Development in Mountain areas, Mountain Agenda, 2002.PDF  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/mountain_agenda_2002_sustainable_development_in_mountain_areas.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

A global initiative to conserve freshwater and the ecosystems, which maintain the global water cycle, is desperately needed at this time. Humanity is standing at a crossroads; freshwater related problems and disasters are increasing. The present trend of unsustainable resource use and environmental degradation means that these disasters will become more and more devastating.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]There are situations occurring on the other side of the world that one could quite rationally ignore, however the breakdown of the global water cycle is not one of these.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Healthy mountain ecosystems are the foundation of healthy people, both in the mountains above and in the plains below. To save civilization, there is no greater urgency today than to regenerate and conserve our mountains. Their role in regulating our climate and water systems is fundamental to the sustenance of our life on this planet” (Dr Ashok Khosla, 2011, World Mountain Conference’, Lucerne)[/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Freshwater is an absolute necessity for everybody; we cannot allow the cycle that carries it around the Earth to be broken. The global community needs to prioritise stabilising and maintaining the global water cycle.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]The task to safeguard the global water cycle is not beyond possibility if concerted action is taken towards restoring and maintaining the natural ecosystems, which maintain and regulate it. Mountain ecosystems are of paramount importance in this.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Many ecosystems that are crucial for the water supply lack constituencies. As a result, they are often degraded by human activity. The link between the conservation of ecosystems and water needs to be better recognised    Download: Report of the WSSD,UN, 2002.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/un_2002_report_of_the_wssd.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]These mountain ecosystems play a major part in the replenishing of mountain snows and glaciers. Without them these will melt and possibly vanish worldwide within 30-50 years. Without these snows, life on Earth will become unbearably hot and the water cycle will cease to function effectively.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

The more of us who work together collectively with a common purpose focused on the restoration of mountain ecosystems and the eradication of poverty for mountain communities, the more chance there is of success. This is in the interest of all peoples as it concerns the security of the global hydrological cycle and fresh water security worldwide.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]This is a global crisis threatening all life worldwide. The time for action is now while we still can do something about it. The lives of all the children are hanging in the balance. Our choices make a difference.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
READ MORE


Mountains are the Water Towers of the World

[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/4930552641_fc861191bb_o.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]All major rivers and many of the world’s minor rivers originate in mountain regions. They store large quantities of fresh water in the form of ice and snow and in lakes, wetlands and reservoirs.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

The combination of high mountain snow peaks and glaciers along with the natural biodiversity of these regions makes them an irreplaceable part of the global water cycle. Resolution 62/196, which was adopted by the UNGA in 2007, referred to mountains as the source of most of the Earth’s freshwater.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Mountain areas constitute a relatively small proportion of river basins, yet they provide the greater part of the river flows downstream. These “water towers” are crucial to the welfare of human- kind. As demand increases, the potential for conflict over the use of mountain water grows. Careful management of mountain water resources must therefore become a global priority in a world moving towards a water crisis in the next century.”    Download: Mountains of the World: Water Towers for the 21st Century, Mountain Agenda, 1998.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/mountain_agenda_1998_mountains_of_the_world_water_towers_for_the_21st_century.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

However nowadays much of the crucial biodiversity of these regions has been removed, many glaciers and snow peaks are suffering from extensive loss of snow and ice and these changes are having devastating global repercussions.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Freshwater is essential for life. It is unthinkable that humanity can allow something so fundamental as the global water cycle to be irrevocably damaged without taking all possible steps to try to prevent this from occurring.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“The alpine and high-mountain areas of the world play an extremely important and distinctive role in the hydrological processes of the planet, and in the regional hydrology of all continents. It is in alpine regions where meteorological, glaciological, periglacial and hydrological phenomena have most intimate and complex interaction and variability on short space scales and short time scales, yet the results of these interactions have a profound effect on hydrological regions over much greater distances and longer time periods.”    Download: Hydrological aspects of Alpine and high mountain areas,Roots and Glen, ‘1982.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/roots_and_glen_1982_hydrological_aspects_of_alpine_and_high_mountain_areas.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Mountain regions can also be considered to be the ‘Roof of the World’. As the threat of a broken roof would threaten the whole house, damaged mountain ecosystems are threatening the survival of the entire world.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”12″ align=”left”]“Temperature and precipitation in the form of rainfall and snow largely determine the hydrological cycle, including runoff. Changes in these factors will thus impact freshwater supplies from mountain areas and have implications for water availability in the lowlands.”    Download: Water Towers in a Changing World, D.Viviroli et al, 2011.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/d_viviroli_et_al_2011_water_towers_in_a_changing_world.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Likewise the entire roof needs to be considered and the highest parts need to be prioritised and repaired first. The top regions such as the Himalayas and the Andes need to be given immediate attention to conserve lower regions such as the Alps and Rockies.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]We all generally understand the temporary crisis we would experience, if the water tanks in our homes were not operational. In this case however, we are talking about the water towers of Earth and the potential long-term global crisis that would occur if they should cease to function.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
READ MORE


Mountain Ecosystems Impact Upon the Whole World

[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/3203053563_7b6ab01cc3_o.jpg” crop=”false”]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none”]Unless we personally live in mountain regions, it is easy to view them simply as majestic yet distant features that are very removed from our day-to-day lives.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

However this view overlooks the fact that mountains are vital in regulating and maintaining the global water cycle, without which, we could not survive.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote font_family=”none” align=”left”]“Mountain areas are some of the most important regions in the world and are environmentally, culturally, and economically fragile.”   Download: Centre for International Environmental law, Mountain Laws And Peoples, 1997.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/centre-for-international-environmental-law-mountain-laws-and-peoples-1997.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

Mountain regions and the biodiversity within these regions, perform crucial functions in regulating global water and climate. They store fresh water in the form of ice and snow and in lakes, wetlands and reservoirs.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote font_family=”none” align=”left”]“There is a complex interrelationship existing between mountains and lowlands in terms of freshwater quantity and quality. They represent an essential component of the global life-support system and are essential to the survival of the global ecosystem,”    Download: UN ECOSOC, 1997, E/1998/68.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/un_ecosoc_1997_e199868.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none”]Most of the worlds’ rivers originate in mountains and without healthy functioning mountain ecosystems; these rivers would cease to flow.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Mountain-lakes.jpg” crop=”false”]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote font_family=”none” align=”left”]“Mountains and highlands are found on every continent, cover about a quarter of the Earth’s land surface and are home to 10% of the world’s people. Another 40% live in adjacent lower watershed areas; thus more than half the global population is directly or indirectly dependent on mountain resources and services, the foremost being water”    View: UNU contribution to the Agenda 21, Chapter 13: Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development,1992.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://archive.unu.edu/env/mountains/findings.html”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

It is the rich variety of mixed biodiversity that once abundantly covered these regions, which performs so many functions enabling freshwater to be both conserved and carried around the Earth.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none”]Unfortunately most of this mixed biodiversity from mountain regions has been removed worldwide. It now needs to be restored as a matter of utmost urgency.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote font_family=”none” align=”left”]“The degradation of mountain environments affects nearly half of the world’s population, including both highland and lowland communities, and poses a serious threat not only to the world’s water resources but also to biodiversity, food security and cultural diversity.”   View: FAO, Preparations under way for the International Year of Mountains, 2002.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.fao.org/3/a-x8820e/x8820e16.htm”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

The climate of Earth and the global water cycle are so closely interrelated that anything that impacts upon either one, naturally impacts upon the other.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none”]Mountain regions are a crucial key towards securing both freshwater security and climatic stability for all countries of the world. Thus the survival of virtually all life on Earth is utterly dependent upon the services that these regions provide.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote font_family=”none” align=”left”]“The importance of seasonally and permanently frozen land surfaces extends far beyond surface hydrologic processes, however. These areas also interact significantly with the global weather and climate system, the geosphere, and the biosphere.”   Download: USGCRP, A plan for a new science initiative on the global water cycle, chapter 2, 2001.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.hydro.washington.edu/pub/CE/HYDRO/WaterStudyGroup/CH2_0201.PDF”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

The Mountain regions of the world form an interdependent, integrated global system. They need to be regarded, as ‘Global Commons’ and their ecosystems need to be conserved and restored in an interrelated manner, on a global scale. Repairing or conserving one mountain range such as the Alps and ignoring the others will not prove to be an adequate solution.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote font_family=”none” align=”left”]“Forests are an integral part of mountain ecosystems and significantly contribute to their key characteristics as water towers of the earth”   Download: Hofer T and Zingaro Oierre Carlos, The Multiple Functions of forest in sustainable mountain development and the challenges of their management, 2002.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.fao.org/docrep/ARTICLE/WFC/XII/0810-B1.HTM”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none”]Mountains urgently need to be dealt with in an interconnected holistic manner, as does the global water cycle.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote font_family=”none” align=”left”]“The Global Water Cycle is an integral part of the Earth/ Climate system; water vapor constitutes the Earth’s most abundant and important greenhouse gas, and water is its most active solvent.”

View: USGCRP .Draft White Paper, chapter 7: The Global Water Cycle and its Role in Climate and Global Change, Strategic Plan for the Climate Change Science Program, November 2002. Pdf[/mk_blockquote]

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote font_family=”none” align=”left”]“Although mountains and uplands constitute about 20 per cent of the earth’s surface, it is difficult to find an area not affected by their environment. The most important influence is the hydrological cycle.”   Download: UNEP, The challenges of mountain environments: Water, natural resources, hazards, desertification and the implications of climate change, 2002.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/UNEP_Challenges_of_mountain_environments_2002.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none”]Healthy mountains with snows and glaciers are the key to sustained and adequate fresh water supplies and the continued evolution of all species.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote font_family=”none” align=”left”]“The cryosphere (consisting of snow, ice and frozen ground) on land stores about 75% of the world’s freshwater. In the climate system, the cryosphere and its changes are intricately linked to the surface energy budget, the water cycle and sea-level change. More than one-sixth of the world’s population lives in glacier or snowmelt-fed river basins(Stern, 2007).”   Download: Pan American Health Organization, Observed and projected changes in climate as they relate to water.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Pan_American_Health_Organization_Observed_and_projected_changes_in_climate_as_they_relate_to_water.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]

This is an example of what is presently happening and is a global situation, happening throughout the Himalayas, Andes, the Alps and mountain regions throughout the whole world. This glacial recession is bringing about climate changes and water shortages globally. All of our families and both present and future generations are threatened. Hence we should do what we can to fix the problems as adaptation to a world without glaciers or freshwater is impossible.

[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_blockquote font_family=”none” align=”left”]“Climate change would be a less immediate threat, if we had kept pace with commitments to sustainable development enunciated again and again over the years.”   Download: UN Millennium Development Goals Report New York 2008.pdf  [mk_font_icons icon=”moon-file-pdf” size=”small” padding_horizental=”4″ padding_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/un_millennium_development_goal_report_2008.pdf”][/mk_blockquote]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_fancy_title color=”#393836″ size=”24″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none”]Already too many people are suffering and their fate and ours is interwoven. Effective action needs to be taken now.[/mk_fancy_title]
[mk_padding_divider size=”30″]
[mk_image src=”http://www.activeremedy.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/water_crisis.jpg” crop=”false”]
READ MORE