MRI News

What are the main challenges that impede sustainable mountain governance at the local level? Research undertaken by the MRI’s Mountain Governance Working Group seeks to shed light on this important question.

There is growing consensus that securing a sustainable future for our changing mountains requires effective governance. However, the biogeophysical complexity and diversity of mountain social-ecological systems, their vulnerability to climatic and global change processes, their status as commons, and the vital importance of their ecosystem services for people living both in and far from mountains mean that mountains pose a particular set of governance challenges – few of which are well understood. New research conducted by the MRI’s Mountain Governance Working Group and published this month in the journal Mountain Research and Development seeks to address this knowledge gap.

The first Conéctate A+ academic exchange webinar took place this week, helping students in the Andes+ region discover study and scholarship opportunities in Switzerland.

Conéctate A+, the Cluster of Cooperation (CLOC) in the Tropical Andes and Central America region, initiated its second phase this week. The MRI, CONDESAN, and the University of Zurich (Co-Heads) met with the CLOC's Founding Partners to begin developing a work plan. 

New research undertaken by the MRI Mountain Observatories Working Group identifies both gaps and recent advances in the monitoring of key biophysical and socioeconomic variables in the mountains, and proposes ways to improve and connect existing initiatives – with the ultimate aim of developing a global mountain observatories network. Lead author Maria Shahgedanova explains why making these connections for our changing mountains is so crucial.

Mountains matter. Covering up to 30 percent of the planet’s land surface, mountains are home to between 0.9 and 1.2 billion people, host approximately a quarter of the planet’s biodiversity, and the enormous range of ecosystem services they provide are vital to human well-being. Over half of humanity’s freshwater, for example, originates in the world’s mountains. Unfortunately, mountains are also particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate and other global changes – with significant implications for ecosystems, biodiversity, and human health, safety, and security. In order to meet future challenges and identify appropriate sustainable development pathways, we need to understand the complex biological, social, and physical processes in mountain social-ecological systems.

The MRI Mountain Resilience Working Group hosted a successful summer school in Ostana, Italy and online, from 5-12 June 2021. 

'Designing for Resiliency: RE:GENERATE alpine-urban circularity' was an experiential educational co-creation hybridizing science, design, social outdoor joy, and local action organized by ETH Zurich, EPFL Lausanne, and the MonViso Institute and partnering with The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, TU Delft, and Politecnico Torino. The instructional team included MRI Mountain Resilience Working Group Co-Leads Tobias Luthe and Romano Wyss, with institutional support from MRI Co-PI Adrienne Grêt-Regamey

The third event in the MRI Anniversary Lecture Series took place this month, celebrating 20 years since the MRI Coordination Office was founded in 2001. This series aims to showcase MRI synthesis workshop research and build capacity in the mountain research community.

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2021 will be held in New Orleans, USA and online from 13-17 December 2021. The AGU Fall Meeting is the leading forum for advancing Earth and space science and leveraging this research toward solutions for societal challenges. The MRI is convening an exciting mountain-focused session.

Abstract submission deadline 4 August 2021.

The MRI's session at the Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021 highlighted examples of how key components of risk are accounted for in mountain contexts, and their implications for sustainability. 

The Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021 (SRI2021) took place June 12-15. As part of this virtual event, MRI Executive Director Carolina Adler and Scientific Project Officer Gabrielle Vance convened the session 'Addressing Systemic Risks in Social-Ecological Systems: Mountains as Contexts for Evidence and Action.' The session included presentations by MRI SLC member Irasema Alcántara-Ayala, University of Innsbruck Professor Margreth Keiler, and University of California, Berkeley PhD student Kate Cullen

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