MOUNT MOUNTAIN RANGE, Philippines — The country’s mountainous regions are becoming increasingly congested, according to a report by the World Meteorological Organization.
The report, released on Tuesday, said that at least 1.2 million people live in the country’s 472 mountain ranges.
This includes at least 583,000 in the central highlands, the report said.
At least 14,800 people are reported missing in these regions, and a further 1,100 people are unaccounted for.
The World Meteorology Organization (WMO) also warned that many of these areas have not been visited in the past 20 years.
Its chief meteorologist, Joanne Peters, said in a statement that the world’s highest peak was now 7,967m (27,711ft) above sea level.
She said the situation is expected to worsen due to climate change and that the region would likely experience its driest period in almost 40 years.
The WMO forecast that this drought will last at least two years.
Peters said the peak would also be the worst in a decade.
The country’s population of around 8.5 million is projected to shrink by 3.6 million by 2060, she said.
She urged the public to act to protect their environment and that climate change should not be underestimated.
The Philippines, like many of the countries in Asia, is facing a rising tide of climate change, she added.