Welcome to the Utah International Mountain Forum

International Mountain Day Celebration 2010

International Mountain Day 2010
(December 10, 2011)

Mountain regions are inhabited by 10% of the world’s population, and over half of the world’s population relies on the resources that these regions have to offer. These regions cover one quarter of the world’s surface. These fragile and ever changing ecological systems provide large quantities of water, forestry, agriculture, rich biological diversity, great areas of recreation, tourism and social and cultural heritage. Mountain regions contribute significantly to the world economy on many scales. At the same time, life in the mountains is quite challenging in comparison to the living conditions of non-mountain regions. High altitude, remoteness, and lack of developed infrastructure create a difficult environment for mountain communities. Because of this, in many parts of the world covered by mountains one can see a breeding ground for poverty, unemployment, terrorism and other undesirable factors.

The UN General Assembly assigned the year 2002 to be the year of the mountains. The intention of the assembly was to raise awareness of the mountain communities of the world and the unique challenges they face. The assembly hoped to highlight not only the ecological and economical importance of the mountain areas but also to educate governments and peoples that preservation of these areas is essential, not only to mountain regions but lowland regions as well.

The goal of having the year of the mountains was to focus expertise to mountain communities and effectively foster sustainable mountain development. The year was such a success that the United Nations named the 11 of December of every following year to be International Mountain Day.

Dr. Rusty Butler, Associate Vice-President, International Affairs and Diplomacy ( L )
 and state representative Chris Herrod ( R ) during the event

This past December 11 was highlighted by a celebration in Utah at Utah Valley University (UVU) for the first time in the history of UVU with groups from many regions around the globe and sharing portions of their culture. There were a variety of presentations from faculty members, like Dr. David Wilson, who focuses on Native Americans issues at UVU and Dr. David Connelly, political Science coordinator at History and Political Science Department of UVU.


Culture and hoop dancing from Native Americans of the Navajo Tribe
 during the celebration of International Mountain Day 2010.

Songs from Andes are performed by Ale Gossen, student of UVU ( L ) and
UVU student and Miss United Nations Nilofar from Tajikistan organized
a fashion show representing different mountain areas of the world ( R ).

There were also many prevalent members of the community involved including state representative Chris Herrod. The efforts of Dr. Rusty Butler from International Affairs and Diplomacy also greatly contributed to the success of the event.

Jesse Gray, Student at UVU