The years of 2001-2002 were announced the years of mountains.
Mt. Fuji Declaration Today, as one day in the International Year of Mountain 2002, we gathered and conducted a talk here at Mt. Fuji, the highest peak in Japan. The respect and the sense of awe for Mt. Fuji for its height, beauty and strength by the Japanese people have deepened from time immemorial. Japan is "a mountain country" with mountains and forests making up 70 % of its land. Water sprung from mountains with their forests is the origin of life and has grown rice, the basic food for the Japanese. Forests covering mountains not only store the water but produce the fresh air. For the Japanese, mountains have been gods as well. No matter where they lived,the Japanese have been all "a people of mountains". Nevertheless, we gradually left the appreciation for mountains behind. In particular, for the last half-century when economic development was pursued, destruction and pollution of mountains accelerated rapidly. Now we have realized the need to come face-to-face with mountains and forests, more consciously, and to take the necessary time to reflect deeply on the importance and meaning of mountains. Gathering at Mt. Fuji, today we declare: We learn the beauty and power of mountains with intellectual curiosity. We make the importance of mountains clear scientifically and endeavor not to destroy their environments. We meet mountains in the world with the same awe and love as for the Japanese mountains. We respect the life and the culture of those who live with mountains, and protect mountain nature as the habitats of millions of living species. Moreover, to refresh such determination every year, we propose here to establish the "Mountain Day" in Japan. July 6, 2002 Mt. Fuji Eco-Forum Japanese Committee of International Year of Mountains