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Let’s celebrate International Mountain Day!

Breathtaking views, mighty glaciers and stunning nature. In recent years, tourists have flocked the world’s mountains enjoying their beauty, but also leaving behind piles of trash. This year’s International Mountain Day on December 11th focuses on sustainable mountain tourism, shedding light on the importance of these unique ecosystems and calling for urgent action for clean mountains.

A recent survey, conducted by GRID-Arendal, UNEP, BRS and partners among more than 1,750 respondents from 74 countries, found that two-thirds of the mountaineers spotted waste most or every time they were in the mountains. Plastic is the most common type of waste encountered at altitudes.

In line with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, we need to rethink our relationship with nature and act together to create more sustainable tourism in mountains to prevent, halt and reverse their degradation and preserve them for future generations.

On the occasion of International Mountain Day, Nepalese mountaineer Nirmal Purja has been appointed as new UNEP Mountain Advocate, helping to increase awareness for the need to protect and restore mountain ecosystems, with a special focus on tackling the waste and pollution crisis.

The International Olympic Committee, working with UNEP and mountain sports federations, has released "10 steps to be a Mountain Hero" – a practical guide on how mountain visitors can reduce their environmental footprint while being in mountains for sports and recreational activities.

Read the full story on the UNEP website: With litter piling up, mountain tourism reaches a crossroad

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