Exhibition 'Climate change impacts on mountain regions of the world'


With the generous support of the Government of Flanders (Belgium), the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB) and the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) developed an exhibition that features satellite images of different mountain regions worldwide, many of which are UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage sites.

Occupying 24% of the Earth’s surface, mountains and their adjacent valleys are home to 1.2 billion people. The importance of mountains as a source of freshwater justifies their reputation as ‘water towers’ of the world. They provide numerous and diverse sources of ecosystem services, with water supply one of the most critical. About 40% of the world population depends indirectly on mountain resources for water supply, agriculture, hydroelectricity and biodiversity.

Mountains are among the most sensitive ecosystems to climate change and are being affected at a faster rate than other terrestrial habitats. Climate impacts form an important threat to mountain ecosystem services and the populations depending on them, and have considerable effects on water resources. Many glaciers are retreating under the influence of rising temperatures, making them key indicators of climate change.

Using satellite images, mainly from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the exhibition ”Climate change impacts on mountains of the world” highlights the critical functions of mountains, and the implications of climate change for mountain ecosystems, water resources and livelihoods.

The exhibition was first displayed on the exterior fences of UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, France during the 37th session of UNESCO's General Conference (November 2014) and will be shown in the Cusipata Square in Cusco, Peru from 19 to 25 May 2014 as an activity of the World Mountain Forum 2014.

This exhibition was developed as a contribution to the International Year of Water Cooperation (2013) and was created with the support of the following partners: The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), The European Space Agency (ESA), The United States Geological Survey (USGS) and Planet Action.

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