Mountains are “Europe’s ecological backbone”
Mountains: an asset for the benefit of all Europe
People who go on holidays in mountain areas will not contradict this statement: environment is a strong asset of those regions. The forests, the landscapes, the purity of air and water, the rich biodiversity of those areas do not only benefit mountains’ dwellers, but also Europe in its entirety. For instance, we talk about mountains as being “Europe’s water towers” because the precipitations on their summits flow downstream to provide water to the populations, for irrigation and industrial uses. The European Environment Agency is threrefore right to talk about mountains as being ”Europe’s ecological backbone”.
A fragile asset
The characteristics of climate and relief of mountains explain why they have specific ecosystems. Those are often fragile and threatened in particular by human changes of activity (e.g. changes of land use) and by climate change. In fact, mountain areas are recognised as being amongst the most vulnerables areas sensitive to climate change (COM 2007-354): fast rising temperatures, massive melting of glaciers, changes of precipitation levels and of water courses, evolution of vegetation lines, etc.
Mountain people and the European population in general must act in favour of the preservation of environment in mountain areas.
Follow –up of activities at EU level. Euromontana closely follows and informs its members about the European policy regarding environment.
- Article on the opportunities for the mountains under LIFE 2014-2017 program
- Green paper – “Adapting to climate change in Europe – Options for EU action” COM 2007-354
More information: see all the articles in the thematic news section (for members only)
- Launch of the report of the European Environment Agency: Europe’s ecological backbone: recognising the true value of our mountains
7th European Mountain Convention, 15-17 September 2010, Lillehammer, Norway
More information on the 7th European Mountain Convention
- Horizon 2020, 2015-2018: PEGASUS, Public Ecosystem Goods And Services from land management – Unlocking the Synergies.
- See the studies realised in the framework of the call for project linked to the French law on the development and attractiveness of rural territories (LDTR projects)