As population grows and water becomes evermore scarce, the ecological protection of mountains becomes evermore vital. There are calls for a new awareness by the people of the plains of their debt to the mountains and their inhabitants.<br /> <br /> Planet Earth is able to distinguish itself as the living planet because of the existence of water on its surface. But easily accessible freshwater is limited to the lakes, streams and rivers. It accounts for about 90,000 km3 or only 0.26% of the total global freshwater reserves on earth, much of which are locked up in the polar ice fields. Even this amount cannot all be used up exclusively for satisfying human demands, because of the requirements for ecosystems conservation. Thus, the blue planet does not have an abundant stock of fresh water for humanity to keep consuming in the traditional wasteful pattern.