Mountain Research and Development Journal
Photo by Rabindra Roy
Research station on the Merzbacher glade in the Tien Shan mountains, Kyrgyzstan. Scientists from all over the world come here every summer to study the movements of local glaciers, the meteorological situation in the region, and Lake Merzbacher, which drains completely every summer within just a few days, exposing icebergs. Photo by Ekaterina/

How can monitoring support action and policies for sustainable futures in mountains?

Systematic observation of the social-ecological dimensions of mountain areas can help us understand the social, environmental, economic, and cultural dynamics and trends affecting mountain communities and ecosystems. This MRD Talk brought together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to learn from successful monitoring initiatives. We jointly explored how best to set up monitoring systems and share the information obtained in order to enable effective policies and action for sustainable futures in mountains. A recording of the event and key insights will be available here soon.

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Ibex rarely flee when approached by hikers, leading to a common misinterpretation that the animals are undisturbed or even that it is possible to get closer than they can actually tolerate. Photo by Céline Martin

Outdoor activities: A blessing or a curse for mountain environments and societies?

Outdoor recreation and nature sports are increasingly popular worldwide. These outdoor activities can contribute greatly to livelihoods in mountain regions. However, they can also lead to habitat degradation, wildlife disturbance, and pollution, thereby harming fragile mountain ecosystems. In this MRD Talk, we explored how science, the private sector, civil society, and global initiatives can help turn the challenges brought by outdoor activities into opportunities for mountain environments and societies.

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A large share of agricultural land in Valposchiavo is organically cultivated. © Valposchiavo Turismo

How can social innovations contribute to local mountain economies? Learnings from science and practice

Limited opportunities for economic development and related depopulation trends are a common challenge faced by many mountain communities worldwide. But mountain communities are also a fertile ground for social innovations and new ways of envisioning the future. In this online dialogue, speakers presented social innovations from Switzerland, Georgia, Nepal, and Ecuador, and offered recommendations on how to best promote such innovations for the benefit of mountain economies.

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