International Mountain Day 2012



Have you every imagined the Austrian Alps without skiing? Or even thought about that water resources here could decline in the next decades? Mountain areas play a fundamental role in our lives. Nevertheless, we have exposed mountain regions, and the natural and cultural resources they harbour, to a high level of risk. Examples of this are evident across the world both in empirical facts and theoretical models. However, simple day-to-day happenings sometimes impact us at a higher level. Last September in Salzburg the cross on the summit of Großvenediger was close to stop symbolizing the peak. It had to be removed due to the high temperatures during last summer that thawed the permafrost.


The organization of the event has been facilitated by UNEP Vienna - ISCC and UNIS Vienna in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water of Austria, the Austrian Development Cooperation, BOKU University, Environment Agency Austria (UBA),  the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention, the European Academy Bolzano (EURAC) and further supported by the projects "CARPATCLIM" and "CARPIVIA".

It marked the contribution to the International Mountain Day in Austria (11 December as designated by the UN GA) and was already the second edition of this celebration following the successful event "Why we care about mountains" organized in December 2011.

The International Mountain Day provides an opportunity to create awareness about mountains, their importance to the global community, and to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development. "Mountains" have been successfully included in the Rio+20 outcome document "The Future We Want".

Speakers included:

Harald Egerer - Coordinator - Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention, Head - UNEP Vienna Office
Janos Tisovszky – Director, United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna (Moderation)
Elfriede Anna More - Member of the Austrian Delegation to the Climate Change Conference in Doha (UNFCCC COP18)
Prof. Helga Kromp-Kolb - well-known expert on climate and climate change
Markus Leitner - expert on mountains and climate change, Environment Agency Austria (Umweltbundesamt)
Elisabeth Sötz - expert on environment and natural resources, Austrian Development Agency
Sándor Szalai - expert on climate change and adaption in the Carpathians
Paribesh Pradhan - presenting experiences from Hindu-Kush Himalayas


  • Climate Change and Mountains: Prof. Kromp-Kolb (pdf_part1)
  • Climate Change and Mountains: Prof. Kromp-Kolb (pdf_part2)
  • Climate change and the need for adaptation: Markus Leitner (pdf)
  • Austrian Development Cooperation and Sustainable Mountain Development: Elisabeth Sötz (pdf)
  • Climate Change Adaptation in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: Paribesh Pradhan (pdf)
  • Climate change and adaptation in the Carpathians: Sandor Szalai (pdf)

Impressions (credits UNIS Vienna):

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