Happy International Mountain Day!

Switzerland wouldn’t exist without mountains. Literally.

Which means the Swiss wouldn’t either. We Swiss are a lot of things, but the way we eat, sleep, enjoy recreation and think owes loads to the mountains.

But wherever you live, mountains are essential for providing fresh water, clean energy, food and recreation. And they need the youth of today, and the leaders of tomorrow, to help preserve them. That’s why the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has themed International Mountain Day 2019: “Mountains Matter for Youth”.

It’s to highlight the importance of preserving not just mountains as geological formations, but mountain cultures around the world, which are threatened by mass migration to lowlands areas.

By raising awareness about the need for investment in education and public services, and increasing access to markets for mountain products, we can all work together to help the mountain communities both carry on their traditions and prosper in the hands of the next generation of leaders.

So whether your nearest peaks are the Alps or the Andes, the Rockies or the Urals, spread the word that mountains matter for youth. And get out, go for a hike and appreciate them. The mountains, and the youth of tomorrow, will thank you.

United Nations