Mountain areas cover a quarter of the Earth’s land surface, with 26 percent of the global population living in them or very close by. Mountain people and mountain environments are particularly threatened by global environmental change and economic and political forces. A disproportionate number of conflicts occur in mountain regions, and their inhabitants include many of the poorest and most vulnerable in the world. How can we preserve fragile mountain ecosystems that provide critical goods and services, while improving the conditions of those who live there? This book explores these issues, with particular emphasis on appropriate institutions and policies for sustainable mountain development. The book includes information from the Bishkek Global Mountain Summit, the concluding global event of the International Year of Mountains 2002.