During the 1990s, mountains received increasing attention on global agendas, starting with the inclusion of Chapter 13 – “Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development” – in Agenda 21, and moving towards the International Year of Mountains 2002. The global mportance of mountains can be summarized in three statistics:– they cover nearly a quarter of the Earth’s land surface;
– they are home to about a tenth of the global population;
– they provide goods and services to at least half of humankind.Of the world’s forests, about a quarter are in mountain regions, as shown on the map that accompanies this document. Mountain forests play many key roles, contributing greatly to the value that mountains have for the global population.