Mountains provide vital resources to a significant proportion of the global population, particularly as the ‘water towers’ of the world, and as a result of their high biological diversity at genetic, species and ecosystem levels.

A quarter of world’s forests are in mountain areas. These forests typically have high biodiversity, and provide many goods and services for people both in the mountains and the lowlands, often far away. Mountain forests are important as sources of wood, as well as other products such as medical herbs.