Dominica joins the rest of the world in observing International Mountain Day, today, December 11 and the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division and Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) have issued statements in recognition of the occasion.
Every December 11th, the United Nations (UN) raises awareness about the importance of mountains and focuses on the opportunities and on the development of mountains. This day also educates people in understanding the role of mountains in the environment and its impact on life.
The theme of International Mountain Day 2019 is “Mountains matter for Youth”. The theme focuses on the youth so that they can come forward as active agents of change and as future leaders of tomorrow. It is necessary to educate children and people that mountains provide fresh water, clean energy, food, and recreation.
Mountains are home of the 15% of the world´s population and a quarter of the world’s land animals and plants. They provide fresh water for everyday life to half of humanity. Their conservation is a key factor for sustainable development.
Unfortunately, mountains are under threat from climate change and overexploitation. As the global climate continues to warm, mountain people — some of the world’s poorest — face even greater struggles to survive. The rising temperatures also mean that mountain glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates, affecting freshwater supplies downstream for millions of people.
This problem affects us all. We must reduce our carbon footprint and take care of these natural treasures.
Meanwhile, Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) has released the following statement in observation of International Mountain Day:
International Mountain Day is an opportunity to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build partnerships that will bring positive change to the world’s mountains and highlands.
Mountains are crucial to life. Whether we live at sea level or the highest elevations, we are connected to mountains and affected by them in more ways than we can imagine. Mountain biodiversity plays a key role in the support of global environmental, economic, social and cultural sectors through connections to a rich variety of plants and animals, air pollution, climate change, mining, hydropower, tourism, forests, and agriculture. Therefore, the challenge is to sustainably manage mountain regions to avoid degradation and avoid subsequent increases in poverty and hunger.
Our indigenous people, The Kalinago, named the island Waitukubuli, meaning “Tall is Her Body”. Dominica’s mountains soar to nearly 5,000 feet, their slopes thickly forested and beautifully crowned with rainforest and elfin woodland. Our volcanic mountains have enabled us to offer very valuable products which help boost our tourism industry. Our bubbling hot springs which have given rise to numerous sulphur spring baths, in the calm surroundings of the rainforest, offer relaxing and therapeutic experiences. The Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts of the second-largest boiling lake as well as freshwater lakes, cool rivers and spectacular waterfalls.
This year the day will be celebrated under the theme ‘Mountains Matter for Youth’. As noted by the United Nation, “International Mountain Day is a chance to highlight that, for rural youth, living in the mountains can be hard. Migration from the mountains leads to abandoned agriculture, land degradation and a loss of ancient cultural traditions. Education and training, market access, diverse employment
opportunities and good public services can ensure a brighter future for young people in the mountains. This year, youth will take the lead and demand that mountains and mountain peoples become central in the national and international development agendas; receive more attention, investments and tailored research.”