Did you ever thought about the importance of mountains?
They cover a lot of the worlds surface, around 22 percent, and almost one billion people live in mountain areas.
But that is not all mountains can offer, even when you do not live in the mountains, they are really important for everyone, for example because of the water or the food. 60-80 percent of the world's freshwater is provided by mountains and a lot of important food crops originate in mountains, among them potatoes, maize, apples or tomatoes.
Another factor is the tourism, mountains attrack 15-20 percent of global tourism. A lot of peolpe like the mountains because of the opportunety to do many different things, for example climbing, hiking or wintersports.
The biodiversity has also to be mentioned as one really important factor of mountains, half of the world's biodiversity hotspots are concentrated in mountains and they host 28 percent of earth's forests.
As you can see, mountains play a big role in the everyday life of nearly everyone, even when you can't see it at first glance. More than half of the human population depends on mountains for water, food and clean energy.
So far so good, but mountains are under the threat from climat change. They are one of the earliest indicators of climat change, for example when mountain glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates because of the rising temperatures, as how it is happening at the moment. The consequences of this problem are really big, for example when the melting glaciers affecting freshwater supplies downstream for millions of people.
A lot of people never think about the impact of mountains, even though they are mentioned in the 2030 Agenda, they are still often forgotten, and that is something we have to change!
We all, politicians and everyone else, have to keep the importance of mountains and the environment in general in our mind, because we have just this one world.
To end this article: #MountainMatter. For water, food, environment, biodiversity and many other things. Not only for mountain communities but also for the rest of the world. Keep that in your mind. And not to forget: enjoy the nature and the mountains as often as you have the chance to!