Head for the mountains: Three stories you should read

Mountains are nature’s oldest temple. (© Conservation International/photo by Edgardo Ochoa)

Mountains can see the way that humans are treating the Earth – and they’re not happy.

Humans used to climb mountain peaks to seek enlightenment, but now they only take what they want.

Mountains provide the water that people drink from their streams, and the wood that people use from their forests. In this Nature is Speaking video, Lee Pace, an Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominated actor, gives voice to the mountains.

Watch the video here.

On International Mountain Day, here are some stories about Conservation International’s (CI) work with mountains and communities that rely on them.

  1. 5 things you might not know about mountains and climate change

The health of the world’s mountains is not set in stone. As the climate changes, mountains are changing, and their contributions to the health of the planet — and to human well-being — could shift in ways we cannot predict.

While much attention is focused on protecting forests, wetlands and coral reefs, mountains are sometimes taken for granted — yet climate change could crumble their ability to support life as we know it.

Read more here

  1. Cambodia makes bold move to protect its vanishing forests

The primary watershed for one-third of Cambodia, the Cardamom Mountains are home to the country’s first protected area, the Central Cardamom Protected Forest (CCPF), which CI helped the government establish in 2002.

The new declaration protects an additional 443,000 hectares (1.1 million acres) of forest in the south of the mountain range, more than doubling the size of the conserved area and connecting the ridge of the Cardamoms to coastal mangroves. This is potentially beneficial for the 54 threatened species in the area, particularly Asian elephants that depend on unfragmented habitat for survival.

Read more here

  1. New Discoveries in Indonesia’s Foja Mountains

I will never forget my three visits to the Foja Mountains for many reasons, but mainly for their aura of isolation and the various adventures we had in actually getting into the Fojas.

I had never seen such concentrations of wildlife on New Guinea before. I suppose this is what wild lands are like when they are entirely unvisited and undisturbed.

To be able to return to this marvelous and pristine corner of the Pacific is a dream come true for field naturalists. After our 2005 visit, we knew there were more new species lurking in those mountain forests. Now that we can show how many unique forms live only there, it is easier for us to make the case that the world needs to take note and make absolutely certain that these superb forests are conserved for the well-being of the local forest peoples as well as the world at large.

Read more here

Morgan Lynch is a staff writer for CI.

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