MRI News

A High Mountain Summit has issued a Call for Action in the face of rapid melting of the Earth’s frozen peaks and the consequences for food, water, and human security, as well as for ecosystems, the environment, and economies.

The three-day summit, convened by the World Meteorological Organization and a wide range of partners, identified priority actions to support more sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation both in high-mountain areas and downstream.

The Mountain Research Initiative is deeply saddened by the death of Esther Mwangi, Principal Scientist with Forests and Governance at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and a highly valued and active member of the MRI Science Leadership Council.

Esther Mwangi was a researcher, environmentalist, and public policy expert whose work explored gender and land-rights inequalities in relation to natural resources.

Taking place in Vienna, Austria 3–8 May 2020, the EGU 2020 General Assembly will bring together geoscientists from all over the world to explore all disciplines of the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. This year, there are a number of exciting, mountain-related sessions – including three convened by representatives of the MRI.

The EGU aims to provide a forum where scientists, especially early-career scientists (ECS), can present their work and discuss their ideas with experts in all fields of geoscience. Abstract submissions are now invited for all sessions, including those being convened by representatives from the MRI. 

Deadline for abstract submissions is 15 January 2020

This MRI-funded synthesis workshop took place in the context of the International Mountain Conference (IMC) 2019 – held in September in Innsbruck, Austria – and aimed to deepen discussions initiated during an Open Think Tank earlier that week at the same location on the development of the first Mountain Resilience Report.

Bringing together leading scholars from academia and practice, this post-IMC synthesis workshop took place on 13 September 2019 and laid the foundations for the design and development of a resilience report for mountain regions. The specific resilience angle of this workshop was on understanding and incubating innovative capacities to create and implement effective, real-world solutions and build regenerative mountain systems.

Between 1-3 September 2019, 14 researchers representing eight countries – Spain, France, Switzerland, UK, Sweden, Norway, Peru, Australia – came together in Sopuerta, Spain. Their purpose? To synthesize the knowledge resulting from existing transformation initiatives and Nature Based Solutions (NBS) that are emerging in response to global change in mountains.

The workshop, which was funded by the MRI as part of its 2019 Call for Synthesis Workshops, had several aims: Firstly, to develop a framework to assess the process and outcomes of transformative change in mountains; secondly, to test the framework through a series of case studies in which participants have broad working experience; and thirdly, to create a research plan, as well as an outline for a publication, and to allocate tasks to move towards the aims of TRANSMOUNT in the coming months.

In early September, over 500 mountain researchers came together at the heart of the Tyrolean Alps in Innsbruck, Austria in order to engage in in-depth, cross-disciplinary discussions at the International Mountain Conference (IMC) 2019. Their aim? To further develop global understanding of mountain systems, their responses, and resiliencies. 

A member of the IMC 2019 scientific steering committee, the Mountain Research Initiative was well-represented throughout the conference by the MRI Coordination Office, its Principal Investigators, and members of the Science Leadership Council (SLC).

The Convention on Biological Diversity is currently working on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. To advance the preparations of the framework, the first meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group was held in Nairobi, gathering over 500 delegates and observers – and Dr. Aino Kulonen from the MRI Coordination Office was one of them. To ensure that mountain specific issues will be included in the framework, a Policy Brief on mountains was launched and mountain countries were invited to collaborate to achieve this goal.

2020 marks the end of the current Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Significant and comprehensive scientific evidence of dangerous biodiversity decline and the threat it poses to quality of life from the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services leaves countries with the challenging task of providing a new framework which should meet the three objectives of the CBD: 1) the conservation of biodiversity, 2) the sustainable use of its components, and 3) the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

The GEO-GNOME Workshop ‘Essential Climate Variables for Observations in Mountains’ took place at the University of Bern in Switzerland, 24-26 June 2019. The workshop brought together experts from different fields of mountain research to consider a list of essential variables that need to be measured to understand elevation dependent warming and related mountain processes.

Addressing the importance of climate as one key driver of environmental change in mountains, with relevant consequences for social-ecological systems, is a key activity of the Group on Earth Observations Global Network for Observations and Information in Mountain Environments (GEO GNOME).

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