December 11th

International Mountain Day -

Updated on by

International Mountain Day is an event celebrated every year on the 11th of December. The day is meant to draw attention to the essential role mountains play in supplying critical resources like water, food, and energy. It highlights the importance of preserving these areas for the sake of sustainable growth.

This day also brings to the forefront the distinctive difficulties experienced by mountain communities around the world, from the impacts of climate change to economic challenges.

History of International Mountain Day

International Mountain Day was first introduced in 1992 when the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) adopted Chapter 13 of Agenda 21 titled “Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development”. This chapter proposed the establishment of a global program to manage mountain ecosystems and address the social and economic issues affecting mountain communities.

However, the official declaration for the day came much later when in 2002, the UN General Assembly declared it as the United Nations International Year of Mountains. This proclamation underscored the immediate need to safeguard mountain environments and uplift the life quality of mountain communities.

Building on the success of the International Year of Mountains, the UN declared December 11th as International Mountain Day. First observed on December 11, 2003, the main aim of this day is to raise awareness about the vital role mountains play in sustaining life as well as the opportunities and challenges in mountain development. It also encourages global alliances to bring about positive changes in mountainous regions.

Every year, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) coordinates the observance of International Mountain Day in cooperation with governments, non-governmental organizations, and local communities. The day is usually centered around a specific theme, with various educational events and activities conducted worldwide. These events stress the significance of mountains and the importance of their sustainable development for future generations.

International Mountain Day Timeline

Chapter 13 of Agenda 21

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) an agenda titled "Managing Fragile Ecosystems: Sustainable Mountain Development".

International Year of Mountains

The UN General Assembly declared 2003 as the United Nations International Year of Mountains.

Establishment of International Mountain Day

The United Nations General Assembly designated 11 December 'International Mountain Day'.

International Mountain Day Celebration

The day was celebrated for the first time in 2004 with the theme 'Mountains - sources of freshwater'.

Mountain peoples and climate change

Highlighting the risks that climate change brings to mountain populations.

Theme: Sustainable Mountain Tourism

Discussing the potential of sustainable mountain tourism in promoting local economies, conserving mountain ecosystems and cultures.

Ideas to Celebrate International Mountain Day

1 faq icon

Mountain Climbing Adventure

Organize a mountain climbing trip with friends or join a local club. Include a clean-up exercise to make the event both fun and environmentally beneficial

2 faq icon

Virtual Mountain Tour

Consider a virtual tour to some of the most famous mountains around the world. This can be done through VR technology or simply watching documentaries.

3 faq icon

Educational Webinar

Host or attend a webinar featuring experts talking about various topics related to mountains, such as geology, preservation, wildlife, and mountaineering history.

4 faq icon

Nature Photography Competition

Organize or participate in a mountain-themed photography competition, showcasing the beauty, diversity, and grandeur of Oour mountains.

5 faq icon

Mountain Movie Night

Host a movie night showing films and documentaries related to mountains. It could be a great way to learn, be amazed and appreciate the beauty of the mountains.

8 Interesting Facts About Mountains


Home of the World's Tallest Peak

The planet's highest mountain, Mount Everest, stands at a colossal height of 29,029 feet above sea level. It is part of the Himalayan range in Asia and straddles the border of Nepal and Tibet.


Mountains Cover a Huge Part of Earth

Mountains cover around 22% of the Earth's total land surface. That's nearly one-quarter of our planet's surface.


Mountains Are Biodiversity Hotspots

Mountains are home to numerous species of fascinating plants and animals. Many species live only in specific types of mountains, making them important biodiversity hotspots.


Mountain Climates Vary Greatly

The climate of mountains can drastically change based on their height. The temperature can drop around 6.5 degrees Celsius every 1000m you climb.


Underwater Mountains

Not all mountains are on land. There are many underwater mountain ranges, the largest of which is the Mid-Atlantic Ridge which runs down the center of the Atlantic Ocean.


Mountains in Space

The tallest known mountain in our solar system is Olympus Mons on Mars, standing at a whopping 69,841 feet tall, more than twice the height of Mount Everest.


Youngest Mountain Range

The youngest mountain range on Earth is the Himalayas, which were formed 'only' 25 million years ago when the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates collided.


Mountains as Water Towers

Mountains provide 60-80% of the world’s fresh water. They are often referred to as the world’s 'water towers'.

International Mountain Day FAQs

Next International Mountain Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 December 11th Monday
2024 December 11th Wednesday
2025 December 11th Thursday
2026 December 11th Friday
2027 December 11th Saturday
What is the pattern? Every December 11th

International Mountain Day Word Search

  • Mountain
  • Altitude
  • Summit
  • Ecosystem
  • Climbing
  • Peaks