High mountain areas are experiencing some of the earliest and greatest impacts of climate change. However, knowledge on how climate change impacts multiple ecosystem services that benefit different stakeholder groups remains scattered in the literature. This article presents a review of the literature on climate change impacts on ecosystem services benefiting local communities and tourists in high mountain areas. Results show a lack of studies focused on the global South, especially where there are tropical glaciers, which are likely to be the first to disappear. Climate change impacts can be classified as impacts on food and feed, water availability, natural hazards regulation, spirituality and cultural identity, aesthetics, and recreation. In turn, climate change impacts on infrastructure and accessibility also affect ecosystem services. Several of these impacts are a direct threat to the lives of mountain peoples, their livelihoods and their culture. Mountain tourism is experiencing abrupt changes too. The magnitude of impacts make it necessary to strengthen measures to adapt to climate change in high mountain areas.
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Vol. 37 • No. 2