Today is International Mountain Day (IMD), the annual day designated by the UN for countries around the world to organise events highlighting the importance of mountains. This year concentrates on sustainable mountain development.
Mountains cover approximately 27% of the Earth's surface and are home to 12% of its people - many of them among the world's poorest. Billions more lowland residents rely on mountains too, for about 70% of our fresh water.
'In particular, mountains provide fresh water, energy and food' explain the UN, 'resources that will be increasingly scarce in coming decades. However, mountains also have a high incidence of poverty and are extremely vulnerable to climate change, deforestation, land degradation and natural disasters.'
They also look pretty.
This year, according to the UN, the theme for IMD is "Mountains - Key to a Sustainable Future". The focus is on celebrating how mountains are crucial in moving the world towards sustainable economic growth and to identify new ways to help eradicate poverty without contributing to the degradation of fragile mountain ecosystems.
'Commitment and will to advance this cause were strengthened during the International Year of Mountains in 2002' say the UN, 'and mountains have gained an increasingly high profile on agendas at all levels.'
The Year of Mountains led to the adoption of resolution 57/245, in which the UN General Assembly designated 11 December as International Mountain Day. In previous years the day has centred on other issues including mountain forests, minorities and indigenous people, and climate change in the mountains.
Events being held around the world this year include exhibitions, competitions, festivals and meetings. It doesn't look like there's anything going on in the UK - though we stand to be corrected.