Joint Celebration of the International Mountain Day

Costa Rica´s National Meteorological Institute from the Ministry of the Environment and Energy summoned up different local actors as a token of public and private sectors: Heredia Public Services Enterprise (ESPH) -private sector-, San Rafael de Heredia Local Goverment, FUNDECOR –national NGO-, FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Central Volcanic Mountain Range Conservation Area – Heredia Sub-region, with the purpose of sharing the message of mutual responsibility of mountain conservation and sustainable develoment in the joint celebration of the International Mountain Day. The event took place in “Paradero Turístico–Monte de la Cruz” a national tourist sightseeing spot located in our breathing lab: Costa Rica´s Mountains -most of them protected by law- at Braulio Carrillo National Park.


The Mountain Partnership Secretariat shared the 2013 International Mountain Day Poster, which was distributed among the actors engaged with preparation of the International Mountains Day event. The event was target specifically to organized ecological groups such as Bandera Azul, members of the Inter-institutional Program for Water Management –PRIGA- and the local government’s federation –Federación de Municipalidades-, among others. The event program was very rich; there were expert’s presentations, ludic activities, etc.

During the event, information materials were shared. The governor of San Rafael de Heredia, made remarks regarding the support of its local government to the attendance of environmental issues and tasks, highlighting the creation of an ecological classroom, which is available for those kind of events similar as the 2013 International Mountain Day celebration.

The representative of the Central Volcanic Mountain Range Conservation Area, shared a few words with the participants regarding poverty conditions of neighborhoods towns living close to Braulio Carrillo National Park. These populations are more concern of providing to themselves and to their families and everyday meal, than to support conservation efforts, even though they recognize their need satisfactions call upon mountain services conservation. There was also a remark regarding territorial order issues, specifically towards public own Braulio Carrillo National Park lands. 

The guest from Heredia Public Services Enterprise (ESPH), shared some views concerning private landowners strategy tools used by the enterprise to support mountains conservation and by doing so protect water fonts (payment for environmental services, PES) which are essential for their hydroelectrically projects that lend power to Heredia’s citizens.

FUNDECOR, a new member of the Mountain Partnership, virtually sponsored throughout Facebook and twitter the initiative called: We Love Mountains supported by Denia and Barcelona´s local governments, during past November, encouraging all Mountain Lovers to climb up their closest mountain and raise the International Mountain Day´s flag. Within this movement FUNDECOR received from an International Mountain Day ambassador, Pep Sánchez, -long distance sportsman- a gift in form of a Flag as a symbol of union between Barcelona´s and Costa Rica´s Mountains. Also, during the International Mountains Day Celebration event, FUNDECOR fostered a learning activity called: Ecosystems Fragility. 

Meanwhile, the FAO representative in Costa Rica, José Emilio Suadi, said: Reconciling development and conservation of community benefits in mountain ecosystems is imperative. One tenth of humanity receives its sustenance directly from the mountains. But the mountains are important not only for those who live there, but for millions of people living in the lowlands. Globally, the highest value of the mountains can be a source to most rivers in the world.

Mountains play an essential role in the water cycle by capturing moisture from air masses. When the water falls as snow, it is stored until it melts in summer, which is essential for populations, crops and industries in the lowlands, often during the period of lowest rainfall. In arid and semiarid regions, over 90% of river flows come from the mountains.

International Mountain Day is an opportunity to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build partnerships that will bring positive change to the world’s mountains and highlands.


  1. San Rafael de Heredia, Governor   
  2.  Jose Emilio Saudí, FAO               
  3.  Central Volcanic Mountain Range Conservation Area
  4. Information Material                        
  5. Pep Sánchez, DIM Ambassador and Felipe Carazo, FUNDECOR.  
  6. ESPH