Covering over 9 million square kilometres of the Earth’s surface, mountain forests represent a remarkable
23 percent of the Earth’s forest cover. They play a key role in mountain areas, providing goods and
services essential to the livelihood of both highland and lowland communities. Freshwater streaming
down from mountains is accessible to more than half of the world’s population and available for the most
varied needs, such as drinking, cooking and washing, farming, hydropower, industry and transportation.