The Mountain Institute | Protect & Preserve Mountain Regions 2018-01-09T06:21:22+00:00
The Mountain Institute | Protect &  Preserve Mountain Regions

Unique in its mission to protect and preserve mountain regions worldwide. The Mountain Institute has devoted their efforts to working closely with communities in mountain regions. Helping these communities development of solutions to improve their livelihoods and become more resilient in the the age of climate change. By forging long-term commitments with locals and creating an environment that thrives.The Mountain Institute has successfully demonstrated how cultural boundaries can be crossed and organic collaborations can generate concrete and measurable results.

What is The Mountain Institute?

TMI was founded in 1972 on the highest point of the Spruce Knob Mountain in Virginia. TMI has now since expanded and is known for its innovative programs in the Andes and Himalayas. Their focus is on improving the ecosystems and lives of the people that live in the mountains.

For the past four decades,TMI has partnered with the people on the ground to help them develop a deeper understanding of the eco-systems around them and helped them to become a little more self-reliant. By working in partnership with native people they have been able to identify the most critical challenges and helping communities become more adaptable and resilient. Especially in the face of climate change. Improving livelihoods, fragile ecosystems of mountains remain protected.

founded-at-spruce-knob Mountain

Why Mountains Matter

 Rising temperatures are damaging the balances of snow, ice and water thus threatening the livelihoods and existence of millions of mountain people and the billions that live and survive downstream.

A wide array of species rely on mountains for their survival. Of the planet’s 35 terrestrial hotspots, 25 are in mountains. There ecosystems sustain a stunning amount of plant and wildlife. It’s important we care for these ecosystems or all life forms suffer.

Many cultures have been formed on the slopes of mountains, with unique traditions and ageless practices being developed. However, globalism and a mass exodus of young people to urban areas mean that these cultures are slowly dying, with only the old and the very young left to struggle on as best they can.

Five of the world’s major religions view mountains as sacred, and over the centuries, a wealth of diverse cultures have formed in the magnificent peaks.

Security: Mountains are often the location of international borders, becoming home to the poor and ethnic minorities. In recent years, they have been the location of many conflicts, internal and international. Water has become the main source of conflict in recent years and will continue to be a bone of contention for many years to come.


Billions of people rely on water for irrigation, drinking, sanitation and energy production. All of this flows from the mountains, and this clean water is now under threat from changing precipitation patterns, increasing tourism and development, and melting glaciers are just a few of the major threats to mountains.

You may not know it, but half of mankind relies on mountains for fresh water every day. Mountains serve as ‘water towers’ on every continent, in some way or another, the water that you use every day will have been through a mountain at some stage..

Mountains are responsible for the collection, storage and channelling of water and are essential to the water cycle. They are essential in the regulation of global climate and other ecological cycles. Their ice fields contain large reserves of fresh water that are vital to earth’s survival.


Mountains are often the location of international borders, becoming home to the poor and ethnic minorities. In recent years, they have been the location of many conflicts, internal and international. Water has become the main source of conflict in recent years and will continue to be a bone of contention for many years to come.


The Mountain Institute is dedicated to helping mountain communities adapt in today’s climate, social and economic change, this is achieved by working with local people on the ground to protect their cultures and preserve the natural resources found in mountain ecosystems.


They are driven by the need to protect mountains and their people in the face of the incredibly rapid changes that are happening all over the world. Their vision is seeing people living sustainably and preserving the natural gems of their mountains. They aim to help mountain people thrive with resilience and strength socially, culturally and economically.  All while conserving their natural resources that are so essential to the survival of every Human.


Value Proposition

The Mountain Institute is an organization setup to work with mountain people and their communities. They have programs that focus on the livelihoods of farmers, women, and communities. They assist to protect bio-diversity, adapt to climate change and conserve natural resources.

Key capabilities:

  • They work with communities to help them protect their water and fragile environments
  • Assist mountain people cultivate sustainable livelihoods and new opportunities
  • Work with mountain communities to adapt to climate change
  • Mobilize cooperation with mountains people and those who live downstream, essentially uniting those who rely on the same ecosystems
  • Champion the needs of mountains and their people in policy and scientific fields
  • Help mountain people share their experiences globally


The organization has a wealth of knowledge and experience. This is essential in the protection of mountains and the improvement in the livelihood of mountain people. TMI help mountain people and ethnic minorities that all that call the mountains home to become stronger in a harsh ever-changing world.

The Mountain Institute pioneers initiatives to help these overlooked landmarks that are so essential to mankind.

Threats To Mountains & TMI’s Response

Mountains are not receiving the attention they deserve considering the amount of services they provide for mankind. The list of threats to mountains is growing and TMI is doing all that they can to solve and prevent these.

TMI works hand in hand with local communities to improve livelihoods and provide sustainable, innovative solutions to conservation issues. They work closely with many government, academic, non-profit, and private sector partners. Their model programs promote natural resource preservation, sustainable economic development, climate change adaption and resilience and cultural heritage preservation.

The Mountain Partnership has been key in the promotion in a policy agenda for sustainable mountain development. The Mountain Partnership is a UN voluntary alliance. Dedicated to the improvement in the lives of mountain people and protecting mountainous environments worldwide.

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