Photo credits: UN Photo/Loey Felipe


Most of the world’s mountain chains are home to indigenous peoples and local communities whose livelihood strategies, food systems and cultural identities are intimately connected to the mountain environments in which they live. These peoples are custodians of the mountain chains they call home and their precious resources including clean water, but they are also the first to be affected by climate change and large development projects such as mining and hydroelectric dams that are transforming mountains and watersheds around the globe.

The Map of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities living in Mountain Areas and database are meant to provide international visibility to mountain peoples, mapping the world’s mountain chains not only by their physical characteristics, but by the cultures and lifestyles of their inhabitants.

The map, which is connected to a database, is also intended as live repository of shared knowledge and best practices that can provide a more comprehensive outlook of indigenous communities living in mountain areas around the world providing data about where these communities live, their main food systems, the organizations working with them and some of the main cultural traits.

The database has been developed by the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS), in close collaboration the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA) and LandMark, which has provided a large volume of reliable information on the location of indigenous territories.

The database is a work in progress, continuously updated by the growing body of data provided by partners including indigenous organisations, grassroots NGOs and academic institutions.


Read more about the project and the interactive map.

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