International Mountain Day 2016

This year's theme is Mountain Cultures: celebrating diversity and strengthening identity. 2015 theme is "Promoting Mountain Products", 2014 theme is "Mountain Farming ".

The United Nations General Assembly has announced 11 December as the “International Mountain Day”. It is celebrated every year with a different theme coherent to consistent mountain development.

International Mountain Day extends us with an opportunity to join along with our friends and peers from the Hindu Kush-Himalayas and the entire world to increase awareness about the significance of mountains and to establish partnerships that will enable bring positive surge in the world of mountains.

How it is celebrated?

Different activities are conducted on International Mountain Day. These aim to enhance awareness and knowledge about the contribution of mountains and mountainous regions amongst the public at large and other professionals. A few examples of events are: Symposia, book fairs, themed lectures for students; workshops and press releases. Mountaineering and explorations organizations may conduct lectures and seminars on or around December 11.


With the goal to inculcate awareness and trigger action on issues relating to consistent mountain development in 2002 The International Year of Mountains was observed. It was headed by Food and Agriculture Organization. At the headquarters of UN “The International Year of Mountains” was launched in NY on 11th December 2001.

International Mountain Day extends us with an opportunity to join along with our friends and peers from the Hindu Kush-Himalayas and the entire world to increase awareness about the significance of mountains and to establish partnerships that will enable bring positive surge in the world of mountains.


The International Mountain Day is observed with a view to encourage global community to conduct events to bring in limelight the significance of sustainable mountain development on this particular date. Its maiden observance was witnessed on December 11, 2003.

International Mountain Day, 2009 aimed to increase awareness about the high statistics of natural hazards in mountain areas and the high vulnerability of communities living in mountain areas. It also drew the attention to consistent agricultural, forestry and pasture practices which is the key components of risk reduction along with the need to increase combine strategies and policies of national level.


The symbol of this day comprised of three equal sided triangles, each one having two separate points on a single horizontal line and one point indicated upwards. The triangles are basically black and represent mountains. The triangle placed on the left carries a blue "diamond" shape at the top, displaying snow at the peak of a mountain. The middle triangle contains an orange circle at the center, highlighting resources that are extracted from the earth of mountains. The triangle on the right showcases a small green triangle at the lower right hand bottom.


This manifests the vegetations that mountains give us. Beneath the three triangles a black stripe is displayed having written "11 December" and the words "International Mountain Day" in two colors of United Nations'. This symbol is inspired by the symbol for the International Year of Mountains.


This year‘s World International Mountain Day” theme is ‘Promoting Mountain Products’ that targets to raise awareness regarding the enhancing number of natural disasters in mountain landscape and the accelerating vulnerability of mountain people to disasters. It attracts the attention of governments to the need to establish climate change adaptation policies that simmer down the risks of hazards in mountain landscape.

Spine Chilling Threats:

Many hilly communities in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region survive under the threat of avalanches, landslides, earthquakes and floods. The regional member nations of ICIMOD are amongst the most vulnerable nations on the planet prone to natural calamities, specifically those caused by climate and weather, and these often results in disasters jeopardizing socio-economic progress of the counties.

Brutal Facts:

More than 2000 lives, approximately, are sacrificed in the region because of different types of natural disasters. These mishaps are specifically envisioned in the HKH where melting of glaciers is the most unprecedented happening which is leading to eroding of habitats and ecosystem services. Globalization and changing climate will have a severe impact on the firmness of our vulnerable mountain ecosystems and the bread and butter of mountain communities.

Devastating Effects:

Changing rainfall paradigm and melting glaciers are creating new vulnerabilities with mounting susceptibility of floods and droughts that stretch beyond national fences. While mountain communities are particularly prone to such threats, these changes are going to impact the entire river basins around the whole province. The need has arisen to establish resilient communities in the mountains to reduce vulnerabilities not only of the mountain individual but also in the plains.

Corrective Measures:

Across the world, equilibrium of structural and nonstructural measures needs to be maintained to combat this disaster. Beforehand warning systems, hazard mapping, building awareness and development of capabilities for enhanced preparedness are immediate steps that are the need of the hour.

What is ICIMOD

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development is a local knowledge development and learning institute comprising of eight regional member nations of the HKH. These countries are Afghanistan, China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan Kathmandu, India, and Bangladesh.

Objectives of ICIMOD

ICIMOD aims to enable mountain communities to accept and understand these changes, adapt to it, and make the optimum utilization of new opportunities, while facing these disasters.

Strategic Framework

Three key concerned areas are environmental services, water, and livelihoods. These areas need to be transformed into virtual action areas and optimize the utilization of finance, human, and institutional resources. The approach should be Trans-disciplinary design, problem analysis, implementation, and monitoring of the programs. ICIMOD aimed at helping the people of the concerned region and at conceptualizing pivotal ecological services for the millions of people living downstream.

Developing Solid Ecosystem:

ICIMOD is committed to develop an eco-environmentally strong mountain ecosystem to develop the quality of living of the mountain communities and to retain important ecosystem services – now, and for the future as well. ICIMOD has opted to emphasize basically on disasters pertaining to adverse weather and climate mood.

International Mountain Day Activities

In order to address the threat mountain communities are facing and complement their desire to better know the nature of disaster, ICIMOD has earmarked an array of activities to be conducted as part of “Disaster risk reduction and community resilience”. These activities includes evaluation of vulnerability of people and developing  resilience to multi-hazards; appraising the repercussions of climate change on natural hazards, ecosystems, and human metabolism; and providing a platform for imparting and sharing knowledge and expertise within disaster risk management.

Implementing Risk Reduction Measures:

ICIMOD is dedicated to assist mountain community in implementing developed disaster risk management at national and state levels addressing upstream-downstream lineage for safeguarding lives and livelihoods. This can be achieved through implementation of transnational boundary activities in coordination with regional partner organizations, expanding the application of satellite based tools and technologies for disaster risk management, enhancing networking, exchanging experience, and acting as a regional knowledge centre.


Institutional consolidation and potential building of our supporting institutions is extremely imperative to contribute to potential disaster risk management. By working hand in hand with national and international counterparts, and by mutually bifurcating different roles and liabilities among us, we can become strength and can achieve ICIMOD’s new vision of a safer and better prepared region to face natural disasters.

International Days