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Nexus Brief 10: Mountains in a Changing Climate

The mountain regions of the world are characterized, among other things, by their vulnerability to climate change. The mountains are warming more rapidly than the lowlands, and the results are threatening mountain ecosystems and the life they support. The newest Nexus Brief presents most recent facts and figures, policy options, strategies for successful adaptation, and the relevance for development related to Mountains in a Changing Climate.

Nexus Brief 10: Mountains in a Changing Climate

Mountain regions cover one quarter of the world’s land surface and are home to more than 1.2 billion people in more than 100 countries, with about one-third of the people living in cities. This nexus brief identifies the challenges to mountain and downstream communities and offers policy responses to meet those challenges.

Hosting rich biological and cultural diversity, mountains provide vital goods and services such as water, food, energy, minerals, and medicinal plants; offer opportunities for tourism and recreation; and embody aesthetic and spiritual values. These ecosystem services – particularly the provision of freshwater – are crucial not only for mountain regions but for billions of people in downstream areas.

This nexus brief synthesizes the findings of recent publications on mountains and climate change, in particular IPCC Cross-Chapter Paper 5: Mountains (2022) and the OECD Development Co-operation Working Paper: Strengthening climate resilience in mountainous areas (2021).

Published by the SDC Climate, DRR and Environment Network.


  • Ecosystem