This report looks at the threats that face mountain environments and the people that live in them. It describes a 'vertical gradient of poverty' whereby 80 per cent of mountain inhabitants live below the poverty line. The authors describe the political, cultural and social marginalisation of many mountain communities. The report describes the environmental importance of mountain ecosystems to the rest of the world and ways in which mountain communities can become more involved in decision making, conservation of natural resources and poverty reduction.Chapters of the document describe mountain societies and skills, issues of marginalisation and migration and the major threats of conflict, climate change and natural disaster which affect them. They go on to discuss the importance of forests and of mountains as 'water towers for the world'. They also look in some detail into issues of mining and tourism and their impacts and benefits on mountain environments and communities.