December 11th is International Mountain Day
The theme for 2013? “Mountains: Key to a Sustainable Future”
Covering around 27 percent of the earth’s land surface, mountains play a critical role in moving the world towards sustainable economic growth. They not only provide sustenance and wellbeing to 720 million mountain people around the world, but indirectly benefit billions more living downstream.
In particular, mountains provide freshwater, energy and food – resources that will be increasingly scarce in coming decades. However, mountains also have a high incidence of poverty and are extremely vulnerable to climate change, deforestation, land degradation and natural disasters.
The challenge is to identify new and sustainable opportunities that can bring benefits to both highland and lowland communities and help to eradicate poverty without contributing to the degradation of fragile mountain ecosystems .
Commitment and will to advance this cause were strengthened during the International Year of Mountains in 2002, and mountains have gained an increasingly high profile on agendas at all levels.
The Year also led to the adoption of resolution 57/245, in which the General Assembly designated 11 December as International Mountain Day, and encouraged the international community to organize events at all levels on that day to highlight the importance of sustainable mountain development. Content ©un.org link here
In the words of Marino Giacometti, president of the ISF, “today the World celebrates the International Mountain Day, but we all know that everyday must be the day of the mountains, the wonderful arena for our sport that we love and respect.”
It is a pleasure for me to go back to one day last in August on the Matterhorn, the place of the first skyrunning competitions and of the first World Championship in 1998. That day, August 21, 2013 Kilian Jornet united 20 years of our history by challenging the mythical record for the ascent and descent of Matterhorn established by Bruno Brunod in 1995 with the time of 3.14.44. With an extraordinary time of 2.52.02 Kilian celebrated the mountain and to our first skyrunning world championship title.
On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow.