Launch of 2002 International Year of the Mountains

The United Nations has declared 2002 International Year of the Mountains (IYM) with the launch taking place next week (December 11) in New York. The aim of IYM is to increase international awareness of the global importance of mountain ecosystems and to ensure the well-being of mountain and lowland communities by promoting the conservation and sustainable development of mountain regions. In the UK, the mountaineering federations have agreed to a ´Summit Charter´, which was adopted by the world body for mountaineering (UIAA) and launched in Austria in October. The charter is to remind everyone (but in particular Governments and international organisations) why climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are valuable and worthwhile activities with many health, social, educational and economic benefits. The UK launch of the Summit Charter is at the Festival of Climbing this weekend