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International Mountain Day:
11 December

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Mountains are magnificent.

We know that. And I’m sure you do too. Since 2002, the UN has been trying to make many more people realise how great the rugged rocks, high peaks and gentle slopes are. That’s when it launched the “International Mountain Day”. It is always celebrated on 11 December.

Why is there a World Mountain Day?

Mountains are not only insanely super to climb or to hurtle down their flanks into the valley. They are an important livelihood for people and are a diverse ecosystem that provides a home for numerous plants and animals as a habitat. World Mountain Day aims to draw the public’s attention to the special importance of mountain areas for life on earth.

The Alpine region alone covers almost 200,000 square kilometres. It encompasses eight countries and is home to around 15 million people. It is home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. However, the Alps face numerous challenges that need to be overcome in the near future.

How can you protect the mountains?

Do you love the mountains as much as we do? Then you probably also want to protect this special living and recreational space. With a few tips, you can contribute a lot yourself:

  • Take your rubbish back to the valley. Even if it is an apple core or a banana peel. The climate is different in the mountains, so it can often take a long time for these things to rot. Handkerchiefs have just as little place in nature as cans, cigarette butts or plastic waste.
  • Take other people’s rubbish back to the valley. Be a shining example and take with you what others have lost. Or have deliberately left lying around.
  • Stay on marked trails. In winter on the slopes, in the warmer months on the hiking and mountain bike trails. You allow the animals their rest and help to preserve nature.
  • Many plants are protected. Picking, damaging or digging them up is not only forbidden, but also quite nasty.
  • Leave the animals alone. No matter how tempting it is to take a selfie with a bear or a chamois … This also includes not making unnecessary noise.
  • Be respectful towards your fellow human beings. Say hello, give way to those who are going faster and don’t endanger anyone.

How do you celebrate International Mountain Day?

To celebrate this special day, special events are held around 11 December in mountain destinations around the world. There are usually readings, walks, poetry slams and numerous other events from the arts and culture sector. The motto changes every year. In 2022, the motto of the International Mountain Day is “Women Move Mountains”. A special event is the “Reading Mountains” festival.

The cultural initiative of the Alpine Convention takes place throughout the Alps. This year, for the first time, even across continents. On 5 December, for example, there was an event in Kathmandu, Nepal, under the motto “Alps meet the Hindu Kush Himalaya”. In total, more than 80 events take place around International Mountain Day.

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