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Mountains act as a vital component of the global water cycle as their run-off feeds most of the world’s rivers. More than half of humanity depends on mountains for their water supply. 10 per cent of people live in mountainous regions.
Undisturbed mountain biological diversity is high because of the range of climatic conditions and altitudes occurring over small areas. This diversity adds to the strength of mountain ecosystems. When vegetation is intact, the impacts of events such as landslides and floods are minimised.
Removal of forest cover leads to soil and slope instability, which can increase the effects of flooding and remove soil vital for wildlife and human livelihoods.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) recognises the importance of mountains for the stability of ecosystems at lower altitudes. We’re working to save the biodiversity of the mountainous Central Asian nation of Tajikistan, which has lost 90 per cent of its forests in the past 100 years.