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“Restoring Mountain Ecosystems” on International Mountain Day

Posted: Monday, December 11, 2023. 1:49 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: International Mountain Day is observed annually on December 11th.

This year’s theme is “Restoring mountain ecosystems” which aims to increase awareness about the relevance of mountain ecosystems and call for nature-based solutions, best practices and investments that build resilience, reduce vulnerability and increase the ability of mountains to adapt to daily threats and extreme climatic events.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Belize note that Mountains are natural jewels we should treasure.

They are home to 15% of the world´s population and host about half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. They provide freshwater for everyday life to half of humanity, helping to sustain agriculture and supply clean energy and medicines.

The Maya Mountains range of mostly southern Belize, extends about 70 miles (115 km) northeastward from across the Guatemalan border into central Belize.

The range falls abruptly to the coastal plain to the east and north but more gradually to the west, becoming the Vaca Plateau, which extends into eastern Guatemala.

Both the range and the plateau are extensively dissected and of uniform elevation throughout, the highest point being reached for 2 mountains Doyle’s Delight 3,688 feet (1,124 meters) and Victoria Peak 3680 feet(1,122 meters) in the transverse Cockscomb Range, which extends seaward perpendicularly from the main divide. 

The mountains take their name from the Maya people, who retreated into the mountains before the Spaniards, leaving great centres, such as Lubaantun on the mountains’ southeastern periphery, deserted behind them.

WCS Belize explained that observing International Mountain Day provides an opportunity for Belizeans to promote activities that contribute to the well-being of mountainous regions and their inhabitants, as well as to appreciate the beauty and significance of mountains in Belize, Mesoamerica and around the world.


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