Eleventh International Mountain Day Celebration at UVU

On December 2nd, 2020, the Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF) will host the eleventh United Nations International Mountain Day (IMD) at Utah Valley University (UVU). IMD observation will commemorate the United Nations’ 75th anniversary and be hosted at 12pm virtually via Zoom. IMD 2020 will be co-sponsored by the UVU office of Global Engagement and Orem Rotary club. The IMD observation UIMF will be held via a student engaged learning (SEL) model.  As per SEL, UVU students will prepare, participate in, and organize the event as a group effort while faculty will advise them when necessary.

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly announced 2002 to be the UN International Year of Mountains and that each following year December 11th would be honored as International Mountain Day. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) organizes an annual celebration to increase awareness of problems facing mountain communities globally. The theme for this year’s festivities regard protecting and celebrating mountain biodiversity and understanding the threats posed to them. There will be a special focus on UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15, which aims to “Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”. The preliminary event agenda includes the following speakers:

1)                  Sam Elzinga, UIMF President

2)                  Dr. Rusty Butler, Main Representative at UN, Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, an NGO in General Consultative Status with ECOSOC

3)     Mr. Dustin Liu, Youth Observer to the UN, UNA-USA

4)                  Mr. Dean Robinson, Orem Rotary club President

The speakers and celebration align with the UIMF mission to promote the sustainability of the world’s mountain environments and livelihoods and FAO-UN goal of implementing the three UN-SDG mountain targets 6.6, 15.1, and 15.4.

Mr. Dallas Karren, UIMF Vice President