COP28: FAO marks International Mountain Day 2023 with focus on restoring ecosystems

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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today marked International Mountain Day 2023 with a high-level meeting at the UN Climate Conference COP28 in Dubai and the launch of a report that offers recommendations and uplifting examples of successful mountain ecosystems’ restoration projects.

International Mountain Day 2023 underscores the huge relevance of mountain ecosystems for the entire planet. This year’s theme, “Restoring mountain ecosystems,” calls for nature-positive solutions, best practices and investments that build resilience of ecosystems and livelihoods, reduce vulnerability and increase the ability of mountains and their people to adapt to daily threats and extreme climatic events.

With mountains covering around 27 percent of the Earth’s land surface, this year’s celebration comes amid signs of the growing recognition of mountains in global discussions relating to the climate crisis. A forum on the role of mountains within the context of the Nairobi Work Programme was held on 2 December at COP28, while key countries have now joined forces to push for the Dubai conference to hold a political and technical dialogue on mountains and climate change during its plenary sessions for the first time.

Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly has proclaimed 2023 to 2027 as the Five Years of Action for the Development of Mountain Regions. Activities planned for the period are designed to enhance the international community’s awareness of issues affecting mountain countries and to drive effective change aimed at addressing their challenges.

The high-level event at the FAO pavilion in Dubai was addressed by the Director-General of FAO, QU Dongyu, who highlighted how healthy mountains can protect and help us adapt to the impacts of climate change.